Friday, October 26, 2012

Steelers-Redskins Preview: Chris Cooley is back, and he's been doing 100 pushups a day

By Finesse

The chatter in Pittsburgh this week is about how the Steelers will try to stop Robert Griffin III, the Redskins' uber-talented rookie QB.  But as great as RGIII is, and as much as we hyped him on the podcast this week, he's not our focus.  After all, RGIII has played 7 games and lost 4 of them.  That doesn't make him a superstar.  That makes him a Washington Capital.

Instead, our attention is on a different hero with a similar career winning percentage: Chris Cooley, the veteran tight end who was cut by the Redskins during training camp in the culmination of a decline that shouldn't make you feel bad, as we explained here. (SPOILER ALERT: Chris Cooley tries to explain that he has a sense of humor).

Reminder: This happened while the 10-1 Steelers were defeating the 3-8 Redskins in 2004
But when the Skins' starting tight end Fred Davis went out with an Achilles injury last week, the Skins called on Cooley, and that naturally meant it was time for Washington Post reporter Mike Wise to drive Chris Cooley to practice in a minivan just to make sure you know that Mike Wise knows Chris Cooley.  Writes Wise:
When you’ve known someone since he was 22 and he’s now an evolved 30 — heck, when you realize you’re 18 months shy of 50 yourself — you can develop some paternal feelings, to the point where you might offer a ride to work on his first day back.
After Wise's reminder that his story about Chris Cooley is actually about how Mike Wise feels about Chris Cooley, it was time for Wise to ask Cooley some questions.  To break it all down, let's dust off the GTOG Translator and hit some of the highlights. 

Q: You think if Robert Griffin has a kid he’ll be RGIV?
Cooley: “He’s got to be.”
GTOG Translator: "Please let me out of the car"

Q: Sometimes I think, ‘If I could’ve been that mature at 22, I could’ve done some real big stuff.’
Cooley: “Are you kidding me, me too . . . it’s unreal . . . he’s good at everything. Even his commercials are good. They don’t suck; they’re not weird. No one teases him about them."
GTOG Translator: "Why does this guy keep talking about himself?"

Q: Best-case scenario?
Cooley: “Best-case scenario is I play the way Fred [Davis] was playing. The real ideal is I play and we win.”
GTOG Translator: "Look, I stink now. I had 8 catches last year. But I'm confident that no matter what I do, people will think I'm good.  Just look at Fred.  He was on pace for 742 yards and zero touchdowns this year and people are reacting like Kellen Winslow Sr. was assassinated at midfield.  As long as I don't throw up on RGIII's socks, I can't lose."

Q: When the ball comes to you Sunday, it’s just going to be muscle memory?
Cooley: “We’ll see. I’ll be nervous. I’ll definitely be nervous.”
GTOG Translator: "RGIII knows better than to throw to me, so I'm not that worried."

Q: Are you in football shape?
Cooley: “I’ve been riding my bike a lot. And I’ve been running. And I made it a goal to do 100 push-ups a day and 200 sit-ups a day. I take my dogs for a couple miles on a run. That’s plenty for me. I could go into the park and do the squats that I was doing when I left. I’m down about five pounds from training camp — probably 240 right now.”
GTOG Translator: "Do you remember when Bob Costas asked Jerry Sandusky if he was attracted to young boys and it took him 16 seconds to get around to saying "no?"  I still haven't said yes to your question."

Q: Hey, before you go, I got something for you.
Cooley: “You made me lunch?”
Q: Sort of. It’s out of my son’s cupboard: There’s a box of raisins, applesauce. But I put a protein bar in there and a Scooby-Doo fruit chew snack. Those are good.
Cooley: “Thanks, man.”
GTOG Translator: "If I could afford a publicist, I'd fire him."

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