BEREA, Ohio — When Amari Cooper was traded to the Browns in March, he did not know that the team was pursuing a new quarterback. He was simply excited about the opportunity to go somewhere new and start fresh.
When the Cowboys sent Cooper from Dallas to Cleveland, it sparked a new drive in him.
"If you don't have a chip on your shoulder, then what do you have? Even if you don't get traded or released by a team, there should always be some type of motivating factor there," said Cooper at training camp on Thursday.
Cooper is entering his 8th season in the NFL, playing with his third team.
"You can't get to year 8 without making plays in the league. You're not gonna be around very long," said Cooper.
He feels his veteran experience makes transitioning teams easier.
"I've been in the league a little minute now. The verbiage is a little different, but the plays are pretty much the same. Just, obviously, you have some variations," said Cooper.
While he might be sporting a new jersey on game days, Cooper's responsibilities on the field remain the same.
"I'm trying to create as much separation as possible. I'm just looking at a ball spiraling to me at the end of the day," said Cooper.
The goal is the same, regardless of who it is that is getting the ball to him.
"I have a job to do. That job is to primarily get open when my name is called. I really feel like, as long as I do that, I continue to make it easy on who's throwing the ball," said Cooper.
"He's a great teammate. He's brilliant, smart. I sit right behind him in meetings. He's as smart a player as I've been around. He's a pro's pro all the way," said Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.
While he continues to adjust to the Browns system and uncertainty looms over the availability of Deshaun Watson, Cooper is learning the nuances of both Watson and backup QB Jacoby Brissett.
"They both actually throw a really good ball, a really tight spiral. None of them throw it too hard, like an uncatchable ball or anything like that, but they both throw a pretty good ball," said Cooper.
Cooper noted that the reality is - he won't be open on every play. That is when chemistry becomes key, though. Chemistry is reliant upon communication, bother verbal and non-verbal.
Cooper and the quarterbacks have until September 11, the first game of the regular season, to iron that out.
Carly Mascitti is a sports anchor at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @carlymascitti.
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