Yesterday, we discussed the importance of the double-team related to how Alabama has played, and hopefully, will play. Wide receiver Amari Cooper is one player we’ll be counting on to generate a few of those double-teams.
An article over the weekend on AL.com, also noted as much:
Cooper was humbled on a personal level throughout 2013, as multiple nagging injuries limited his production during the first half of the season and stymied the momentum he’d built as a breakout freshman. He bounced back with a vengeance during the spring and drew the ultimate compliment from Saban, who said Cooper was hard to stop unless he was double-teamed.
Those comments from Nick Saban were made after spring practice:
“The guy’s really an explosive guy,” Saban said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “He’s got great speed, he’s got really good hands, he’s got good size. He can catch the ball vertically down the field. He’s difficult to cover coming out of a break.
“He’s good against press (coverage), so he’s a pretty hard guy to stop unless you put two guys on him.”
Cooper eventually rang up a good season statistically for the Tide last season, but for most of the year was missing. He was early in the season, but still played, though he looked to be in a funk. His ability to bounce back will be a big factor in deciding how the season goes for the Tide.
At the end of 2012, Cooper was, at least in my opinion, a better receiver than Bama great Julio Jones. He was explosive, and of course he made some incredible plays, but he also showed fantastic hands. It’s hard to say anyone is better than Jones was, but Cooper played like it.
I’ve changed my mind a bit since then. Injuries or not, he wasn’t the same player last year. Julio played with injuries as well. You’ll recall one late night in Tuscaloosa when he played against Ole Miss only a few short days after hand surgery.
This is bound to be Cooper’s last season in Tuscaloosa. Let’s hope he goes out on a high note.