The New Orleans Saints‘ first scrimmage of the year featured many big plays and breakout performances, but no players were more impressive than the rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks. None were too surprised with his success, but it did serve as a reminder of how good he can be early in his career.
There were other players on offense who shined during the annual Black and Gold game. Mark Ingram and Travaris Cadet both scored in the running game, and Khiry Robinson managed to put together a few good runs as well. One major surprise was that Drew Brees sat out the game, leaving Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin to battle it out. Fans even got to see a touchdown dunk from Jimmy Graham (and, of course, the officials were booed for throwing a flag).
The defense also made some noise. Marcus Ball had a lengthy interception return off of McCown, and sophomore safety Kenny Vaccaro laid down a big hit that fans have grown accustomed to seeing from him. Though they looked good, some of the defensive players did throw some praise to the speedy Cooks at the post-game press conference. They acknowledged his skill and the problems that he caused for them (that he will surely cause for other defenses as well).
Altogether, the Saints put on a good show at their scrimmage, and Cooks has continued to show that his dynamic athleticism and skill will translate to the NFL. If he is able to play in the regular season like he has in training camp, he may very well become one of the better receivers in the game.