WR Amari Cooper has been praised by his teammates and coaches for his work ethic and his play this season. Cooper has played every game this season for the Browns despite being banged up. Now that there are only a few weeks left in the regular season, Cooper eyes his fifth Pro Bowl nod.
Looking at the top five receivers in yards and receptions in the league, they all have had the same quarterback throughout the season. In the top 20, only WR Ja'Marr Chase, WR Amari Cooper, and now WR Keenan Allen have lost their quarterbacks for the season. However, Cooper is the only receiver in that group to have four different starting quarterbacks this season.
Cooper is having a standout season, especially considering the ups and downs the Browns offense has been through. His starting quarterback Deshaun Watson played five full games this season. He then had to play with rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who is still learning. After that, he had to play with QB P.J. Walker for four games. Now he is playing with veteran QB Joe Flacco, with whom he has to build a relationship late in the season.
"The four quarterbacks' situation is atypical," Cooper said. "Having to adjust to so many different styles at quarterback. The way someone throws the ball and schools of thought. Every quarterback gets trained the same but slightly differently, so you have to adjust throughout the course of the season, which can be difficult at times for sure."
Cooper has caught 57 passes for 878 yards and two touchdowns this season. His 15.4 yards per catch ranks seventh in the AFC. He is also seventh in passing yards and targets in the AFC.
On the field and at practice, Cooper takes his work very seriously. He understands the game of football and watches film daily.
"Amari is a perfectionist," TE David Njoku said. "When you see him running his routes, it's so precise. Everything is calculated like his steps and lower waist movements. When he decides to show you one thing and changes to a different thing, that speed in between that motion is so violent. I have been watching his tapes since he was a kid, and it's an honor for him to be my teammate."
Cooper doesn't appear to be very vocal, but he is always involved in making the offense better. Cooper has spoken with his quarterbacks on the sidelines a few times this year to get them on the same page on what he is seeing from the defense.
During Week 3, when the Browns played against the Titans, Cooper and Watson were seen talking on the sidelines in the third quarter. They were discussing the game and Cooper was pointing out the matchups he could exploit. Watson later revealed that Cooper often comes to the sideline to discuss certain throws or players if he doesn't see them. Cooper's efforts paid off in that game as he caught seven passes for 116 yards and scored a touchdown.
"He is definitely a leader in our room, someone I know everyone looks up to on and off the field," WR Elijah Moore said. "The respect level as far as the player is at the highest of highs. He has been doing it for so long and is everyone's favorite receiver."
Cooper has made four Pro Bowls in his career and wouldn't mind making it a fifth time. Making the Pro Bowl isn't what he strives to do, but he welcomes it as it is a respect factor around the league.
"It means a lot," Cooper said. "I'll be lying if I say I didn't play for respect. I think every player plays for the respect of his peers. For the Pro Bowl, the players and other committees vote, so it's more of a respect thing."