Cooper ready to lead Browns' receiving corps: 'That's the position I'm in now'
"That's the position I'm in now," Cooper said, according to team reporter Anthony Poisal. "These guys look at me like an old guy. They pay a lot of attention to detail, and they know the importance of coming in every day and knowing their stuff and trying to perfect everything they do."
Cooper, 28, is the second-oldest member of the Browns' wideout group, behind only Jakeem Grant Sr. (29). The four-time Pro Bowler was acquired in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys for a pair of late-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Donovan Peoples-Jones led the Browns with 597 receiving yards in 2021, while veteran Jarvis Landry led the team with 52 receptions despite missing multiple contests due to injury. Cooper has the opportunity this season to lead the Browns' receivers on and off the field.
"A lot of leadership comes with experience and age," Cooper said. "It becomes easier and easier over time because, from what I see now, leadership is just experience."
The often quiet Cooper seems to have made a favorable impression on his new teammates. "He sets that standard; like we have to shut up and get our work done," Anthony Schwartz said.
The veteran Cooper is now with his third team following stints with the Cowboys and Oakland Raiders. He's expected to lead a group that features Peoples-Jones, Schwartz, and rookie David Bell.
The Browns will look to improve on a passing attack that ranked 27th in the NFL last season, averaging 195.3 yards per game.
Cooper has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in two of his past three seasons. He recorded 68 receptions for 865 yards and eight touchdowns last year.