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Posted at 10:19 AM ET, 12/14/2010

Chris Cooley might be getting frustrated maybe

By Dan Steinberg

(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)

For one hour every week, Chris Cooley goes on 106.7 The Fan with Chad Dukes and LaVar Arrington and is dared to pop off. The man is a popular and articulate Pro Bowler who's spent much of his career on losing teams, and week after week, callers virtually invite Cooley to rant about the Redskins' offense, the Redskins' recent history, the Redskins' quarterback, the Redskins' locker-room culture, the Redskins' front-office structure, the Redskins' past coaching staffs, the Redskins' malcontented overpaid defensive tackles, and the price of corn futures in northern Utah.

Week after week, Cooley manages to sound tortured and miserable without ever accepting the invitation to rant. He has his ways of expressing frustration, though. Here's what happened on Monday, when Raymond from Temple Hills asked Cooley if he thought the team's fan base was declining.

"I just don't think that there's a declining fan base," Cooley said. "I think that there's an upset fan base. But I can promise you, if we turn around and win the Super Bowl next year, there is not a declining fan base. Obviously some people are fair-weather, and that's the way life is. And some people are hard core, and some people care about the guys, and some people care about the team and find things to cheer for. I mean, it's a game. It's meant to be fun. I understand that you really care as a fan, but just cheer. I mean, just cheer on your guys. I don't know. That's what I think. I think if people are real fans of the Redskins, find something to cheer for. If you like me, go to the game and cheer for me. I mean, watch me block. Who knows?"

You see what he did with that "watch me block" clause? He was sort of laughing when he said it, but still. Cooley is tied for second among NFL tight ends in receptions, and he's fourth in receiving yards, but he has just two touchdowns, fewer than guys like Tony Moeaki and Michael Hoomanawanui and Jacob Tamme. Sunday, he didn't have a single catch until the final drive of the game. A lot of callers -- and Chad Dukes and LaVar Arrington -- wanted to ask Cooley about that.

"I hate coming out of a game with two catches, I hate not touching the ball until the fourth quarter," Cooley said at one point. "I mean, I'm not the kind of guy that will throw a tantrum on the sideline, but I'd like to be able to make more plays for this team, especially when we're not scoring points."

"Sometimes the game plan doesn't go your way," he said later. "Sometimes the quarterback looks to someone else. Santana made a lot of big plays, so I can't discredit that. It just didn't happen for me. I don't know. I don't have a real answer for you. I'm sorry there. I just can say that I wish there was a way to find a way to get you the ball. Playmakers need to get the ball early in the game and get into a rhythm; guys that make plays for this team should have touches. And I'm not blaming it on anybody. There were plays called where I could have got the ball. It just didn't work out."

"Here's the one thing that I would like, getting to know our staff and getting to know our quarterbacks closer," he said still later. "First of all, I have as as many catches as almost any tight end in the league. I think I'm second or third. Which is great. What I would like is I want third-down catches, and I want catches in the red zone. I mean, I want to be able to make plays for this team. And getting to know everyone better and getting to know how I fit into this scheme, I feel more confident going into our quarterback or going into our offensive coordinator and saying, look, this is where I feel I can contribute. I know I can beat him. I know I can do this."

A caller asked him about one Donovan McNabb throw in the red zone that seemed to be aimed at his feet. Cooley again took the high road.

"The one that was in the red zone on third down, I talked to Donovan a little bit about it," Cooley said. "He saw some color up front, he saw a D-lineman and he threw it quick. It was probably a touchdown. So, yeah, I was really frustrated. But again, I'm not blaming it on anyone. It's just upsetting, I guess, is all I can say. But I don't go back and bitch at people."

"I just wanted to know what happened," he said, when someone else asked about the same throw. "Like I just said, he didn't get a chance to set his feet, so no, his technique wasn't right, but they changed to a five-down front. He thought he was hot, as far as the pressure coming, threw it faster than he wanted to. Does he want it back? Yeah, of course he does. And like I said, when we get to the sideline, I'm not gonna go bitch at Donovan. I mean, the play didn't work. Do I want to score touchdowns? Of course I want to score touchdowns, so I'm frustrated."

Cooley also said he smashed his helmet and a garbage can after the missed extra point. He didn't sound particularly happy. As with Brian Orakpo, you get the sense he'd like to win.

"It crushes," Cooley said. "I mean, it crushes me to lose. It crushes the guys on the team. Everyone does care. When you practice all week -- and we practiced hard last week, and it was cold, and it wasn't fun, and we put in so much work -- to lose the way we lost at the end of the game, a game we should have won -- is terrible. I mean, it's a waste of the week. Every bit of work we put in is really wasted."

By Dan Steinberg  | December 14, 2010; 10:19 AM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Remaining professional, yet not spouting "company line" BS to avoid questions.

It's a hard line to walk, but I think Cooley does it on a regular basis. His candor without vitriol or an attempt to make it adversarial is appreciated, at least by me.

Posted by: Goat_74 | December 14, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: meximala | December 14, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

^ "Second."

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | December 14, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, he needs to be this team's biggest trade bait this off season. For what this team is they can handle losing Cooley to get more talent in other areas, such as D-line or O-line. His talent is going to waste here and Davis can fill in the void left by Cooley.

Posted by: oknow1 | December 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Cooley frustrated? The DC fanbase is frustrated! There seems to be an awful stench around the entire DC Sports landscape these past 10 years or so. It almost feels like we are cursed. 2010 has sure been a giant bucket of fun around these parts. From Maryland losing at the buzzer, Gtown upset by freakin Ohio! Gilberts guns, Strasburgs elbow, Haynesworth, Mcnabb, Shanahan drama, Wizards sucking again (as usual), heartbreaking loss of the Capitals to a damn 8 seed in 7 games AT HOME! Duke winning it all, Flyers making it to Stanley Cup and not us, and oh yeah, nothing like Philly fans making a mockery of the Nats home opener booing Zimmerman after given an award, then having Obama spit in our faces by putting on that stupid White Sox cap. Why does this type of stuff always happen around here? Unbelievable

Posted by: MrWillie | December 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Hope Nick Sundberg is reading this.

Posted by: RedCherokee | December 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I disagree that the work they put in during the week is wasted if they don't win their next game. That work isn't just supposed to pay off in the short term, it's supposed to help make you better in the long run.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 14, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Should have gone to Hell week.

Callers generally suck, but Cooley seems to have fun with it.

Moeaki is a real nice player as long as he stays healthy.

Posted by: tha_prophet | December 14, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the value Cooley has with this team is as a trade. Trade him for a couple picks while he still has value. It's best for him and the organization. Davis takes his place.

Posted by: dbunkr | December 14, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm with the "Trade Him" crowd. This Team has too many needs, and Cooley is one of the players we have left with value. I like Cooley a lot, he deserves better. trade him to a contender for some picks.

Ignoring the fact that most contenders don't trade their picks (crazy, I know), that is...

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 14, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

So he needs WR to take away the 3rd down coverage? Should we trade our 1st & 3rd to Cincinnati for Terrell Owens?

Posted by: Scoonie97 | December 14, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"If you like me, go to the game and cheer for me. I mean, watch me block. Who knows?"

Why on earth would I go sit in the upper level in rainy, 20 degrees + wind to sit and cheer on a game when I can watch it from my comfy living room? Even if I was in my living room that day, why on earth would I waste 4 hours of my Sunday to watch you guys lose over and over again?

And this is coming from a Redskins fan of 20 years and former season ticket holder. I'm not "fair weather", I love the Skins and always will, but I am an UPSET fan as you call it. So start winning games before I waste my precious time and $ on you guys again. I work 50 hour weeks and it's winter, noone wants to get cold or depressed. Give me a break!

Posted by: skins82 | December 14, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Is "watch me block" part of some limerick?

Posted by: rdpinva | December 14, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"I mean, it's a waste of the week. Every bit of work we put in is really wasted."

Get the F outta here. Cry me a river. There are many guys dying to get in NFL and be in your shoes. If you don't like the "hard work" that comes with the job (and let's not forget your hefty paycheck each week!!!), I ask you-- no I BEG YOU-- go to another team that cares. It's underachieving attitudes like yours that screw us over week after week.

Posted by: skins82 | December 14, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Trade him.

Posted by: wbbradb | December 14, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I beg to differ that the fan base is not declining. People are fed up with this stinking team and I believe they are beginning to hear the calls to stop going and stop buying.

I like Cooley also but when was the last time you saw him catch the ball and break a tackle. He normally catches it and then is dropped by a hit. He catches 3 routine balls then drops the big one.

I like him about the same as I like London Fletcher but would like to see them both gone next year. I'de take Whitten, Boss, or Philly's TE over Cooley anyday.

Moss showed his emotions too after the loss but he just like Cooley catches 3 and drops the big one. I'de like to see him gone next year also.

Posted by: keedrow | December 14, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Blame us for not showing up? Tell that to your boss. He's the one that has made gameday at FedEx Field a dismal experience, even before these colder and wet conditions. Tell him to make the going out to the stadium worth the price of admission, worth the $30 for two beers and a hot dog, worth the hours before and after a game. Blame Best Buy for hooking me up with a sweet big screen for a great price. Blame Wegmans for having great take-out pizza/wings....

But don't blame us as fans when we all wish you all the best and root for you every day, especially on gamedays, even if we can't make it to the game.

Posted by: sarc04 | December 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

As long as Danny is making money hand over fist the misery will continue. We are all victims of his deal with the devil.
Stop the gluttony and we might stop Danny. Stop buying new merchandise, stop buying concessions if you go to the game. As much as everyone complains there has been no reduction in $$ coming into Danny's wallet.

Posted by: rfe18 | December 14, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I love Cooley....classy guy. But he has to go. He's got some value, and after he catches the ball it always looks like his feet are in quicksand. Man, he's slower than I am....

Posted by: Riggo2 | December 14, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Class act - and right on the money. Right now, Cooley is the ONLY real "spark" on the offensive side of the ball. Use him - don't trade him. Shanahan is an idiot not to use his talents. I was very willing to let the new coach prove himself but as a life-long Skins fan, Shanahan's ego is so big he needs a proctologist to deflate it a bit and use what talent he does have, not try to make cats pull a dog sled.

I support Cooley 100%.

Posted by: pjohn2 | December 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

According to Cooley, "I mean, it's a game. It's meant to be fun." Well, let me see ... Snidely is raking in the bucks by delivering crap and charging for caviar - Cooley is getting paid big bucks to 'have fun' - and the fans are getting taken to the cleaners for the experience of what seems like a weekly root canal. Sound accurate to you? I was at the game last weekend and those fans that Cooley extorts to 'have fun' spent a hard day out in the cold rain hoping that they wouldn't have to suffer through another Snyderism. And what did they get for their support? Crap and excuses!!! Is the snapper working out eight hours a day trying to actually learn the job he is being paid for. Is the holder doing the same? It the kicker out eight hours a day trying to at least be able to make 24 yard field goals? Nope, we're waist deep in the big muddy and the big fool says push on!!! Everybody from the owner down to the crap snapper offers excuses, takes the blame and mutters 'we'll get em next time'. But the fans know better - they are 'got' every time. Glad that you are having fun Cooley.

Posted by: DoneWithDan | December 14, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd be cranky if I was the worst TE in the division too...

Witten - 6 TDs
Boss - 4 TDs
Celek - 3 TDs
Cooley - 2 TDs

I love how the players on this team think they should have won every game they lose. Someone should point out that a good percentage of the fan base expects them to lose every game no matter how well they play. Face it, no matter what they do, no matter how hard they try, they'll never win the division.

Posted by: Scoonie97 | December 14, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Please trade Chris to a real football organization, say New England. Can you imagine how Belichick/Brady would use a TE with his talent and attitude? Not to mention the redskins could get a few players from NE third string or practice squad who, of course, have way more potential than two-thirds of the redskins "starters". It took years of incompetent management to get to where the redskins are now. It will take years to built an organization/roster that is at least one deep on their chart, let alone have the depth required to really compete. Even if Allen/Shanahan know what they are doing Chris will be beyond his prime before they become a competitive football team again. Use him to built for the future and give him a change to play for a real NFL football team. He deserves it.

Posted by: giscone | December 14, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

It would be cool to see him go upside someone's head instead...I'd love to see some sideline heat

Posted by: kahlua87 | December 14, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Scoonie97,if you're rating TE's by TD's scored,Cooley would be at the bottom of the division. But he's near the top of the LEAGUE in yds. My point is players aren't evaluated on just one aspect of the game. I can choose any player and rate them on something their good or bad at. Cooley is an OVERALL good TE on a losing team.
For everyone who wants to trade him. TE is one of the rare positions where this team has depth(Cooley, Davis and Pauleson). In this game you need that to win. It make take time but build the team through the draft and with young players. We saw where trading and signing FA's got us.

Posted by: Karwizard | December 14, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Cooley is one of the best players on the squad, in terms of skills, work ethic, positive attitude, doing lots of needed dirty work (i.e. blocking) and never giving up on a play. The guy just soldiers on despite all of the lunacy on his team.

Part of me wishes he'd go to some high paying team and get paid and come back to the Skins in a few years, just so he'd get what he deserves including a chance to play for a winning team. But the Skins are very short of playmakers as it is.

Posted by: unclelonghair | December 14, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Since the Snyder regime took over, Cooley has always been my favorite player. Always reliable, professional (minus a few incidents), and doesn't take crap. Here's to you Captain Chaos, a consistent bright spot in an always dismal season after season!

Posted by: Hail2TheSquire | December 14, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cooley is perhaps a bit too young to appreciate this, but I've been rooting for Washington for more than 50 years, over 90% of which have been either losing or very marginal years. I'd like to just "cheer" for the team like he suggests, to find something positive, to be what he calls a "real" fan, but after the equivalent of 45 years of doing all of those things, I find myself out of gas. Sorry, Chris, but I need a winning season or two, or just the hope of one, to get me back on track.

Posted by: Rational_Man | December 14, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

trade cooley? are you kidding me? he is the best receiver (yes, i'm putting moss second) on a team devoid of receivers. he gets open and he gets yards after the catch. redskins must keep him.

Posted by: zatoichi77 | December 14, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the value Cooley has with this team is as a trade. Trade him for a couple picks while he still has value. It's best for him and the organization. Davis takes his place.

Posted by: dbunkr
Here we go again, "picks" how many do you think Cooley is going to fetch? What 12 or 15?

Again, the Redskins fans have a seriously high opinion of the value of the players-the most a trade for Cooley would get the Skins is a 5th or 6th rounder....if that. He's old by NFL standards.

We only have two players who would fetch a second rounder- Trent Williams and Orakpo, would any of you trade them-and then spend the next few years trying to acquire "them" again?

Let's be realistic fellas-we have 7 picks and the only way we can acquire more is to trade down with our 1st rounder, but we don't have enough talent to do that, so you all might as well pipe down the nonsense.

The Redskins are going to have to stand pat-take the best available player and hope that our scouts are up to the task-from what I'm hearing we have one of the smallest, least influential scouting departments-that's where the trouble lies.

Posted by: AtDawnTheySleep | December 14, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Is that Stan Steinberg with hair coaching the Redskins offense and talking to Chris Cooley in that picture? That would explain a lot about the abysmal offense!

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 14, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

They conveniently left out the part where he admitted to cursing out a fan. I dont care what your record or how frustrated you are, that is unacceptable.

Posted by: wburn42167 | December 14, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs picked Cooley - 'Nuff said.

Posted by: ronmalibu | December 15, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Good lord people, cut COoley a break. At least he has the passion to want to succeed. Some players on this team have "Checked out" for the season, and at least Cooley is still wanting to succeed.

Sadly, he may indeed have more value as trade bait, since his skills will be wasted some more next year. He's a top tier TE in the NFL, and is very good with the YAC (Yards after catch). He's frustrated with the culture of losing with the Redskins...WHO THE HELL ISN'T???

You need two good quality TEs, so unless the trade return is a 2nd and a 3rd pick in the draft, NO WAY do you get rid of one of the faces of the Redskins

Posted by: wagenstill | December 15, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I have always appreciated #47 for his work ethic, and that he wants to win. I feel bad for him and some of the other players that want to win and play like they mean it.

I almost want to say trade him to a franchise that is not dysfunctional like Washington. Maybe he'll have a shot at winning. Just don't see that happening here so long as Baby Shanny is running the offense. Beginning to miss Sherm Lewis!

Posted by: mdflorals | December 15, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, he needs to be this team's biggest trade bait this off season. For what this team is they can handle losing Cooley to get more talent in other areas, such as D-line or O-line. His talent is going to waste here and Davis can fill in the void left by Cooley.
This team needs talent, so you don't give it away hoping to get more in return. This team is far from the Patriots and is no condition to be trading proven players for draft picks. First this team's front office has to prove that they have acumen and intelligence to draft talent. You want to give up Cooley for a draft bust? Secondly Davis is too slow and is not completely money with his hands yet to be given the full reigns as a starter. His blocking skills are in of considerable improvement. I don't care if he's a vertical TE, ALL TEs must be able to block, otherwise move him out wide. The skins have 7 draft picks, let's see what this FO does with those before we start giving away building blocks and foundation pieces to constructing a reputable franchise.

Posted by: clark202 | December 15, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Most of y'all have lost your marbles. Trade Cooley? Our best offensive player? We won't get fair market in return. Who's the tool that said he's the worst TE in the league and used TD catches as the measuring stick? Jump off a cliff. TD's don't make you best. Dominating you opposition does. And he leads the league in TE catches, or did until last week. He's the only guy that can get separation AND consistently catch the damn ball. But let's trade him. Nevermind that this was a rebuilding year all along. Let's trade him. Nevermind thy Donovan is still going to be here so we'd look stupid for having a 35 yr old QB with even less receiving threats. Let's trade him.

If you guys thought Shanahan was gonna turn us into 10-6 overnight with the exact same personnel and one LT, you're delusional. Fred Davis played well in Cooley's absence last year, but that is much too small a sample size over a three year career to assume he can handle 16/18 games. Cooley stays. Cooley is our only consistent player on offense. You don't trade for a guy like McNabb only to strip him of his weapon. Yes singular. Santana as performed admirably but he's headed for the downturn. Fix the interior line and the running game and Cooley will get back in the end zone. I'm appalled at some of the boneheaded comments by "knowledgeable" fans. Knee-jerk idiots. We were 4-12 last yr for God's sake. Cooley can't throw it to himself & he can't call plays for himself either.

The guy is the heart & soul of the team. And the best player on offense. But yea let him walk for a 4th rounder-we won't get more than that for h so whats the point? You think we'll get pro bowl production out of that draft slot? Negative. Haynesworth was the trade bait & Shanny's blew that. Find a more sensible solution. Cuz this ain't it. Bat$hitcrazy.

Posted by: Kelleawlive | December 15, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I wish the other columnists would write about this kind of reality. How wonderful the offensive line was in the running game, they said. Yeh, because Shanahan had to use his best pass catcher as an offensive line blocker. Please trade Cooley. Please replace McNabb with Grossman. He doesn't deserve to get hurt as he will if Cooley is used as an end. Let them go to another team where they can function.

I said the same thing about Jason last year and was right. But what is truly sad is that the Snyder and the Redskins are more dysfunctional than Al Davis and his Raiders. I thought it couldn't be done.

Posted by: jhough1 | December 15, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Thank Sweet Baby Jesus that 47 finally said something. I've been wondering this all year. It seems that when he's targeted he gets the job done but it's usually way too late except for the Green Bay game which, surprise, we won. Before the season, I thought Cooley and McNabb would have a great relationship based on 1) DMac's use of his TE's in Philly and 2) the fact that Shanny Jr used Owen Daniels well last year in Houston until he got hurt, but, alas, that is not the case. Perhaps The Shanny's will realize this but hopefully not so we can get a better draft pick since this is a lost season...

Posted by: rafaelaguirresacasa | December 15, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Chad Dukes is the Biggest blowhard, a-hole in fact the whole 106.7 station is so anti-Redskins and only interested in stirring up controversy thinking that is somehow going to bring their rating. LaVar Arrington is slowly losing the respect I had in him. I usually end up changing stations. I wish they were still the smooth jazz station. Cooley is a quality player/person who the Redskins should hold on too and find more players with his attitude. This whole McNabb, Shannahan riff is media made. No one player is bigger then the team and yes players should be anserable to coaches and McNabb is the best QB we have but he has had some stinky games but he certainly in the top 15 in the league.

Posted by: ndmil | December 15, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Keep Chris, use all 7 draft picks, work free agency(2011 is supposed to be a banner FA Year) and continue to get young, fast and stronger. That's the key to future success. Oh, and pray for a collective bargaining agreement, else we watch no ball next Year....

Posted by: TKing1 | December 15, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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