Aug 122010

August 12 Philadelphia Daily News

“The wideout with the rock-star hair looks big enough to be a tight end.

“I tell him all the time – every time we eat, I’m like, ‘Dude, you’re eating more than me. After a while you’re going to be over here with the tight ends,’ ” Eagles tight end Cornelius Ingram said yesterday, when asked about his friend and former Florida teammate, rookie Riley Cooper. “Take that [jersey No.] 14 off, get you an 80. You’re going to be over here with us in the three-point stance.”

Ingram goes 6-4, 250; Cooper is listed at 6-3, 222, so he might have quite a bit of eating to do before Ingram’s prediction becomes reality.

Also, wideouts tend to move to tight end when they aren’t really quick enough to play outside, and there, appearances deceive, or at least stereotypes do. People, even opponents, who look at Cooper and think “big, white possession receiver” can get a surprise. As every story written about Cooper notes, he was drafted by the Phillies and the Texas Rangers as an outfielder.

“He has pretty good speed. He has good enough speed to get deep on you,” Eagles corner Joselio Hanson said yesterday. “You can’t sleep on him on the deep route. Comes in and out of breaks pretty good, comes back to the ball well, a lot of good tricks going on.”

Cooper, a fifth-round selection in a deep draft for receivers, made an impression the first day of live hitting, when he got in a fight with starting corner Ellis Hobbs. Hanson said defenders didn’t quite know what to make of Cooper’s physical style initially.

“He came off as a receiver that wanted to pummel the DBs,” Hanson said. “We were like, ‘Damn!’ But, hey, good thing he’s on my team. I hope when he gets in a game, he does that to the opposing team. He’s tough, man. Hard to get around that big body.”

“I gotta use my body to my advantage,” Cooper said. “I know I’m a big receiver, a big target.”

But maybe not quite as big of an eater as Ingram claims. Cooper was incredulous when told what Ingram said about him. Cooper said Ingram’s eating prowess is legend.

“That boy, he can chow. He’ll be over there with the tackles and guards; he’s only about 10 pounds away,” Cooper said.

Quarterback Kevin Kolb said what just about everyone said when asked their impression of Cooper – “I think people underestimate his speed a little bit. He’s a big, athletic kid. I think he’s going to suit us well, I really do.”

Kolb knew Cooper came from one of the highest-profile college programs, where he won two national championships and roomed with quarterback/folk hero Tim Tebow. He was expecting someone at least a little impressed with himself, but Kolb said he hasn’t found that to be the case.”

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