Rookie WR Josh Cooper to play NFL debut with Cleveland Browns Sunday
Josh Cooper, who went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Drafts, was only recently promoted to the Cleveland Browns’ 53-man active roster after clearing the final cuts and playing on the practice squad for the past month.
“Josh (Cooper) had a good week of practice and he’s been a guy that’s steadily improved since he’s been here,” said Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur.
Cleveland Browns wide reciever Jordan Norwood was placed on the injured reserve to open a roster spot for Josh Cooper. Jordan Norwood previously started at the spot, managing the middle from the slot.
“They’re very similar and I think they kind of set themselves apart as slot receivers. They’re quick and they find as way to wiggle free,” Pat Shurmur added to his beliefs why the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Josh Cooper will be a perfect fit at the spot. “I really do think they’re similar in more ways than just height.”
Josh Cooper will be joining receiving corps rookie Josh Gordon, second-year veteran Greg Little and special teams star Joshua Cribbs on the first-team.
“I think we saw Brandon and him connect quite a bit when they were both learning the system in the preseason and in the offseason practices,” stated Pat Shurmur. “Hopefully, that connection is still there.”
Meanwhile, Josh Cooper only started working with Cleveland Browns’ first-team offense and Brandon Weeden in the middle of this week.
“We didn’t work together at all in training camp because he was with the ones (first-team),” said Josh Cooper, “but we definitely got reacquainted this week.”
The 23-year-old Josh Cooper added that it takes some time getting a hand of Brandon Weeden’s signature fastball-like passes, but there’s a certain thrill to nailing it every time.
“It took a good month for me to get used to his throws back at Oklahoma State, but it’s a good ball,” stated Josh Cooper. “It does come at you fast, then it seems to get faster at a certain point, but Brandon knows where to put it where his receivers want it.”
At the end of the day, for Josh Cooper it all comes down to earning a name for himself in the NFL and coming through for his old teammate Brandon Weeden. Josh Cooper plans to make a touchdown pass when they face the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I’m a possession guy and hopefully I can make those tough catches over the middle,” said Josh Cooper. “I know how to play with Brandon and I know he can depend on me to be in the right spot.”
Josh Cooper jokingly added that his inclusion in the starting lineup against the Cincinnati Bengals would be his birthday present to Brandon Weeden.
“Me being out there on Sunday would be the best birthday present for him,” said Josh Cooper. “I can’t believe he’s going to be 29 the day of the game.”
“That’s pretty old compared to the rest of us.”