Jon Gruden: Raiders need Amari Cooper to be the player he was his first two years

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Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper topped 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first two NFL seasons. But in his third season last year, Cooper slipped to 680 yards. New Raiders coach Jon Gruden noticed.

Gruden said he wants Cooper to be ready to play in 2018 like he did in 2015 and 2016.

“He has to get healthy and stay healthy,” Gruden said. “We need him to be the player he was the first two years. I’ve said it earlier. We’re going to make him the main vein of our passing offense and move him around a lot. . . . We are really excited about him. I think he’s entering the prime of his career.”

Gruden coached Tim Brown for five seasons of Brown’s Hall of Fame career, and Gruden sees similarities.

“I said it when he came out of Alabama, that he reminded me of a young Tim Brown,” Gruden said. “He has that type of game speed. He’s elusive, and has a wide range of routes he can run. He’s flexible. It’ll benefit him to stay healthy and stay in the same system for a few years. If he does that, great things are ahead.”

That’s a lofty comparison for a player who needs to get back on track.

55 responses to “Jon Gruden: Raiders need Amari Cooper to be the player he was his first two years

  1. He’s 100% correct. I expect he and Carr to bounce back to 2016 form, Chucky will demand it, now let’s wait to see what the Santa Clara 49ers of San Jose fan has to say

  2. I am sure Cooper will learn a lot more from Nelson then he ever could have from Crabtree which will help him in the long run. ANOTHER GREAT move by Gruden!!!

  3. Cooper is as talented as any WR that’s come into the league in the last 5 years. He just needs to stop dropping passes. I’m not going to make any excuses for him, but I’m confident, with hard work, he’ll be able to overcome that problem. Jerry Rice dropped a ton of passes his first 3 years, then got better focused and ended up being a great WR. The old Oakland Raider Cliff Branch had some of the worst hands I’ve ever seen early in his career. He was a track guy. But over time, his hands got better. As a veteran, he actually had exceptionally good hands. I believe it was Rice’s 4th season that he overcame the drops, and the 49ers won super bowls the next 2 years, back to back. This is Cooper’s 4th year.

  4. To further the appropriateness of the Tim Brown comparison, Brown didn’t fully break through as a receiver until his sixth season.

  5. And Raiders need today’s turkey-hole yapping Gruden to be more like the 2000-2001 Gruden.

  6. Not a Tim Brown. Tim was so much more than just a receiver in college. Tim was an underrated athlete with great hands. Cooper is not quite Tim Brown. As such Chucky is gonna be fun to watch blow his lid this season.

  7. Gruden is going to be the biggest waste of huge coaching money out there. What made him look cool in his younger days makes him look stupid now. That old school Chucky thing is going to get rolled. In my humble opinion.

  8. Cooper is going to cost the Raiders a bit of money for his fifth year option and possible franchise tags after that. If the Raiders give up on him, he may get paid as much as Sammy Watkins.

  9. He beat the patriots in Foxboro and would have won the SB but the refs and the league screwed him.

  10. Coach is challenging Coop. Del Rio never did. Pretty sure Saban demanded results like Gruden is. Amari seems like a mentally tough guy who can handle the pressure, never seen him lose his cool. Passing game should be vastly improved this year.

  11. Gruden is going to be the biggest waste of huge coaching money out there. What made him look cool in his younger days makes him look stupid now. That old school Chucky thing is going to get rolled. In my humble opinion…however, it was very nice of the Raiders to get Chuckie out of the booth for the rest of us…

  12. Gruden has probably watched as much or more film in the last 10 years than any coach in the league. Raiders will be fine!

  13. “golions1 says: Gruden is going to be the biggest waste of huge coaching money out there. What made him look cool in his younger days makes him look stupid now. That old school Chucky thing is going to get rolled. In my humble opinion.”

    “captainwhodat says: Gruden is going to be the biggest waste of huge coaching money out there. What made him look cool in his younger days makes him look stupid now. That old school Chucky thing is going to get rolled. In my humble opinion…however, it was very nice of the Raiders to get Chuckie out of the booth for the rest of us…”

    Very cool. We like it when someone exposes their alts.

  14. I think that Amarai Cooper will have a huge rebound year not thanks to Gruden but due to the fact that he’ll want to get a big contract when his rookie deal is up.

  15. Real rich that a Raider fan who is about to lose his team to Las Vegas is making fun of 49er fans when all we have to do is drive an extra hour to get to the game. Have fun flying out to Vegas and paying probably close to a grand total to see your team.

  16. silvernblacksabbath says:
    April 2, 2018 at 9:54 am
    Gruden has probably watched as much or more film in the last 10 years than any coach in the league. Raiders will be fine!

    ————-

    If Gruden watched all of the film from last season he can’t be happy that his team is locked into a $25M per year deal for a barely mediocre QB.

  17. @ Lawrence Jahn says:
    April 2, 2018 at 9:03 am
    He beat the patriots in Foxboro and would have won the SB but the refs and the league screwed him.
    ——

    Geesh, it’s been what 16 years? You sound like a jilted teenager who got dumped at the prom and haven’t gotten over it yet.

  18. nhpats says:
    April 2, 2018 at 11:21 am
    If Gruden watched all of the film from last season he can’t be happy that his team is locked into a $25M per year deal for a barely mediocre QB.
    ===============================================================
    That QB has been everything you want from a young guy. Tough and dedicated. Already has several fourth quarter comebacks, has made every throw. Derek Carr is a strength that the Patriots will envy when Brady hangs ’em up.

  19. It’s funny that all you clowns from other teams come here to worry about our team…go away and find your own teams page and troll that…

  20. You don’t “fix” dropped passes — either you have the hand-eye coordination or you don’t.

  21. r8rsfan says:
    April 2, 2018 at 11:31 am
    nhpats says:
    April 2, 2018 at 11:21 am
    If Gruden watched all of the film from last season he can’t be happy that his team is locked into a $25M per year deal for a barely mediocre QB.
    ===============================================================
    That QB has been everything you want from a young guy. Tough and dedicated. Already has several fourth quarter comebacks, has made every throw. Derek Carr is a strength that the Patriots will envy when Brady hangs ’em up.

    ————

    At this point in his career Brady had already won three SBs. Carr hasn’t even eked out a single postseason win. He is Andy Dalton 2.0.

  22. nhpats says:
    April 2, 2018 at 12:03 pm
    r8rsfan says:
    April 2, 2018 at 11:31 am
    nhpats says:
    April 2, 2018 at 11:21 am
    If Gruden watched all of the film from last season he can’t be happy that his team is locked into a $25M per year deal for a barely mediocre QB.
    ===============================================================
    That QB has been everything you want from a young guy. Tough and dedicated. Already has several fourth quarter comebacks, has made every throw. Derek Carr is a strength that the Patriots will envy when Brady hangs ’em up.

    ————

    At this point in his career Brady had already won three SBs. Carr hasn’t even eked out a single postseason win. He is Andy Dalton 2

    Vinatieri won those SBs not overrated Brady

  23. Basic facts:

    Gruden made the playoffs twice more after his SB victory in Tampa Bay, despite having QBs like Chris Simms, Brian Griese, and 40 year old Jeff Garcia.

    Why did he have those QB’s? Because the Bucs traded two 1st-rounders and two 2nd-rounders to the Raiders to get him.

    Gruden also went 8-8 in Oakland using QBs Donald Hollas, Vince Evans, and Jeff George.

    When given solid QB’s like Gannon and Brad Johnson, Gruden was an annual playoff-winning coach.

    When saddled with crummy QBs, he still made the playoffs a few times. This is easily the most talented roster that he’s had since the Super Bowl team.

  24. nhpats says:
    April 2, 2018 at 12:03 pm
    At this point in his career Brady had already won three SBs. Carr hasn’t even eked out a single postseason win. He is Andy Dalton 2.0.
    ——————————————————

    Didn’t compare Carr to Brady – TB goes down as one of the best ever. Carr nowhere near there at this point. But if you look around the league right now, DC is one of the most promising young QB’s and is earning the trust of Raider Nation. The latter isn’t the easiest thing to do.

  25. In the 2015 draft there were two top 10 recievers….Cooper and Kevin White….Cooper was more “NFL ready” and White had a “higher upside”. Cooper was selected first and the Bears took White who has been a total bust. As a Bear fan….I wish the tables had been turned.

  26. troubledoneswhobathe says:
    April 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm
    Carr has not played in a playoff game, has never won a divisional title, and dosent have a .500 career winning record. Let that sink in.

    ——————————————-

    Carr has been coached by Dennis Allen and Jack Del Rio. Let that sink in.

  27. R8rsfan.

    So what? Both coaches were hand selected by the Raiders. Are you saying it’s their fault. Scuse me for asking, but when was the last time the Raiders even won a playoff game?

  28. r8rsfan says:
    April 2, 2018 at 12:55 pm
    nhpats says:
    April 2, 2018 at 12:03 pm
    At this point in his career Brady had already won three SBs. Carr hasn’t even eked out a single postseason win. He is Andy Dalton 2.0.
    ——————————————————

    Didn’t compare Carr to Brady – TB goes down as one of the best ever. Carr nowhere near there at this point. But if you look around the league right now, DC is one of the most promising young QB’s and is earning the trust of Raider Nation. The latter isn’t the easiest thing to do.

    ———

    Fair….but my point is that the Raiders are paying a huge amount of money for a guy who basically hasn’t done anything yet. And last year he looked horrible at times. He better get it together this season or Gruden will move on.

  29. Gruden strikes me as a guy that is fat and happy with his life and there’s nothing wrong with that – good on him.

    I just don’t think he really, truly has the drive to be a coach anymore – that he did this on a whim after reading his own press clipping and listening to his agents. He’ll be missing the comfort and safety of the broadcast booth sooner than later.

    I’m betting he reaches a point where he says “why am I doing this to myself?,” and I’d put the under/over at three years before he re-retires.

  30. Meanwhile, GOOO REGGGGIE has not been heard from in weeks. Disappointing to see the 36-60 GOAT GM go down like this. Chucky really sliced off his manhood. Reports are that the Raiders are negotiating a buy out with him. Maybe he can become Aldon Smith’s agent?

  31. In cooper’s defense the whole offense was a mess last year. Some blame the offensive cordinator some blame del rio some blame carr. At the end of the day their was no testosterone last year until carr got a late hit durning the K.C. game.

  32. troubledoneswhobathe says:
    April 2, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    R8rsfan.

    So what? Both coaches were hand selected by the Raiders. Are you saying it’s their fault. Scuse me for asking, but when was the last time the Raiders even won a playoff game?
    ——————————————————–

    Derek Carr didn’t get to choose his coaches. That’s the point, he’s had 2 “defensive minded” HC’s that probably wouldn’t be the choice of anyone. All the while Brady is working his entire career with who’s right up there with Lombardi as all-time great. More reason to respect Carr for what he’s managed to do in less than ideal circumstances.

  33. nhpats says:

    Fair….but my point is that the Raiders are paying a huge amount of money for a guy who basically hasn’t done anything yet. And last year he looked horrible at times. He better get it together this season or Gruden will move on.
    ________________________________
    You say “fair but…” and then say something so completely wrong it’s off the charts. Do 12-4 seasons come so cheaply in this league that you can say “Carr basically hasn’t done anything yet”? As a Pats fan you might say yes, the rest of us say “of course not.”

    Go back and read some articles from Nov/Dec 2016 and look at who was at the top of the league MVP chatter before he broke his leg.

    Last year he was coming back from that broken leg and then he broke his freaking back early on, came back after 2 weeks and toughed it out behind a highly overrated o-line (who were pissed off in the extreme that Carr chose not to kneel), throwing to 3 WRs who decided they didn’t want to catch balls. For those who want to call out Cooper’s hands, Crabtree and Roberts had as many drops as he did last year. All 3 were just bad.

    So you tell me which season is more representative of Carr’s capabilities?

  34. justbegbaby says:
    April 2, 2018 at 3:13 pm
    Meanwhile, GOOO REGGGGIE has not been heard from in weeks. Disappointing to see the 36-60 GOAT GM go down like this. Chucky really sliced off his manhood. Reports are that the Raiders are negotiating a buy out with him. Maybe he can become Aldon Smith’s agent?
    ________________________

    Sounds great to me. Reggie can’t hit the pavement soon enough. He was in WAY over his head when he came in, and hasn’t managed to gain ANY skill in 6 years on the job.

    I always figured Ted Thompson was chuckling, silently thanking Mark Davis for getting Reggie out of GB. Thompson’s no fool, he had to know what this guy was. And wasn’t.

  35. For those that don’t know Reggie McKenzie’s story:

    Took over the Raiders six years ago.
    Team had 3rd highest team salary in football.
    Mark Davis wanted to slash it and build through the draft instead of high price FA (Al Davis).

    McKenzie was in charge of slashing from 3rd highest team salary to 31st in NFL.

    It took him two years to do that, gashing solid players, in which time they didn’t pursue any half-decent FAs and also lacked 1st and 2nd rd draft picks that had been traded pre-Reggie (Carson Palmer)

    Eventually he drafted Mack, Carr, and Gabe Jackson (3 pro bowlers, one draft), signed a handful of solid free agents, and continued drafting well enough to go from 4-12 to 8-8 to 12-4.

    They slumped last year with two Raw, untalented coordinators, and have now put together incredible coaching staff.

    Reggie earned his executive of the year two seasons ago and will be just fine going forward.

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