Patriots gridiron news: Brandin Cooks downplays past success vs. Panthers

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 24: Brandin Cooks
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 24: Brandin Cooks /

New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks continues to take it one game at a time despite last week’s break-out performance. 

Last week is last week and last season is last season.  Following a five catch, 131 yards receiving performance against the Houston Texans, Brandin Cooks is entering this week’s New England Patriots matchup against the Carolina Panthers as a new challenge.

"“I don’t care about last week,” Cooks said when asked about building on momentum, via The Boston Herald.  “I wouldn’t say I don’t believe in (momentum), but the rule is you’ve got 24 hours to think about it and now it’s on to the next.  New Opponent, new week, so now you’ve got to build off that.”"

In the Patriots’ offense, a player is not just praised for stats, they are praised for the hard work they put into the game.  As far as that goes, the 23-year-old receiver has received plenty of it from head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.


After two subpar weeks, Brandin Cooks finally showed Patriots nation the type of explosive playmaker he is.  But in order to maintain it and build momentum, he has to continue to build that rapport with Brady.

With the way the two connected against the Texans, I would say they are headed in the right direction.

Carolina on his mind?

Just as he is leaving last week’s performance in the past, Brandin Cooks is not allowing his past success against the Carolina Panthers carry over to this Sunday’s game.

He knows working against the revamped Panthers’ secondary will be a challenge.  So the 27 catches for 398 yards he has tallied against the previous two seasons is nothing but past success.

"“I don’t necessarily think it helps or doesn’t help me,” Cooks said.  “They’ve got a great defense.  I don’t go off the past.  It’s a whole new year.  Guys have gotten better.  They’ve got a great secondary, and obviously their linebackers and defensive front are great.  So we’ve got a challenge ahead of us and we’ve got to go in there and do our job.”"

Dont’a Hightower expected to play

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The New England Patriots had perfect attendance at practice Friday for the first time in quite a while.

That means Dont’a Hightower will likely return to the field for the first time since Week 1.  He is still listed as questionable, but expect the team’s best defensive player on the field against the Carolina Panthers.  Hopefully his return will help get the defense trending in the right direction.

Perfect attendance also means that Rex Burkhead has made his return to the practice field.  However, it is still doubtful that he will see playing time on Sunday. 

Jacob Hollister questionable

Patriots tight end Jacob Hollister was a late addition to the injury report.  The undrafted rookie has suffered a hamstring injury and is considered questionable for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

Next: New England Patriots: 5 Reasons to Get Wicked Excited About Brandin Cooks

If he is unable to go, the Patriots will be thin at tight end which would put more emphasis on Dwayne Allen, who has struggled so far in the passing game.