Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock (13603698af) Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, in Houston Titans Texans Football, Houston, United States – 30 Oct 2022
Texans head coach Lovie Smith wants Brandin Cooks involved in the offense, but does Cooks want the same?
Monday, Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith addressed the media, and he also addressed questions about WR Brandin Cooks.
Cooks was excused from practice all last week after Monday, as the veteran receiver was looking to be traded at the NFL trade deadline. He sulked and spouted off on social media when a trade didn’t materialize.
He was inactive for Thursday’s game despite the team already being shorthanded at WR with Nico Collins being injured.
Cooks, who the organization has often praised as a ‘team guy’ and ‘culture guy’, clearly put himself first last week ahead of the team. However, Lovie said he would welcome Cooks back to the locker room when Cooks returned, and he has.
When asked today about Cooks’ potential involvement in the team’s offense and how to get him back in the mix, Smith said:
“That’s what we’ve been trying to do throughout. We’ve been trying to win every game throughout. Our best players, we’ve been trying to get them the ball, gameplan-wise, as best we can. To let their talent show all within a team concept. We missed Brandin (Cooks) the last game we played, like we missed Nico (Collins) the last game, missed Maliek Collins. We missed a lot of those guys and can’t wait to get them back. Everyone is needed. Can’t wait to be them back as soon as possible and see what we can do then.”
As is his usual way, Lovie made it a point not to make his answer about only one person though he was specifically asked about one person. That is the head coach doing his job to protect his player, and I have no issue with that.
However, his answer does draw into question the quality of the game plan and ignores the other half of that equation, which is, does Cooks want to be involved in the offense?
What kind of Brandin Cooks is playing for the Texans going forward? One fully committed to playing his best, or one going through the motions?
Could the Texans find themselves getting close to a Deshaun Watson situation sending a player home who doesn’t want to be on the team if they cannot work out their issues with Cooks by Sunday?
It doesn’t appear Cooks’ trade value will be increasing anytime soon.