It’s been a recurring theme for offseasons past regardless of what tight end Jared Cook’s zip code has been. The players and coaches surrounding him have gushed about the immense potential that the defensive nightmare brings to the table at 6-foot-5 248 pounds. His versatility to line up as a typical tight end, in the slot, or split out wide forces defenses to account for his whereabouts prior to every single play.
Unfortunately the other recurring theme with Cook thus far in his career has been the inability to meet those massive expectations. We’ve heard it all before about this mismatch maker and his ability to make defenses uncomfortable. What the problem has been is that at some point during each of his first four years in the league, Cook’s production has waned and his role in the offense has stagnated.
Those days with the Tennessee Titans are now in the past, and even though he has a reunion of sorts with the man who traded up to get him in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of South Carolina, Cook is expected to finally meet the lofty goals set forth in front of him. His former and now current again head coach Jeff Fisher has already offered some serious praise of the tight end on numerous occasions this offseason with the St. Louis Rams. Fisher actually didn’t want to quantify just how Cook will be used this season as he believes his versatility is limitless.
Cook can outrun any linebacker he’s matched up against and overpower any defensive back put in his path. He truly is an offensive coordinator’s dream come true. Right?
Well, perhaps that was the reason he hightailed it out of Tennessee as soon as possible whenever free agency arrived. The staff there never fully utilized his potential seemingly forgetting that he was a part of the offense at all at times. That won’t happen in St. Louis with Brian Schottenheimer running the show. Quarterback Sam Bradford has been waiting for a consistent pass catching option other than Danny Amendola whose injury woes made his consistency factor go right out the window.
Incumbent tight end Lance Kendricks will likely take a backseat to Cook after his two years of underwhelming production thus far. A good tight end can be a quarterback’s best friend, and that is what Bradford is hoping for from Cook in this new-look Rams offense. Given the turnover in personnel this offseason, Cook has to finally live up to the lofty goals set out in front of him by his coach and teammates.
And if he does, the Rams could be back to the Greatest Show on Turf days in no time.