Arizona's Cooper motivated to live up expectations

By BOB BAUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-29 20:33

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The highest draft picks in the NFL aren't usually guards.

Jonathan Cooper is an exception, and he expects to be exceptional.

Cooper, chosen seventh overall out of North Carolina by the Arizona Cardinals, went through his first training camp workout on Monday after signing a four-year contract worth about $14.5 million.

Now, he says his motivation is to live up to expectations, to prove to everyone that he's worth the money.

``Just being drafted that high, no matter what position, I feel like you feel immense pressure,'' he said. ``I know I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. I know there are a lot of people depending on me.''

The 6-foot-2, 311-pound lineman is the first guard selected in the top eight since Mike Munchak went No. 8 to the Houston Oilers 31 years ago.

Cooper, penciled in as Arizona's starting left guard, missed the first three days of training camp while his agent and the Cardinals wrangled over contract details.

He went through his conditioning test on Monday morning.

``Breezed through it, really,'' coach Bruce Arians said.

Then Cooper was immediately with the line for the starting unit for the morning walkthrough.

``I love his attitude,'' quarterback Carson Palmer said. ``He's a glass half-full, happy-go-lucky guy - smile on his face, loves football. It's hard to love football at the offensive line position in training camp. To come in and run the conditioning test right off the bat and then get thrown in on the first play with a smile on his face is what I like seeing.''

On Monday afternoon, he went through his first practice with pads.

``It was tough, as I thought it would be,'' Cooper said. ``I was pleased early on. I started fairly strong and I tailed off a little bit at the end, making a few errors.''

He said it was difficult waiting at home in Wilmington, N.C., while the Cardinals started camp started across the country.

``Anticipation, it kills me,'' Cooper said. ``(I) just start questioning `Will I be able to get back right in and plug back in? It's going to be tough. Am I conditioning myself? Am I pushing myself enough while I'm here at home? What do the rest of the guys think about me?' All that kind of stuff, that was really mentally taxing.

``But I came back and I have been surprised at myself and hopefully surprising some others.''

Center Lyle Sendlein said he didn't see any major mistakes from Cooper in the first workout. Sendlein already had been impressed with the big guard during offseason workouts.

``In the spring, I got the sense of him being a great technician,'' Sendlein said. ``He's got great feet and hands and he plays with good knee bend and he's a smart guy.''

That time in the offseason has lessened any impact of missing a couple of days of training camp.

``It definitely prepared me for the professional mindset, the way to go about practice, just what to expect and kind of not let that fear and doubt keep me from continuing to go forward,'' Cooper said. ``I definitely don't think I'd be prepared and ready to succeed had I not had those OTAs under my belt.''

The Cardinals are counting on Cooper to help solidify a line that's a major question mark entering Arians' first season. Two days before Cooper arrived, the coach criticized the line for making too many mental mistakes. Then the team lost right guard Daryn Colledge to an irritated nerve in his right leg during the first practice in pads on Sunday.

Cooper said he wants to focus on the mundane chore of just getting better at learning plays and improving his technique. The first-team All-American also wants to avoid getting caught up in the accolades he already has received in early reviews from his teammates and coaches.

``It comes down to trying to prove people right and not let people down,'' he said, ``so I can't really focus on the glitz and glamour aspects of it until I've shown them that I've earned this and I belong here.''

As a person, he's already impressed.

``I've only been around for a little bit but you can tell he's a good dude,'' Palmer said. ``He's a good person. He's going to be a great guy in the community. He's going to represent this organization very well. You can't draft guys like that high enough.''



AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org


Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt ForteNov 26 07:13p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte (knee) is officially active for the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 26.

Corey BrownNov 26 03:43p

Carolina Panthers WR Corey Brown (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the Week 12 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Corey BrownNov 26 03:33p

The Carolina Panthers have declared RB Brandon Wegher, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, CB Charles Tillman, WR Corey Brown, LS Danny Aiken, WR Kevin Norwood, DE Ryan Delaire inactive for Week 12.

Brice ButlerNov 26 03:33p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared WR Brice Butler, TE Geoff Swaim, LB Mark Nzeocha, CB Morris Claiborne, OG Ronald Leary, DE Ryan Russell, RB Trey Williams inactive for Week 12.

Timothy WrightNov 26 11:33a

The Detroit Lions have declared OT Corey Robinson, DL Gabe Wright, S Isaiah Johnson, DL Jermelle Cudjo, OT LaAdrian Waddle, WR T.J. Jones, TE Tim Wright inactive for Week 12.

Darrelle RevisNov 26 11:33a

New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis (concussion) wasn't spotted at practice Thursday, Nov. 26, and he's unlikely to play in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

Calvin JohnsonNov 26 11:23a

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is active Thursday, Nov. 26, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Matt BryantNov 26 11:13a

Updating previous reports, Atlanta Falcons PK Matt Bryant (quadriceps) injured his quadriceps in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Sam BradfordNov 26 11:13a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (concussion, shoulder) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 26.

Sam BradfordNov 26 11:13a

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared DL Brandon Bair, CB Denzel Rice, WR Jonathan Krause, RB Ryan Mathews, QB Sam Bradford, OT Tanner Hawkinson, TE Zach Ertz inactive for Week 12.

Peyton ManningNov 26 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot) will be out at least three weeks as his foot is in a cast for the next 10 days. He'll need at least [ More ]

Devonta FreemanNov 26 11:03a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) won't practice Thursday, Nov. 26, and the team is preparing to play without him in Week 12, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Shayne GrahamNov 26 10:43a

Free-agent PK Shayne Graham (Saints) will sign with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, Nov. 26, according to a source.

Mark SanchezNov 26 08:43a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez will start Thursday, Nov. 26, in place of QB Sam Bradford (concussion, shoulder).

Doug BaldwinNov 25 07:43p

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Tyrod TaylorNov 25 07:23p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) said he will play in Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Malcom FloydNov 25 06:53p

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates (hip) and WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) were limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Case KeenumNov 25 06:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Dexter McClusterNov 25 06:33p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (knee) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Kendall WrightNov 25 06:33p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Mark IngramNov 25 06:23p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram's (shoulder) injury isn't expected to be a major concern after resting last week during the bye. It's unclear, however, if his shoulder injury [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 25 06:23p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (abdomen, kidney) is confident that he will play again this year, but a timetable for his return at this point is tough to gauge. [ More ]

Leonard HankersonNov 25 06:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) is still bothered by a hamstring strain, and the Falcons may continue to take their time with his injury. Hankerson previously missed two [ More ]

A. Seferian-JenkinsNov 25 06:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Stedman BaileyNov 25 05:53p

St. Louis Rams WR Stedman Bailey (head) is out of surgery and will be in an intensive care unit for 3-5 days. Doctors are hopeful he will make a successful recovery.

Danny AmendolaNov 25 04:43p

New England Patriots WRs Julian Edelman (foot), Danny Amendola (knee) and Aaron Dobson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Glenn DorseyNov 25 04:33p

San Francisco 49ers DT Glenn Dorsey (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25, after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 11.

Marshawn LynchNov 25 03:53p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hernia) will return in three to four weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery Wednesday, Nov. 25, but he could be [ More ]

Matt ForteNov 25 03:33p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte (knee) and WR Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder) are both listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 26.

John BrownNov 25 03:13p

Arizona Cardinals WR John Brown (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Martellus BennettNov 25 02:53p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett (ribs) has been ruled out for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26.

Michael FloydNov 25 02:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) is practicing Wednesday, Nov. 25.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group