Rookie CB Cook Puts On A Show

Posted by cjsiewert on August 2, 2010 – 7:30 am

With an extended amount of time spent on 7-on-7 drills Sunday afternoon, rookie CB Chris Cook was able to make a number of impressive defensive stops, including 3 INTs.

Cook, who recorded 7 INTs during his career at Virginia (4 INTs his senior year), proved during Sunday afternoon’s practice that he is well-equipped to nab an INT at the pro level by pulling in 2 INTs off the throws of Sage Rosenfels and 1 from rookie QB Joe Webb.

The 1 pick that I saw up close and personal – and likely the most impressive of the day – had rookie WR Taye Biddle running a fade route from the 10-yard line into the left corner of the end zone. On the throw from Rosenfels, Cook got turned around by a quick move from Biddle but was able to adjust in time to make a leaping grab for the INT in the back of the end zone and then ran 107 yards down the left sideline to finish the play.

“He has made a variety of different plays down the field,” Head Coach Brad Childress said of Cook during the post practice press conference. “A lot of the time they say defensive backs are wide receivers that couldn’t catch. He can catch, which is important because those are turnovers going the other way. You are seeing the length show up with his size, his reach and for being a tall guy he’s got a pretty good drive. I think he’ll continue to keep on developing.”

Childress also felt that Cook’s size (6-2, 212 pounds) will be an advantage, especially in the red zone where teams like to throw the fade route, which was the scenario in Sunday afternoon’s practice when Cook picked off Rosenfels in the end zone.

“When you throw to spots sometimes those smaller defensive players can’t get to those spots just by virtue of their foot speed and their height,” Childress said. “He [Cook] is making some plays on some balls that are thrown in pretty decent spots.”

With the addition of veteran CB Lito Sheppard and already having 12-year veteran Antoine Winfield on the roster, Cook is blessed to have a pair of CBs who have been in the league for so long and will be able to learn from 2 of the premier CBs in the NFL.

“Chris is making great strides,” Sheppard said. “He’s making a lot of plays on the ball when given the opportunity. It’s just about him getting the feel for the game and slowing it down.”

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Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Rookie CB Cook Puts On A Show”

  1. By Carl K on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    I know we have good veteran corners… Does Cook have any shot at starting? Maybe safety? Mike, what are the chances of moving Winfield to nickle or safety. If Cook is a DB that can make plays we can’t afford to have him on the side lines. T. Johnson and M. Williams have not made your high lights any this camp. What is up with our starting safeties? Why aren’t they flashing anything?

  2. By Tom on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Carl, see how camp goes and pre-season, if cook earns the stater spot I’m sure Chilly will play him. Still early, be patient. I hope he is the real thing too.

  3. By Dustin on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with Carl, It would seem to make sense to put Winfield in as a safety. It would keep him fresh in a game for longer because he wouldn’t be running as hard all the time. I could see cook playing safety also as long as he posses good tackling ability. But I feel we need someone who can read the defense and can be a good ball hawk (such as Sharper was for the Saints) during the game, to me it would seem that Winfield’s advantage would be his long experience as a CB and could read the plays. But the advantage for Cook would obviously be his size to play that position.

    Crazy idea, but we could have both Cook and Winfield as free and strong safety, and Sheppard and Griffin(once he returns) could be the starting CBs with Allen and Sapp as backups.

  4. By Carl K on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Tom, I know your right… but about this time of the year I start to bleed purple and it is tough to be patient. I am excited about some of our young guys like Gerhard, Cook, E. Griffen and Webb. Everyone thinks we are built to win now, and I agree, but I am also beginning to think – with the good young talent we have in backup postions, we could be good for a long time. I hate to see young talent stand on the side line, but I guess that is the price you pay for being a great team.

  5. By Jones on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    He has phenom size for a corner not a lot of teams have tall corners I hope we get another tall corner next year that way they can go against the calvin johnsons, larry fitz, and andre johnson type big receivers. I hope he is not just a one hit wonder in camp and flakes in the regular season only time will tell but very excited we have a tall corner that can disrupt with aggression.

  6. By Skol_Vikings on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    I think at the very least Windfield and Griffin are going to be getting fewer reps to Age and health, so I think there is deffiently some room for Cook and Allen to get some action.

    I don’t know if they’re going to move Windfield around, but I think with certain sets he’ll be slotted into a nickle and we’ll see more out of Allen and Cook

  7. By Tom on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Carl, tell me about it, I can’t wait to see the vikes in action, praying this is FINALLY our year! Keep the faith carl! SKOL VIKES!

  8. By Cory on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Carl and Dustin- I do not believe Winfield is a real option at Safety. He does not have the size to play strong (he hits like a truck, but is often injured as a result) and does not have the range to play free safety.

    Cook is tall and lanky which is a better fit for FS, however that being said is not a position you want to have much learning on the job.

    Our play at safety needs to improve without question. They were terrible last year…poor tackling and no ball skills were a weekly repeat.

  9. By PurplePeopleEater on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Cory, what do you mean that Winfield is “often injured”? When was the last time he was injured before the broken foot last October? Fact of the matter is that Antoine is our best bet at Strong Safety right now, and many argue he’ll also have a LESSER chance of being injured there than at Corner, thus lengthening his career.

    I don’t agree that Cook should be moved back to FS though. I think we’ll be better off bringing the rookie in (if he continues to show skills) on obvious passing downs to help knock the ball away from receivers.

    All of our starters have a year or more of starting experience, which is worth a lot more than some people realize. It would be a large gamble to throw someone in a starting position that is learning on the job while you are sprinting towards the Super Bowl.

  10. By Tom on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Purple, I agree, if Cook is the real thing, his size is a huge plus at CB.

  11. By Cory on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Hey PurplePeopleEater,
    Do not get me wrong I am a BIG Antoine Winfield fan. He would be the smallest starting SS in the league. I agree he has not missed games other than last year, however is constantly banged up. Playing SS at less than 200LBS…

    Our CB`s this season will be Winfield and Sheppard, Griffin will get sometime upon his return (he will not be the same player until next season, ACL take a full year to recover much less 8 months)
    We will need improved play from the same group as last year…Cook is an option although to learn on the job with a team that ready to contend for a SuperBowl is less than ideal.

  12. By Lito on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Now how about a 6’6″ 330 lb offensive lineman for center or right offensive guard to protect Bret and create holes for AP and TG?

  13. By PurplePeopleEater on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    Cory, the safeties we have now are just barely over 200lbs, and they have a few inches over Winfield. Heck, even Polamalu who is arguably the most insane SS out there weighs in at a meer 207. I still think it’s a safe bet that most players would say that Antoine hits a whole lot harder than any of the safeties we have. And that’s what the argument is about, not size but sheer physical power, which Winfield posesses like mad.

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