Amari Cooper: Onside kick was my play to make and I didn’t make it

NFL: SEP 11 Browns at Panthers
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Many things had to go wrong for the Browns to steal defeat from the jaws of victory against the Jets on Sunday, including their failure to recover an onside kick with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter.

Receiver Amari Cooper was on Cleveland’s “hands” team and the ball was kicked toward him. He appeared to have a chance to at least bat the ball out of bounds if not recover it himself. But cornerback Justin Hardee got on top of the ball instead and allowed the Jets to score the game-winning touchdown.

Via Tom Withers of the Associated Press, Cooper told reporters on Tuesday, “It was my play to make and I didn’t make it.”

Cooper added that kickers have changed from popping the ball in the air when attempting onside kicks. At that point, players knew to go up in the air and grab it, even at the risk of getting hit.

“It’s kind of a new way of teams onside kicking the ball to where you don’t really know if it’s going to go 10 yards and it’s moving at an awkward angle — more difficult to locate the ball and make a play on it,” Cooper said, via video from Mary Kay Cabot of “On one hand, you want to get to the ball as fast as possible. But on the other hand, you don’t want to misjudge the ball. It’s just more difficult. But at the end of the day, you have to make those types of plays.”

Cleveland will at least get to put their ugly loss behind them quickly with Thursday’s matchup against Pittsburgh.

3 responses to “Amari Cooper: Onside kick was my play to make and I didn’t make it

  1. Oh it’s not your fault, Amari — this is all on Stefanski. He was the one who was stupid enough to put you on the “hands team!”

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