2014 DRAFT GUIDE
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.''

---

Online:

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

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Wes WelkerAug 25 04:13p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) could play in the team's regular season opener Sunday, September 7, if he does not have any concussion symptoms by Monday, September 1. [ More ]

Chase BlackburnAug 25 01:33p

Carolina Panthers OG Trai Turner (groin) and DEs Greg Hardy (shoulder) and Charles Johnson (hamstring) sat out of practice Sunday, Aug. 24. SS Roman Harper (toe), who missed the [ More ]

LeSean McCoyAug 24 11:53p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (thumb, toe) said he will be fine for Week 1 after suffering a thumb injury in the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21. McCoy [ More ]

Chase BlackburnAug 24 11:42p

Carolina Panthers LB Chase Blackburn (back) and SS Roman Harper (toe) returned to practice Sunday, Aug. 24.

Tarell BrownAug 24 11:22p

Oakland Raiders DL Justin Ellis (concussion) returned to practice Sunday, Aug. 24, after missing a couple of weeks with a concussion, and CB Tarell Brown (concussion) practiced after leaving [ More ]

Wes WelkerAug 24 11:22p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has a good chance to play in Week 1, according to Mike Klis of The Denver Post. Welker suffered a concussion in the [ More ]

Charles MitchellAug 24 10:32p

The Denver Broncos waived RB Brennan Clay, RB Jerodis Williams, WR Greg Hardin, WR Greg Wilson, QB Bryn Renner, LB Jerrell Harris, CB Charles Mitchell and DL Will Pericak [ More ]

Tahir WhiteheadAug 24 10:30p

Detroit Lions LB Tahir Whitehead had 10 tackles and three sacks during his team's exhibition game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 'He was really playing at a level of one [ More ]

Zac StacyAug 24 10:28p

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford (knee) is out for the season after an MRI revealed a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. Zac Stacy will be relied upon even [ More ]

Richard RodgersAug 24 10:19p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers may be the starting tight end for Week 1 of the regular season. An injury to TE Brandon Bostick, combined with strong play [ More ]

Josh BoyceAug 24 10:06p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce did not play an offensive snap until there was 1:26 remaining in the third quarter of the preseason game Friday, Aug. 22, against [ More ]

Johnny ManzielAug 24 09:47p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could play with QB Brian Hoyer in a two-quarterback system later in the season, according to head coach Mike Pettine. Pettine said a package [ More ]

Winston JusticeAug 24 09:42p

The Denver Broncos released OT Winston Justice and LB Jamar Chaney Sunday, Aug. 24.

D.J. HaydenAug 24 09:12p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) had a good day of work with team trainers, Sunday, Aug. 24, and could return to practice this week, according to head coach Dennis Allen.

Terrell ThomasAug 24 09:02p

The Seattle Seahawks released CB Terrell Thomas Sunday, Aug. 24, a league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Tyrell JohnsonAug 24 08:22p

The Atlanta Falcons released SS Tyrell Johnson Sunday, Aug. 24.

Jordan SennAug 24 07:22p

The Chicago Bears released LB Jordan Senn.

Jordan PalmerAug 24 06:52p

The Chicago Bears released QB Jordan Palmer. QB Jimmy Clausen has won the backup quarterback spot.

Shaun HillAug 24 06:42p

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill will take over as the starting quarterback for the team, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.

Ropati PitoituaAug 24 06:32p

Tennessee Titans DE Ropati Pitoitua (hand) suffered a broken left hand in the third preseason game. He's expected to be ready for the season opener.

Will SmithAug 24 06:03p

The New England Patriots released DT Tommy Kelly, DE Will Smith and LB James Anderson.

Aldrick RobinsonAug 24 05:43p

The Washington Redskins released LB Robert Jackson, FB Stephen Campbell, WR Cody Hoffman, LB Jeremy Kimbrough, WR Rashad Lawrence, DE Jake McDonough, DE Jeremy Towns, WR Aldrick Robinson and FS Ross Madison.

Aaron RodgersAug 24 05:22p

Green Bay Packers C JC Tretter (knee) will miss up to six weeks with a left knee injury. The loss of Aaron Rodgers' starting center could hinder his [ More ]

Drew DavisAug 24 05:12p

Atlanta Falcons LB Marquis Spruill (knee) was placed on Injured Reserve. WR Drew Davis (foot) and SS Zeke Motta (neck) were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Cam NewtonAug 24 05:02p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (rib) has a hairline fracture in one of his ribs and will not play in the final preseason game next week. Head coach Ron [ More ]

Sam BradfordAug 24 03:59p

St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is out for the 2014 season after an MRI disclosed he tore the ACL in his left knee in Saturday night's preseason game [ More ]

Alan BranchAug 24 03:22p

The Buffalo Bills have released DL Alan Branch.

Marvin McNuttAug 24 02:52p

The Carolina Panthers have released P Jordan Gay, DL Linden Gaydosh, DL Alex Hall, OL Oscar Johnson, LB Anthony Morales, WR Marvin McNutt, WR Kealoha Pilares and DL Craig Roh.

Chris HarperAug 24 02:22p

The Green Bay Packers have released S Charles X. Clay, CB Antonio Dennard, WR Chris Harper, LB Korey Jones, FB Ina Liaina, QB Chase Rettig and WR Gerrard Sheppard.

Toney ClemonsAug 24 02:12p

The Carolina Panthers have released WR Toney Clemons.

Phil LoadholtAug 24 02:02p

An MRI exam for Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (ankle) revealed that he has an ankle contusion, as opposed to a sprain, according to a source.

Trumaine JohnsonAug 24 01:02p

St. Louis Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (knee) likely will be sidelined for six weeks after an MRI revealed he has a strained medial collateral ligament.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group