The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of


first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo It’s been mostly down.It started with a broken leg suffered in the third preseason game of his rookie season, an injury that cost Cooper, projected to be the team’s starting left guard, the entire campaign. Slow to recover, he then came down with a turf toe injury late in the following training camp, setting him even further behind and low on the depth chart. Injuries ahead of him allowed Cooper to get into the lineup, and he appeared to play well in wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams. It was against St. Louis, though, where Cooper suffered a wrist injury, which put him back on the shelf for the rest of the season. Finally healthy, he’s made a switch over to right guard, which he said is not a problem.“I’ve been working at it in the offseason, been training out at O-line Performance with LeCharles Bentley, he’s helped me out quite a bit,” Cooper said. “Even just the mental space of switching over positions and understanding if I put in the work, I can do it.”The 25-year-old has most definitely put in the work, as has been noticed by head coach Bruce Arians. The coach said the difference in Cooper is “night and day,” as he’s done a great job redefining his body and getting himself in fantastic condition. On a personal level, you could say he is in the same boat. Once viewed as a great prospect, he’s now entering his third season as a pro without having made much of an impact. Cooper would seem to have a lot to prove — and he does — though the former North Carolina Tar Heel is not worried about showing the doubters what he can do. “More so prove it to myself and my teammates,” he said. “Everybody is going to have their opinions, and to some people I’ll never fulfill what they’re looking for.“As long as I’m performing to a level that I’m pleased with and my teammates and my coaches are pleased with, I’ll be just fine.” – / 12 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact TEMPE, Ariz. — Jonathan Cooper said he feels a lot better now than he has in a long time.“So yeah, I’m excited about it, I feel pretty good,” he added Tuesday after participating in the Arizona Cardinals’ first day of organized team activities, or OTAs.It would not be accurate to say Cooper, the team’s first-round selection (7th overall) in the 2013 draft, has had an up-and-down career. Top Stories center_img “He’s a natural athlete so it doesn’t matter right side, left side,” Arians said. “I’ll go in and watch the tape, but he’s been extremely — he’s got a smile on his face a lot, that’s a good thing.”Cooper is in a much better place now than he was this time one year ago, both physically and mentally.When asked if his lineman has gained a better sense of how to “gut out” injuries and play through them, the coach responded yes, but added that Cooper was legitimately hurt.“You can’t gut out broken bones unless you’re Jack Youngblood, then the coach gets sued these days,” he said, with a smile. “Back then it was cool. I think he appreciates being healthy.”If all goes according to plan, Cooper will slide into the right guard spot this season, solidifying it for the foreseeable future. The Cardinals have spent a considerable amount of resources to shore up the rest of the line, including big-money free agent contracts as well high draft picks.The goal was to build one of the best blocking units in the NFL, and right now, Cooper said the important thing is the group is building camaraderie and coming together. What remains to be seen, he noted, was whether or not they can fulfill their potential and be great. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   last_img read more