Since his arrival to the Oakland Raiders, head coach Jon Gruden has continued to emphasize the importance of implementing Amari Cooper in the offensive game plan. Cooper is coming off a disappointing 2017 NFL season that was marred by injury and inconsistency through the year.
However, this has not deterred the high level of confidence that Gruden has continued to instill into the 23-year-old. This was once again reiterated during a conference call with season ticket holders this as he stated that he wants to put Cooper as a ‘main vain’ in the passing game, according to Raiders:
“That’s been one of our number one objectives, is to make No. 89 the main vain of our pass offense. We think he’s entering the prime of his career, and we think we’ve surrounded him with a couple of other great receivers, Martavis Bryant, who came over from Pittsburgh, can really rip the top off of a defense, and Jordy Nelson is, as you know, a proven commodity in this league, but if “Coop” can get healthy, and stay healthy, we expect big things from him. He’s going to be the main target I think in a lot of our passes.”
In his brief time in the NFL, Cooper has shown to be a game-changing talent at his position behind his big-play ability and reliability in the passing game. Last season’s struggles were a surprising drop in production as he has posted career-lows with 48 catches for 680 receiving yards in 14 games played.
A part of this was due to injuries, but it should not entirely dismiss that he was largely a non-factor in the passing game for much of the year. It was a notable step down from his first two years where he recorded at least 70 catches for 1,000 receiving yards in each campaign.
With the Raiders seemingly fully behind Cooper, it should set the table for him to bounce back in a major way while excelling as one of the main cogs in the offensive game plan in 2018.