It’s been nearly a month since the racial scandal surrounding Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper came to light. Things seems to have blown over, and it is time for the team, and the collective fan base, to put this incident behind them.
This doesn’t excuse what he did, and it’s certainly something Cooper will carry with him for most of his career, but the thing Cooper must focus now on is producing on the field. In spring and early training camp, Cooper was strictly a role player — a third or fourth receiver that thrived on special teams. He will now be thrust in the position of being a starting wide receiver, after the devastating ACL injury to wide out Jeremy Maclin.
This is a role Cooper has never been in before. He has shown flashes of his potential in the regular season, especially in a Sunday Night Football Game with a couple of spectacular touchdown catches against the Dallas Cowboys, but will need to put forth a consistent effort week in and week out to help this Chip Kelly, up-tempo attack thrive.
Cooper seems to have a nice rapport, with newly named starting quarterback Michael Vick. He is also a willing and steady blocker down field, which is a must as a wide receiver in Kelly’s attack. His 6-foot-3, 230 pound frame is also an attribute that should be heavily utilized in red zone packages, letting Cooper use his size to go up and get the football over smaller defensive backs.
The controversy of Cooper and his racial remarks now seem firmly behind him. It is now time for Cooper to go out and play football.