Patriots gridiron news: Brandin Cooks feels he ‘can be better’ in Pats’ offense

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 5: Wide receiver Brandin Cooks
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 5: Wide receiver Brandin Cooks /

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks feels he has a lot more to give in the New England Patriots offense. 

One thing we’ve learned about Brandin Cooks so far this season is that he is a competitor.  The New England Patriots wide receiver says his start with his new time has been “alright,” but he knows he can be a lot better in an offense that has already shown signs of explosiveness.

While he, himself has shown signs of big play ability, the 24-year-old wide receiver has been less than impressive overall.  Much of that comes with the high expectations put on him.  He was expected to put up Randy Moss type numbers catching the ball from Tom Brady.  He was also expected to make a large impact in the Patriots’ offense.

Heading into Week 7 that could still happen.  But, given the fact that the team lost Julian Edelman prior to the season and were without Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski a couple games, Cooks role in the offense has changed from game to game.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 15: wide receiver Brandin Cooks
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 15: wide receiver Brandin Cooks /

Still, his 24 catches for 472 yards and two touchdowns has him on pace for a 1,000-yard season.  As far as he is concerned, he has not been his best.

"“I think it’s been an all right start,” Cooks said, via the Boston Herald.  “My mindset, the way I think about things, it can be a lot better.  With that being said, growing every week and every day, and as long as we continue to do that, things will be fine.”"

Big play explosion

More from Chowder and Champions

While there has been times Brandin Cooks has dropped a couple balls or has not looked aggressive enough, he leads the NFL with four catches of 40 yards or more.  That big-play ability has been there, especially against the Houston Texans in Week 3 when he broke out for five catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns.  One of which was the game-winning touchdown prevented the Patriots from falling to 2-2 at the time.

In all, Cooks has been productive.  However, as a competitor he says he never allows himself to drown in the quick sand of complacency.  He is always out to improve, which is a very good thing in the New England Patriots’ offense.

"“The amount of work I feel like I put in, in my mindset to never be complacent, in a sense to feel like I can be better at what I’m doing,” Cooks said.  “Not necessarily what they’re giving me, but personally what I’m doing.  I feel like I can be better, and I will be.”"

Julian Edelman voices support for Gordon Hayward

Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward will most likely only play six minutes this season, but he has quickly learned what it’s like to be a Boston athlete.

After going down with a fractured ankle in the season-opener, Hayward has received nothing but optimistic support from teammates, fans and other Boston athletes, including New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman.

Edelman, who also saw his 2017 season end before it started, knows exactly how it feels emotionally.  He will also be there for Hayward for support as well as other Boston athletes like Rob Gronkowski. That is the connection between Boston professional sports teams that attracted Gordon Hayward to the city.

Injury report

The news does not look good for a Patriots secondary going up against an explosive passing attack like the Atlanta Falcons.  

As WEEI reported Thursday, cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe did not practice.  Both players have missed consecutive practices this week which likely means they won’t play on Sunday.

Next: New England Patriots: 5 offensive playmakers to watch in 2017

Other notable players on the injured list includes linebacker Elandon Roberts, who also did not practice, wide receiver Chris Hogan (limited), running back Rex Burkhead (ribs) and offensive lineman Shaq Mason (shoulder).  Neither Rob Gronkowski or Tom Brady were listed on the report.