ALAMEDA -– Raiders receiver Amari Cooper is so precise with his footwork and his routes that he can make opponents look silly. There’s been a few moments like that already, where the No. 4 overall pick has burned a quality corner and made defenders miss in open space.
Opponents don’t like that one bit. The Cincinnati Bengals used force in attempt to knock Cooper off his game, with big hits and an incident with cornerback Adam Jones that got a little crazy.
Cooper wasn’t fazed by the rough play on Sunday, and wasn’t concerned with it afterward. He was as even keel as every on Thursday afternoon when looking back on Sunday and forward to next week.
The Raiders lost and Cooper wasn’t perfect, but he considers the time a learning experience to build on.
“Every game tape is a teachable tool,” Cooper said. “There will always be things to work on. You just have to keep fixing things and get better throughout the year. … The key is that you have to be poised and do your assignment.”
Neither success nor failure impacts Cooper’s outlook on future plays, producing a consistency rare in someone barely 21 years old.
“The guy is three years out of high school,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “He’s got to learn the game at this level fast, and he is doing that. One thing that was so impressive with him is that you see the way that they were trying to play him and trying to talk to him, and it doesn’t affect him at all. He comes in and runs the next route perfectly. He’s going to be just fine.
“For me to see that happening, watching them interact and them say things, it doesn’t affect him and that’s the biggest plus sign I saw from him in the game. It doesn’t matter what’s going on, if the throw is over or a bad catch or anything like that, he just wants the next play. Even if he catches a touchdown, he just wants the next play. That was the best thing that I saw from the game with him.”
The worst people saw from Cooper in that game was his exposed head being slammed into his helmet by Jones. It was an egregious act that produced a penalty but not an ejection. Jones was fined $35,000 for the incident but won’t be suspended. Jones plans to appeal the fine.
Cooper doesn’t care much about the incident anymore. He wants to move on, just has he does after every play. Cooper said Sunday he didn’t want Jones suspended, and reiterated that point in his final thoughts on a matter he’d like to fade away.
“I didn’t want him to get suspended,” Cooper said. “He was just playing football and playing physical like you’re supposed to. I’m past all that now. I’m trying to focus on the Ravens.”
The Ravens have a physical secondary and will likely use physicality to knock Cooper off his game as the Bengals did.
“This is a physical sport,” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. “When a new guy arrives, he’s going to be tested. We know Amari [Cooper] is up to the task. That will be common, not just for Amari, but for all of our young guys as they get indoctrinated into this level.”