Chris Cooley is the type of player we love.
Not only is Cooley a great tight end, which helps Fantasy owners, but he also enjoys his job and has fun. His blog, chriscooley47.blogspot.com, brings you an inside look at his life and the Redskins. It's a great read.
On top of that, Cooley also plays Fantasy Football. And he has a story only a diehard fan can appreciate.
|Chris Cooley is not only a top Fantasy option at tight end, he's also an owner. (US Presswire)|
When Cooley got home, he checked his Fantasy team and realized he was playing against himself -- and lost. Since it was a free league, no one knew that Cooley was in it, so he didn't have to hear any trash talk about his three touchdowns helping someone else win.
"I didn't think about it during the game, obviously," Cooley said in a recent interview with CBSSports.com. "It was such a great game for me, and it was so awesome to do it. It was probably the first day that people started to notice me."
Fantasy owners have been aware ever since.
Last year, Cooley had his best season in the NFL with 66 catches for 786 yards and eight touchdowns. He has emerged as a No. 1 Fantasy option, but now he's in for a change this season.
The Redskins have installed the West Coast offense under new coach Jim Zorn, and there could be an adjustment period for Cooley and his teammates. Still, Cooley is excited about the opportunity to catch more passes, which should happen in this system.
"I am excited about the new offense, but it will be tough to switch," Cooley said. "I loved the last offense we had here. It made me a Pro Bowl player. I'm going to miss it. But I am excited because I know we're going to throw the ball more, and I'm looking forward to it. There's going to be a lot of short passes, and I know I have the chance to catch a lot more balls. I should have a higher volume of catches."
Cooley knows his success will depend on quarterback Jason Campbell, who was inconsistent in his first full year as a starter in 2007. Campbell started 13 games and had 2,700 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions before a knee injury ended his year.
The Redskins are hopeful Campbell can improve this year because when Campbell went down, journeyman Todd Collins took over and led Washington to the playoffs. But reports out of training camp are that Campbell has looked good, and Cooley is excited for what Campbell can do.
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"Jason has looked good," Cooley said. "I see him the most comfortable in this offense. Jason is a very smart football player. This offense is going to allow him to work quicker and throw the ball more. We don't have to take a lot of shots down the field when they aren't there. He just has to take advantage of the opportunity."
If Campbell, who should be drafted as a No. 2 Fantasy option with a late-round pick, can improve, then his receivers should also. Santana Moss is a viable starting Fantasy option, and Antwaan Randle El or the rookies, Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly -- who are both hurt in training camp -- could make an impact this season.
"We have a great wide receiver corps," Cooley said. "As far as talent, we're stacked. We have some tall receivers, and we didn’t lose any size or quickness. We have so many more threats, and we're going to keep defenses on their toes. Everyone is going to have a chance to make plays."
Cooley is hoping to make plenty of plays this year. He is among the best players at his position, but he has a chance to be No. 1 ahead of Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Kellen Winslow and Tony Gonzalez if he keeps improving.
Cooley's not concerned where he ranks among great tight ends. He just wants to get the Redskins back to the playoffs and be respected by his peers.
Maybe he can win a Fantasy title as well. He continues to play, and if you're lucky, he might end up in a league with you this year.
Just make sure you start Cooley every week because he might score three touchdowns and help you beat him. Now that would be something to blog about.