Brandin Cooks looks up to many, particularly Antonio Brown

AP

Brandin Cooks might be small of stature, but he’s one of the big pieces the Saints are building around for the future.

And when it comes to role models, he knows who he looks up to.

During an interview with gritmedia.co (via the New Orleans Times-Picayune), the 5-foot-10 Cooks said he struck up a friendship with Brown at a shoe company function, and continued to ask him questions throughout the year.

“Throughout the season I would just text him, you know, ask him questions,” Cooks said. “How’d you get your [footwork] so good? How do you get in and out of your breaks so well? How do you separate from defenders so well?”

I’m trying to get better. I want to learn from the best, and those who are doing it at such a high level, pick their brain and see what they do differently from everyone else.”

Brown led the league last year in catches (129) and receiving yards (1,689), giving Cooks a solid role model. But the raw material is there, as the Saints rookie had 53 catches for 550 yards in 10 games, before a thumb injury ended his season.

Cooks said the Steelers wideout “always showed excitement when he texts back or when we talk. He gives a lot of feedback. He doesn’t send back one-word answers or a short message. If I got a question, he goes into depth and answers those questions for me.”

And in the absence of immediate options for the Saints, Cooks could make a Brown-sized impact if he can stay well.