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USA Today

Saints TE Jared Cook a “nightmare” for defenses

Steve Geller
June 10, 2020 - 2:41 pm

The Saints filled a need at tight end last season signing veteran free agent Jared Cook and boy did he deliver for the Black & Gold. It took a little time for him to get  acclimated into the Saints offense coming off an injury he suffered in training camp, coupled with quarterback Drew Brees getting hurt week 2 of the season, which disrupted their chemistry.

But, Cook would make 43 receptions for 705 yards in 14 games last season, finding the end zone a career high 9 times. He had just scored 6 TDs for the first time with the Raiders a year before while also setting highs in receptions and yards.

“That talent level has been in there,” explained Saints tight end coach Dan Campbell. “(John) Gruden was able to pull it out. He knew exactly what to do with the guy and we’re trying to do the same thing. He is a one-on-one nightmare. He’s a match-up nightmare for a defense. I don’t know how you cover the guy. I wouldn’t know what to tell them.”

It’s odd that the 6ft5, 254 pound Cook did not have greater success in his earlier playing days. The combination of size and speed with an impressive catch radius gives Coach Sean Payton a lethal weapon that can make you pay from anywhere on the field.

“If you want to try to take away Mike Thomas and you’re going to leave somebody one-on-one with Jared Cook, you’ve got a problem and we’re going to hurt you if that’s what you want to do,” said Campbell. “If you want to single Jared Cook, there is nobody in this league that can cover him.”

Cook is no youngster, but the 33-years-old could very well set new career highs this season since he is more familiar with the Saints offense and now has a relationship with Drew Brees that can hopefully bloom quickly come training camp.

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