Shurmur: Cooper is doing just fine
Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur stood up for wide receiver Riley Cooper Tuesday, when asked a series of questions about Cooper's production. Shurmur seemed to indicate quarterbacking is the difference in Cooper's yardages and touchdown numbers from a year ago.
Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur wondered aloud today why he faces questions every week about wide receiver Riley Cooper. Cooper has 46 catches through 13 games, after catching 47 a year ago, but he also has just 470 yards and one touchdown this season, after amassing 835 and eight in 2013.
Cooper and quarterback Mark Sanchez exchanged heated words on the field in Dallas, and Cooper made a joke about wideout Jeremy Maclin's contract push that Maclin said Cooper should not have made.
"He's out there playing and competing. The last time, I checked, he's only had two drops (both early in the season), right? ... When we throw him the ball, he catches it," Shurmur said. "We don't have a problem with him. Somebody does, but we don't."
Cooper is considered an excellent blocker, which is a bigger part of the wideout job in Chip Kelly's offense than it is elsewhere. Cooper threw the key block on Maclin's 1-yard touchdown catch Sunday against Seattle.
On Monday, Kelly indicated increasing use of zone defenses against the Eagles has cut down on Cooper's chances of making explosive plays.
Shurmur, asked about Cooper's route-running, said: "We see it differently than you do. But we know exactly what the routes are called and the adjustments, depending on the coverage ... We're comfortable with him out there playing. We don't have a problem like, I think, some people questioning me do."
After Sunday's game, Cooper was asked about an underthrown pass to him that ended up being a fourth-quarter interception. He yelled "cramp!" and ran out of the locker room, holding his leg.