WR Amari Cooper is ready for the home opener against the Bengals in Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday.
Cooper played in one preseason game, catching one pass for 53 yards. Now with the regular season just days away, he's anticipating take the field once again.
"The offseason is long between the last game of the season and between the first game of the regular season, so pretty long layoff," Cooper said. "In other sports like basketball and stuff, you got summer league, different types of things to get accustomed to actual games."
Check out photos of the team working to prepare for their first regular season game against the Cincinnati Bengals
Cooper was recovering from surgery in April on a core muscle injury he dealt with in the final month of the 2022 season. In practices, he resembled his former self, evading defensive backs and breaking free in the open field. Additionally, he excelled in red zone drills during this training camp, proving to be QB Deshaun Watson's primary target in that area.
"What a tough guy he was to stick it out last year for us," OC Alex Van Pelt said. "The guy that was out there compared to the guy that came on the field, tribute to him to fight through and battle for his brothers. But he looks like he's back to the old Amari right now after the injury."
Cooper had a relatively good season despite dealing with injury and the inconsistency on offense. He caught 78 catches for 1,160 yards and scored 9 TDs, the most he scored ever in a season. He also matched his personal best by averaging 14.9 yards per catch last season.
The offense has already shown signs of the changes they made this preseason versus last season. Throughout camp, the team has given Watson more offense control, catering to his strengths and making it more explosive. This new offense also caters to the wide receivers, as we saw in the preseason games where the group went empty backfield a lot.
It remains to be seen how the new high-tempo offense will perform in an actual game. Cooper is hopeful for the offense but wants to assess their progress during a game.
"We got the pieces," Cooper said. "I mean, every team thinks that they have the pieces. We practice well, we prepare well. But we'll just have to wait and see. We just have to wait and see."