Chris Cooley Has Become McNabb’s Favorite Target

Once again the Washington Redskins enter the season with a new high-profile coach and a bunch of big name acquisitions, most notably Donovan McNabb.  In recent years, Daniel Snyder has become a master at seeking the quick fix surrendering piles of draft picks and cash to acquire new veterans.  It is a recipe for disaster because veteran players generally aren’t available unless they are flawed.  The flaw usually is their old age and sometimes it is character, but with McNabb and Mike Shanahan in town, Snyder and Co. hope this season will be different and will turn around quickly. One of the biggest benefactors of McNabb behind center this season will be tight end, Chris Cooley.  Fully recovered from last year’s ankle injury, Cooley has become McNabb’s favorite target so far during preseason.  He will be utilized as the slot receiver in some packages similar to how the Colts use Dallas Clark.  Washington’s new offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, knows how to get the tight end involved as he coached Owen Daniels last season with the Texans when he had forty catches for five-hundred nineteen yards and five touchdowns before tearing his ACL in week eight.  Get used to the “McNabb-to-Cooley” connection because we are going to hear that a lot of this season. Chris Cooley joined ESPN 980 in D.C. to talk about how comfortable he is with Donovan McNabb and the new offense, his explanation on what Donovan McNabb does better than his previous quarterbacks, and whether Jason Campbell wouldn’t throw him the ball in tight quarters or if that just wasn’t a part of the gameplan.

How comfortable he is with Donovan McNabb and the new offense:

“We are getting there. It is always tough in the first couple of months in a new offense to continue to build a rapport with the quarterback and the offensive coordinator. We’re getting there. Initially, it was a little surprising where he was throwing the balls. I’d be coming off the field thinking that I am getting these balls that I would never expect and it is a great thing. I just have to adjust…”

His explanation on what Donovan McNabb does better than his previous quarterbacks:

“Let’s say that I am running a deep crossing route and there is a linebacker running with me, in the previous couple of years I would have never gotten a ball thrown at me and before I look the ball is thrown into the air. It is just a surprise. It gives me a chance to make a play. It is great that McNabb will do that and I just had to adjust to things like that. He throws a hard ball. That is another thing I really have to adjust to. It just gets on you so fast and I had a little trouble early in camp trying to catch balls in practice. I feel like I have worked enough and ran enough routes to make adjustments but it is tough.  It is tough early on.”

On him being able to adjust to Donovan McNabb’s ball during their last preseason game:

“Yeah and we had a couple of very good connections in the game.  One was in close coverage on a 3rd down that he just put on me.  It was a great throw and to have that kind of trust between two guys is awesome.  The other deep ball I was wide open so if he would have missed me I had to maybe smack him in the face a little bit when we got to the sideline.  I am looking forward to catching a ton of balls this year.  I know all of the receivers are excited about working with him and adjusting to being a Washington Redskin.”

Whether Jason Campbell wouldn’t throw him the ball in tight quarters or if that just wasn’t a part of the gameplan:

“It was both.  I think there was a confidence.  Donovan has a confidence level that he is going to put the ball exactly where it needs to be and his receiver is going to make a play.  He has made a career out of that and he has always done that and he is bringing it here.”

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