• January 17, 2022

Where Does Riley Cooper Fit In, When Steve Smith Gets Healthy?

On Saturday it was announced that Jeremy Maclin will be ready to play come September 11th’s afternoon game in St. Louis. Doctors were worried the wide receiver contracted lymphoma, but multiple tests showed Maclin was fine. Upon reporting to training camp, the former first round pick told reporters, “I can’t wait to get back out there and just resume my normal life.”

Maclin getting back to his normal life brings up questions about where Riley Cooper will fit into this deep Eagles’ receiving core. In Thursday’s loss to the Steelers, the Gator didn’t have the same success he had seen a week prior. The 220-pound wide out caught one pass for 16 yards on the day. He was only targeted three times, which is one more than he had been a week earlier versus the Ravens.

Cooper’s questionable game can most likely be credited to Pittsburgh’s relentless defense that held the Eagles scoreless until just under four minutes in the final quarter. Pittsburgh’s strong defensive front flushed Vick out of the pocket and made it near impossible for him to find the big wide receiver. Lock down coverage from Keenan Lewis and Ryan Clarke, both of which had interceptions, made Cooper a non-factor in Thursday night’s embarrassment.

Tim Tebow’s former roommate ran the 40 around 4.5 when he was selected in the 2010 Draft. He’s got some sneaky speed which surprises corners and makes him capable of getting deep at times. At 6’3” Cooper has excellence size, which is one of the reasons I think Andy Reid should have a place for him in his red zone packages come September. Having a guy who can work in tight areas and use his size to find space is something any coach would be crazy not take advantage of.

The big guy is currently filling the fourth receiver spot on Philadelphia’s depth chart, but when Steve Smith returns from surgery, where will it leave him?

It is going to be tough for wide receivers coach David Culley to figure out where the Oklahoma native can be utilized in Philly’s West Coast offense. On one-hand Smith is an established All-Pro wide receiver, but Cooper has a tremendous upside because of his size. It’s hard to take away a guy’s spot after Cooper displayed his size advantage by out jumping Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed for a near 50-yard gain.

Versatile diminutive wide receiver Chad Hall makes the decision even tougher, but I still believe Cooper is the front runner for the remaining fifth wide receiver spot. The Eagles already have a lot of consistency with Desean, Maclin and Avant, having a big receiver on the field will make Philly’s offense even more consistent.

Richard Greco

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58 Comments

  • He becomes the Red-Zone threat where D-Jax/S Smith are not as effective due to their small size.. Once inside the 20-25 yard line, Defenses only have to cover a certain about of field and the Eagles will need receivers with size/strength/leaping ability to make the touch cathces in tighter spaces.. .. I can envision a line-up like this once inside the 25 yard line… 3 WR’s Maclin,Avant and Cooper and double TE’s with Celek & Lee (or Harbor) which would be a pretty good group and touch match-ups for Defenses..

  • “Versatile diminutive wide receiver Chad Hall makes the decision even tougher,”
    LOL

  • He is now 5th on the depth chart. Who cares!? DJax & JMac on the outside, Smith & Avant are your slot/ combo WR’s & Cooper is 5th/ injury insurance. He has shown very little. So like I said, who cares!? Chad Hall is a goner.

  • The Eagles will carry six WRs. Hall, Moss and Higgins battle it out for the six spot. They won’t carry seven LBs this year and probably not ten O linemen. Of the fifty slots not going to Dorembos and the kickers, I’m guessing nine O line, plus three QBs, plus three RBs, plus three TEs , six WRs and one FB equals 25 on offense. Five DTs, plus five DEs, plus six LBs, plus five CBs, plus four Ss equals 25 on D. They may carry five Ss and cut out a DT because Anderson is sooo good on STs.

  • Good points JBird. They can carry the 6 WR’s. So Hall will stick, since Reid loves him. Thanks.

  • DD I doubt Hall stays because they need someone to return ounts which he sucks at. So I’m guessing Higgins or Moss. Hall will go play for the Rams where all the Eagles outcasts go.

  • j – You’re guessing on the 6 Wrs and not 7 LBs too. You’re guessing on everything at this point!

  • SCHILL, do you think the should sign LB Morrison & RT Stinchomb? Would be smart moves.

  • DD, I think that they should look into the status of those players. If they are so good at LB and RT (respectively), then why, I ask you, are they currently playing for the ______ ______s? If it’s just a matter of timing/agent’s working/teams vieing for visits/negotiations….that’s one thing. But it’s possible that those guys aren’t signed because they either want Fitzy money or suck, or are injured to the point where you and I are just as good at their positions in the NFL right now.

    We want better solutions at those positions for our team than we have… uh duh… but I think the Eagles are collecting info/or working on signing them as we speak. You know what I mean?

  • SCHILL, I here you. Let’s hope they rectify those problems before the Rams game. GO BIRDS!

  • Wonder if Coach AR will cut the chord and make the deal with the 49ers
    WR Chad Hall for MLB Patrick Willis…

  • Paul, that’s absurd, they’d at least have to throw in Patrick Peterson Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis to get Hall….

  • BWAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

  • If the Eagles could get a Proven MLB and a 2nd or 3rd Rounder Draft pick for A Samuel.. Do you make the deal..

  • or maybe trade a WR..(Avant or a Cooper)

  • I think the Roster SPots by position break down like this

    Specail teams (3) (P,K, & LS)

    Offense – 25 Players
    QB (3) RB (3) FB (1) TE (3) WR (5) OL (10)

    Defense – 25 Players
    DE (5) DT (4) LB (6) CB (6) Safety (4)

  • Paul, you can’t get a proven middle linebacker for anything. they are rare and teams don’t trade them away. Maybe poor quality guys who’ve played the position before, but we have players who can play poorly at MLB. Guys that can do it well don’t get traded – teams never have 2 of them.

  • The only team that I can think of who is pretty deep at MLB is the Panthers
    Jon Beason is a Pro-Bowl Starter for them flanked on the outside by T Davis and James Anderson.. Their 4 LB is Dan Connor who can play inside or outside and I think a pretty good player, they also have a 2nd Year Player name Thomas William who has been just a beast so far this Summer…
    I am pretty sure that Dan Connor is available, now I wouldn’t trade CB Samuel for him but the Panthers need a decent WR whith some size to play opposite of Steve Smith and maybe a Riley Cooper or a Jason Avant
    for a LB Dan Conner straight up works for eveyone…

  • anyone know the dates for when the teams have to reduce rosters?

    Anyone know if/how the rule changed for the 3rd QB this year (he used to not count against the 45 game day actives…)

  • navy… they have to go down to 80 on August 30th but we can make those cuts with our eyes closed. The more important date is Saturday the third. I really hope they cut Hanson and Parker. Waste of money those two.

  • Paulman…don’t say six corners! I don’t want to keep spending all that money on Hanson! I am inclined to disagree. They may hide a corner on IR though. But the roster will be five.

  • We definitely need to make this work for Riley Cooper. With his size he could be a real game changed in the red zone. Also when we use five receivers I feel he could be a plus for our offense.

  • With Maclin, Smith and DJAX…we could see Cooper in for one of those guys at any time…Maclin/Smith is a good combo, DJAX/Smith and we all know Maclin/DJAX combo…all depends on how MM / AR want to use the WR’s group…I see a multitude of options

  • Hit me up for the fantasy league. Have some spots left. There are about 4 spots out there with invitations sent and not accepted yet. If you got an invite, please accept or you will be removed by the end of the week.

    Hit me up for an invite astuckey05 at gmail .com

  • Is the Draft this Wed 8/24 Scorpion or can you push it back until the league is filled… can players/owners have more than 1 team if need be???..

  • paulman, the draft was pushed back. Can’t have a draft until the league is filled anyway. Check the league for details. 1 team per person. Just waiting on people to respond to invitations. They sent me an email for an invite but didn’t accept the invite yet. As of now, awaiting 5 people to accept their invitations.

  • Sounds good Scorpion.. I guess guys got tired of me whooping them all season long…. ha ha

  • I don’t know that it really should be a question about where will Cooper fit in as much as where will Brent Celek fit in? The third receiver position pretty much can be occupied by a WR, a RB or a TE. This team philosophy on offense revolves around speed. Looking at all of the 3rd receiver options available it’s pretty clear to see who’s the square peg trying to fit into the round hole. (Celek, Smith, Avant, Lee, McCoy, Cooper.) My suspicion is that there will be an upset starter in Donald Lee before the season starts like Vick for Kolb last year. With Taylor Mays traded to the Bengals (Eagles should have nabbed him) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Celek get traded to the Cardinals for a pick. Articles on the trading of Joselio Hanson may have been premature, it may end up being another player earning similar money getting traded leaving the Eagles with a competent nickel back for game #1. Also, if the Eagles get the O-Line together (which it wouldn’t surprise me if they signed Shawn Andrews) I can foresee significantly more 3-4 WR sets popping up into games.

  • yeah Butch007, I agree with your comments pretty much all around. The O line is key, depending on how well they play, the playbook may really be opened up…
    One things for sure. it all depends on the type of patterns that MM / AR are running for the likes of Cooper, Hall, Avant….(we know Avant will have some catches) Honestly, I didnt really pay attention to the routes that the WR’s were running last week, and I’ll have my eye on that tomorrow night, as I will be at the game and can see the entire field (rain permitting)…utlize the players to their strengths at the right time and good things will happen…I like Hall in those quick slants, short yardage…out of all of the WR’s its sad to say, but Hall has shown me the most thus far.

  • Good points Butch,
    I would not be surprised to see TE Celek traded and the Cardinals or the Bears who both need a legitimate receiving TE which Celek is, he’s not or will never be a good blocker but he can catch and run good routes..
    I am not sure what would the Eagles do with Taylor Mays or fans fascination with him, He had a pretty unproductive Rookie Season and word on the street is that he has a real piss-poor atttitude (which is why Harbaugh wanted him gone) ..
    I like the young WR Turner and Jones who made some plays last week..
    I also would not be surprised to see a Jason Avant traded to a team like the Panthers who are in need of a good #3 Target for Cam NEwton..
    I say trade WR Avant straight up for PAnther LB/ Dan Conner who can play inside or outside… ( I think Conner held the Penn State LB list for the most l tackles when he played there)

  • The cardinals signed Heap, and the bears traded away a “legit” receiving TE to the panthers for almost nothing because Martz’s offense requires a blocking TE. And Avant is one the the leaders on this team, so that too is crazy talk. IF we were going to trade Celek, which is almost impossible to imagine, the only teams that would probably be interested right now would be the Giants, Ravens, Dolphins, and Rams.

  • Celek is another Utley. He gets a lifetime of free passess. Celek cant block and is a below avg recieving TE. When is the last time you said WOW what a play from Celek. I will answer you. NEVER! Sure he catches 50-60 balls a year but we throw 80% of the time. Hes not a game changer or a playmaker. He doesnt make the “tough” catches. Someone like Ingram is what you call playaker. a difference maker. To bad injuries have stunted his growth. Celek is a dime a dozen. I actually tink Donald Lee may be a all around better choice to be the # 1 TE.

  • Celek gets you a 5th-6th round pick at best.

  • I wouldnt say Celek is a dime a dozen, but i do agree on the value for a trade, at most a 4th if a team were desperate. The one thing I can say that makes Celek better than most- is youll almost never see 1 player take him down after a catch. He’s not a burner, but he is solid after the catch for that reason.

  • goldenfag, watch your damn mouth and don’t ever desecrate on the name that is Chase Utley.

  • Ravens are loaded with 2 2nd Year talented TE’s in Dan Pitta & Eugene Dixon who will be very solid players for the next 6-8-10 Seasons
    Dolphins and Giants need a TE desperately and the Rmas have a couple of good young ones.. (Watch out for Rookie L Kendricks for the Rams this year)

  • youre right, forgot about Kendricks-, and I like Ed Dixon as well- but yea the point was, there really arent many TE needy teams out there right now.

  • Giants and the Eagles won’t dare trade to help them out
    Dolphins,Bears,Dolphins, Broncos and maybe the SD Chargers with Gates still having his Foot Issues.. thats about it, there are a lot of good young up and coming TE’s in the NFL right now..Chargers have some good young LB’s on their roster too…

  • Birdbrain. That talent deprived Utley hasnt been the same since he stopped getting the PED shots in that hip of his. A below avg fielder and a warning track power hitter. He should be batting 7th with his annual 5-13 home runs and 100 stike outs a year. Hunter Pence should be batting 3rd. Hes not even in the top 5 on his own team. Pence, Victorino, Howard, Rollins and Chooch all are more valuable than Utley. My lineup if all is healthy. Rollins, Victorino, Pence, Howard, Mayberry, Utley, Polanco, Chooch, Halladay.

  • Daggolden you are a clown and definitely not a baseball fan, chase utley is the best second baseman in phillies history, possibly on track to the hall of fame, don’t venture into topics about which you know nothing, stick to spewing the mantra of the gcobb mob, “sign djax, pay d man, Vick is a super hero”, you guys crack me up, what happened to real Philly sports fans

  • Jakedog that is hilarious. Listen CLOSELY Chase Utley SUCKS defensively. Wilson Valdez is better than him. Offensively besides 3 good years he is avg at the plate. I know I know he runs hard to first base yawn. Wanna see a good hitting 2nd baseman go to Atlanta. After Utley stopped the Roids he became ordinary at the plate. Also let me clue you in on this one. Utley couldnt hold Manny Trillos jock. I also would take Juan Samuel over Utley in a heartbeat.

  • DAG, where do you get this PED crap on Utley!? He is the same size now, than he was when he was called up. Your off your rocker! If anyone should be investigated, it should be Howard. He has lost many body sizes since 2007-2008, & his power #’s have dropped massively, every year since. Utley’s problem is, he can’t stay healthy. Look at the #’s he puts up when he does. Trillo? Samuel? Dude, get a clue!!!

  • Samuel and Trillo?! wow. You’ve dis-credited your entire opinion.

  • goldenfag — you know absolutely NOTHING about baseball or sports for that matter. Chase Utley is one of the best second baseman in baseball and the best second baseman in Phillies history. He almost made the all-star this team off fan votes and he barely played the first half of the season — thats how much fans all across the league respect him. He almost broke Reggie Jacksons WS homerun record and if it would have went to 7, he would have.

    Just STFU you idiot.

  • Then you want to talk about Utley taking roids but mention a good hitting second baseman in Atlanta?! Uggla is juicing more than anybody out there! Before his hit streak he was batting like .190 or some ish like that, get a clue you retard.

  • Not to mention- you jump on Utley’s defense then try to suggest Uggla is any better? Yikes.

  • Birdbrain hes already married so you dont have a shot. Hes a media generated avg player at best. He wuns so hard. He wuns the best from 1st to 3rd. Jose Reyes laughs at that. He is the 9th best player on the Phillies. Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Howard, Rollins Pence, Vicotorino, Chooch you idiot. Name me 1 player on thatlist he is better than? Psssst Ike Reese on WIP reported “off the record” he definetly knows your boytoy Utley was on the JUICE. Thats why his hip was bad and thats why he can only hit 5 homeruns a year now. lol Its ok the Utleys, Runyons and Jaworskis of the world seem to all get free passess. All avg at best. The superstars Cunningham, Iversons, McNabbs seem to be criticized. hmmmmm wonder why.

  • is it because they were supremely talented with all of the god-given gifts one could ask for, and the clear cut star and faces of their respective teams yet never managed to bring a championship to philly? So the failure of those teams to win feel upon the shoulders of the leaders, justified or not… is that the reason??

  • LMAO @ dthaman — you just owned that clowned…..which isn’t hard to do but still, thank you for that.

    Iverson is STILL loved by the fans. The media came at him for his off the court problems, which were many, but the fans STILL til this day love the man like no other.

    McNabb dug his own grave.

    Chase was a catalyst and one of the main reasons the city of Philadelphia has a recent championship. Fall back goldenfag, you’re making yourself look like a damn fool.

  • For whatever it’s worth, Mickey Morandini was the best “Italian 2B” in the history of the Phillies …

  • 🙁 I miss Mickey Morandini, that was my boy!

  • Dthaman see thats where the disconnect occurs. Actually growing up in Philly and actually living here thats not how it is percieved in MY community. MY community says the Howards, Rollins, Iversons, Cunningham, McNabbs of the world dont live by the same standards as others. You can hide behind the bullshit of “They are so talented so they deserve to be bashed:”Its nauseating listening to the excuses for Utley over and over again.Oh yes hurt, Oh thats just Chase being Chase. He goes from 1st to 3rd better than anyone in the game. lol yeah ok. Heres another one Jon Runyon had a great game he battled, he only gave up 2 1/2 sacks to Strahan this week. lolDont worry MY community knows Jackson is next. Philly is so predictable. Ike Reese. GCobb and others have stated the same damn thing. Hohum I know I dont know sports your computer sports geniuses yawn. Shiver Im offended. lmao.

  • Birdo Birdo does that boost your online clout with the insults.lol Come on man born and raised in north Philly. Gotta do better than the Goldenfag comments. Didnt even know they even said fag anymore. Country ass.

  • I didnt say they deserve to be bashed, i said justified or not- meaning that i agree the media/fans look for reasons to stir the pot, by coming down on the faces of the team in that such manner. But you cant make it a black white thing, considering that up until THIS season- Cole Hamels was on the verge of being run out of town for the same reasons- supremely talented, but didnt seem to be putting it all together- just in the same way Vick will hear it after one more interception, and Jackson will hear it the moment he takes 1 too many high steps into the endzone in a losing effort. I am sorry YOUR community sees it that way- because seeing it that way can only further extend that view- when its simply not a fact. This town has enough haters that would run Kolb out of town just as fast as they would McNabb. Philly wouldnt have been patient enough for Peyton Manning to win either. Scott Rolen got kicked to the curb and he is white as white gets. I see your point, but i just think youre flat wrong. Its not white/black- its the cities mentality of “win the big game- or else its clearly your fault.” Part of what gets Utley a “pass” as you call it, is his role in returning the Phillies to prominence while not really having a discernible hole in his game prior to injuries. Howard get hate for the lack of D(before) and strikeouts, and the only hate Rollins gets is due to his deteriorating skills with age- thatll happen.

  • I apologize to my fellow Eagle fans. We are all here for the same cause. Different opinions are healthy and accepted. We can all disagree to disagree at times.

  • goldenfag, you ain’t the only one from Philly around these parts you chump. 8th and Mifflin, holla at me. And no, MY community loves A.I…….they DON’T love McNabb. McNabb wore out his welcome years ago.

  • Sure you are Bidbrain. You sound convincing now. What did you go quick watch Boyz in the Hood. Holla at me? lmao Country ass

  • The only thing country around here is you chump, talking about Chase Utley is trash, lmfao, jump off the bridge idiot

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