by: Philip Robinson | @chocP3thunder | January 4, 2017 10:32 PST
Everybody’s favorite player is the backup quarterback, the Oakland Raiders officially announced what the naked eye already knew to be true Connor Cook will be the first rookie ever to make his debut in the playoffs.
In his first press conference as a professional starting qb Cook had this to say about being named the guy: “I feel like I’ve always been ready to go if they needed me. I feel pretty calm I know the offense well I’ve been in it for a year. I was nervous last week being activated. . . knowing I was just one play away I prepared like I was going to be the starter. Never been a rah rah guy. Just going to go out there and make plays for my teammates. I’m just embracing the opportunity. Going to go out there and just let it all hang out.”
The only wide receiving corps in the NFL boasting two 1,000 yard receivers have publicly hitched their wagon to Cook. Michael Crabtree gave a loud ringing endorsement for the young rookie, “I loved his composure out there I can’t wait to see him play this week.” Crabtree was not the only one impressed with Cook’s play, normally a man of extremely few words 2-time Pro Bowler Amari Cooper added his two cents. “He can see the field. . . confident out there he was just ripping em’ making throws stepping up in the pocket. I think he did a really good job.” Coop and Crab are the antithesis of divas, but in addressing an issue the Raiders have had with feeding Cooper CSN Bay Area reporter Henry Wofford tweeted out.
Fellow rookie and undrafted free agent Jalen Richard offered a glimpse into why the team has swiftly taken to Cook in just a little over a half of live game action. “C.C. (Cook) one of the hardest working rookies on team. . .Working on his craft everyday after practice. Not knowing when his moment would come, look at him now his moments here. I feel like he’s ready for it and we have all the confidence in him.”
What makes this more impressive was the knowledge shared by Derek Carr in a radio interview on 95.7 The Game, Carr takes 99.9% (in reality he meant 100% but was unsure if he missed a few) of the reps in practice leaving Cook no time to sniff the field with the No.1’s.
In the absence of Carr the team’s unofficial spokesperson on offense has become Latavius Murray, who had a few words to offer on Cook, “I think he played with lot of confidence. . . First drive he went in I just think he played with tremendous confidence and so I was happy for him it was good to see.”
Murray had much more to say about the: loss, mentality, focus and moral moving forward.
“I want to put that game so far behind. I know we all do how ugly it was. The only thing we can do is just look forward to this week in Texas.”
“Like coach was saying for all the teams in the playoffs it doesn’t really matter what happened in week 17, It doesn’t really matter what happened in week 1, only thing that’s gonna matter is what happens that given Sunday or Saturday for us this week.”
“No difference in team moral everyone here wants to win.”
In defeat against Denver the Raiders were punched in the mouth and knocked down. Enduring a demoralizing defeat tends to sharpen the focus of a professional athlete, to a man the team knows it’s still right where it wants to be which is in the playoffs. In true cliche fashion Connor Cook and the upstart Oakland Raiders may just be dumb enough not to know they don’t have a shot at winning on Saturday let alone going the distance. More often than not in the NFL wildcard teams everyone wrote off early surprise everyone with deep long runs in the bright lights of the postseason.