After backup C Ryan Cook was replaced by Jon Cooper at halftime during Monday night’s loss to the NY Jets, the 2nd-year veteran stepped up to fill in on a moment’s notice. His play gained the respect and attention of the coaching staff as well as his fellow teammates.
“He did a pretty nice job, held his own,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell mentioned of Cook’s ability to come in and perform when called upon. “I feel confident with Coop, he does a great job. He’s scrappy, he’s tough. He’s going to fight each and every play and I’m excited about it.”
Cooper, who was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings, has played in 3 games this season with Sullivan recovering from a nagging calf injury. As Bevell pointed out during his weekly press conference, it’s important the C position “understands what we’re trying to do” and possess the ability to “make a call quick” at the line of scrimmage.
When Sunday rolls around, the Vikings will have their hands full with Dallas Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff. The 6-year veteran has a knack for penetrating into the backfield with his “ability to redirect and his great quickness,” Bevell acknowledged.
Should Cooper be the choice as a starter on Sunday against a premier defensive front, the team holds assurance in his abilities. Also, the fact that the Vikings will be starting their 3rd C in 5 games is not a concern of one important figure on the offense.
“In the second half, we brought Jon Cooper in and he did a good job out there,” Vikings All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson said prior to Thursday’s practice. “Playing for a half (with Cooper) and the offense look good. We were able to move the ball and be productive.”
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Darrell Bevell, John Sullivan, Jon Cooper
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