As a divide in the Dolphins locker room becomes more and more apparent, the Eagles are showing there is a way to move beyond, or at least pretend long enough to get by.
Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper made people cheer for him yesterday, with a five-catch, 139-yard day against the Raiders which included three touchdowns.
But there are still some who haven’t forgotten his episode this summer, in which he was caught on tape making racist remarks at a concert, and being good at playing football might not ever make those hard feelings go away.
“I mean he’s playing OK, I guess,” cornerback Cary Williams said of Cooper, via Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com. ”Whenever we’ve needed him he’s come through, . . .
“That’s one thing he’s been doing, he’s been working and when his name is called he’s been able to make plays whenever the ball is thrown to him.”
Williams was one of the players who had mixed emotions about Cooper’s effect on the locker room after this summer’s embarrassing video came to light, and the two had a heated exchange on the practice field since then as well, though they denied it was based on the earlier tensions.
Asked if they were on the same page as teammates, Williams didn’t give the impression he was going out for a drink with Cooper after the game.
“We’re teammates. No question,” Williams said. “But I mean, . . . We’re teammates, and we have a great working relationship. . . .
“As far as I’m concerned we have a good working relationship and that’s really what counts, right? Outside of that is outside of that. It is what it is.”
The Eagles were able to neutralize the issue before it got any larger, which is what the Dolphins are trying to do now, by suspending Richie Incognito while they investigate claims he harassed teammate Jonathan Martin.
The personal damage might not ever be repaired, but not letting it grow into a bigger problem is the key for the team.