Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Than A Football Player

Chris Cooley, above, doing what he loves, spending time with the fans. (Photo: totalprosports.com)
Yesterday, the Redskins had to let go of one of their franchise players. A player that will forever be remembered in the hearts of Redskins fans around the country. A player that some even came to know as Captain Chaos.

Chris Cooley has been in the NFL for nine years and has spent all nine years with the Redskins. Washington drafted him in the third round of the 2004 draft. Cooley proved throughout his career that he was no ordinary tight end from Utah State. He turned into one of the best tight ends the NFL had to offer.

Cooley played in every single game his rookie season. He hauled in 37 receptions for 314 yards and six touchdowns. He came back better than ever in 2005 and had 71 receptions for 774 yards and seven touchdowns. In his first five seasons, he played in every single game for the Redskins.

His best season came in 2008. He had a career high 83 receptions for 849 yards and one touchdown. Cooley also picked up 43 first downs for the Redskins.

In 2009, his season was cut short due to an injury and many were worried about how he would fair in 2010. He shut the critics up by nearly eclipsing all his career totals with 77 receptions for 849 yards, three touchdowns, and 40 first down conversions.

Once again, however, Cooley was bitten by the injury bug in 2011 and played in just five games. Fred Davis was beginning the blossom into an NFL caliber tight end and that was leading many to believe if the Redskins should still hold onto Cooley.

The Redskins kept him and Cooley realized that he would receive a very limited role. However, it wasn't meant to be as the two sides had to part ways yesterday in one tearful goodbye.

Cooley made two Pro Bowl appearances in 2007 and 2008 and was even an All-Pro selection in 2005. He holds the Redskins' All Time Record for Most Receptions by a Tight End with 428. He finished his Redskins career with 4,703 yards receiving and 33 touchdowns. 

Chris Cooley was (is) so much more than a football player. He is an incredible role for all kids both wanting to play the game or just trying to live a lively and healthy lifestyle. Cooley always came to work with an enthusiastic smile on face didn't let anything get him down.

Cooley was willing to do whatever it took to stay on the Redskins. It was obvious that he didn't want to leave. That, alone, makes him an incredible role for all football players. Hardly ever do you see a player love his team, his hometown, his situation like Chris Cooley.

He wasn't in it for the money. Chris Cooley played for the love of the game. He played for the relationships that are built. He is the quintessential football playing role model that so many parents dream of for their kids.

Thank you for an incredible nine years, Captain Chaos. You gave us all some good laughs and some memorable moments.


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