Last year, we Pats fans saw an under the radar but above average year from Brandin Cooks. We saw Cooks running everything from daggers to slants an effort to add the speed game to the middle of the field while maintaining a deep threat.
In the process, we found out that Cooks can not, will not fight for balls. The dude is an animal when it comes to blowing by people or making a single head fake and then blowing by; but when it comes having to fight for a 50/50 ball, he’d simply rather not.
We saw Cooks run deep, we saw him go short, but one thing we did’nt see was him on the field in a game with Julian Edelman.
We will base this off observation alone, no one cares about a bunch of numbers because thats all every other article in the world will have. So lets just go off of what we see straight up. Its clear that when Julian Edelman is on the field, he is a top threat. He can do it all. Not the fastest, not the biggest, but he is sure to be the most hard working person on the field at any point. This means that when a 50/50 ball is tossed his way, you bet he’d fight through barbed wire covered in lemon juice to come away with the ball.
So with all that said, I can get to the point: While Julian Edelman was downed with an injury, Amendola did what he does best, and thats step up to the plate. Amendola is known pretty well for being clutch AF when the time comes. He’s a stud, there’s no way around it. But we need to make sure we focus on the reality here instead of the emotional aspect of loving a guy that has been as solid as they come.
Amendola is not Edelman. Julian Edelman is better for the Patriots overall than Danny Amendola given what what we have seen since Jules has come to the table. He is the go to. He is the man you want to have when everything hits the fan, and your O Line gets blown up. Amendola is absolutely the same type of player, but theres something that isn’t the same about the two guys. Personally, I see it as a matter of Edelman just being that hair more aggressive than Amendola. It pains me to even say that because Amendola is a powerhouse the it comes to determination. Edelman is just that little bit more. He’s got that X factor that you can’t even put your finger on. Maybe it’s his unique ability to run routes with an insane amount of aggression put into every cut. I don’t know.
Now I will get on with the point of the article…
Brandin Cooks became one of two major pieces of attention with Edelman going down. Cooks was under the radar, and probably under appreciated by most. The guy racked up over 1k this year in yardage. Thats pretty good for a guy that was running a lot of short routes. Now think of an offense where he can’t be one of the two top priorities. An offense where the two priorities are guys who are keeping the ball relatively short. When it comes to this, it means that Cooks, in theory, should be far more effective because he will be paid less attention to, and will be allowed to open the field up exponentially compared to last season where he was almost forced to run slants where he couldn’t use his speed to as much of an advantage as he could if he were taking it deep.
Overall, I think that the addition of Edelman adds a rare combination:
Best TE in the game
Best short yardage reliever in the game
Top 6-7 deep threat in the game
This is something that could have been said with Amendola slotted in.
Let me be clear, this isn’t about taking Danny down a notch at all. This is just stating a pretty well thought out opinion. Brandin Cooks will have a great season this year and it’s going to be mostly because of the return of a deadly offensive threat in Edelman.