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Amari Cooper believes Cleveland 'suits me really well'

Cooper is confident he’ll be the same consistent receiver he’s been for his whole NFL career in Cleveland


Not much can catch eight-year veteran WR Amari Cooper off guard.

Cooper, who has spent the last month adjusting to his third NFL team since he was drafted fourth overall in 2015, has seen just about everything in the league. He knows various offensive systems. He knows what it takes to go up against the best defenders in the game. He knows what it takes to be a part of a smooth, efficient passing game.

So when he found out he was traded to the Browns in March, he rolled with it. A new playbook, new teammates and new coaching staff awaited him, but Cooper, a four-time Pro Bowler, never doubted he'd fit in Cleveland.

"I'm comfortable," Cooper said Thursday after the third and final practice of mandatory minicamp at FirstEnergy Stadium. "There's great tradition here, a great football environment, which I love. I think this place suits me really well, actually — my personality and everything like that."

By "personality," Cooper is talking about the pace of, well, everything.

The daily routine. The ease of meetings. The relaxed, but focused mindset Head Coach Kevin Stefanski tries to instill in his team each offseason.

Cooper has experienced all of that over the course of the offseason program, which he participated in since Day 1. It reminds him of what he appreciated at Alabama, where he won a National Championship his freshman season and spent the final two years building his resume as one of the best receivers in the country.

"All I had to do was focus on what I wanted to," Cooper said. "I didn't put an emphasis on having fun in college, although I did have fun. That wasn't what I was there for, and that's not what I'm here for. I'm here to be a great player. I still want to accomplish a lot of things, and I feel like I can do that here."

Check out photos of players and coaches working throughout the offseason

The Browns believe that, too. That's why they traded a fifth-round pick to the Cowboys for Cooper, and they're expecting him to continue the Pro Bowl pace he's established since his rookie season — he's totaled over 1,000 passing yards in five of his seven seasons and has 46 career touchdowns.

Cooper is a polished route-runner, a consistent pass catcher and, perhaps more importantly, a durable player. He's played in at least 14 games every season of his career and has done a remarkable job of keeping his 6-foot-1, 210-pound body healthy throughout the grinds of a season.

"He's a big, physical player," Head Coach Kevin Stefanski said. "Maybe not 6'6" but you see how strong he is. That has been impressive just seeing how he operates on the field. A really impressive worker in the classroom. He's a pro's pro."

The Browns want Cooper to not only be a steady receiver each week, but also help a few other players at his position come closer to their full potential.

After Cooper, the depth chart will be filled with several young receivers who are looking to prove themselves at a consistent level in the NFL. The group includes Donovan Peoples-Jones, who's entering his third season but is 23 years old, as well as second-year wideout Anthony Schwartz and rookie third-rounder, David Bell.

The Browns would love for all three of those players to take a big step in 2022, and Cooper wants to show them how.

"Those guys look at me like an old guy," Cooper, 28, said with a chuckle. "I've been seeing a lot of explosion (from them). They know the importance of coming in every day and knowing their stuff and trying to perfect everything they do because they know the position they're in as far as making the team."

Bell, in particular, has caught Cooper's eye. 

Drafted from Purdue, Bell has displayed a smooth pair of hands and has a similar type of crisp route-running potential as Cooper. He said Wednesday he hasn't dropped a pass since the first day or two of offseason team activities.

He'll still need time to acclimate to NFL speed, but he was a noticeable player throughout an offseason program that has primarily been about attaining passing reps. Cooper sees his potential and wants to help him meet it.

"He takes coaching very well," Cooper said. "I was in his ear a couple of times about certain routes, and then he went out there and did it. He's going to play a lot this year. All of us have to earn our role, but I think he'll do a good job at training camp."

No matter how the depth chart shuffles out, Cooper will be the one tasked with being the same, reliable wide receiver he's always been no matter where he's played. 

The game comes natural to him, and as he wraps his first offseason program in a new home, he knows it'll stay that way in Cleveland.

"I've been focused on being where my feet are," he said. "I'm focused on being in the present and the opportunity that's on-hand right now. I think this is a tremendous opportunity right now for me, for the Cleveland Browns. I think I can do some really great things here."

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