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Skins Quotes 8/28: Cooley, Shanahan, Davis

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Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


August 28, 2012
Redskins Park


Statement by Tight End Chris Cooley

“This will be brief. This Washington Redskins are releasing me today. Today, for the time being, will be my last day as a Washington Redskin.

“It’s been awesome. I’ve been very, very fortunate to play for a franchise that has embraced me and for a fan base that embraced me the way that they have. This organization has changed my life, in every way and for the better. I appreciate it. I’ve loved every minute of playing here. It’s been a good ride. It’s been a pleasure.

“I guess for me, I’ll take some time and decide what I want to do moving forward. I have every belief that I can play football. I have every belief that I can be not only a productive player, but a starter in this league. I’m very confident in my abilities to continue to play the game. It would be a tough decision for me to put on another jersey. It’s something that I really never had to imagine, so for now, I’ll take some time and make sure what I do in the future is exactly what I want to do.

“Again, it’s been a pleasure to be a part of this team. I’m so excited for the group of guys and coaches that are here this year. I think that there’s a lot in store for the Redskins. I think that the future is awesome. I can’t tell you how much I think of this staff and the players on this team. I’m thrilled for what they can accomplish and I wish everyone here the best. There are really no hard feelings for me. I’ve had good talks with Bruce Allen. He’s been great. I talked to all the coaches and it’s OK with me that they’re moving in the direction they’re moving. Since Bruce and Mike [Shanahan] have been here, I’ve trusted everything they’ve done and everything that they want to do. Even though I’m not a part of that today, I still do believe in what they’re doing.

“I want to thank all you guys. Our media has been so good to me. I appreciate everything… I appreciate everything you guys have done for me. I guess, finally, I just again want to say thank you to our fans. It’s been great. Thank you.”

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the release of tight end Chris Cooley:
“We know how much Chris has meant to this organization, as well as this community – both on and off the football field. Since I’ve come here, he’s the guy that I would lean on quite often with his expertise of the organization, as well as the people involved. I’ve had many talks with him that have really helped me with the insight of our football team and our players. Chris wants an opportunity to, at least my thoughts, he wants to be a starter in the National Football League if he does play. I told him that Fred [Davis] was going to be our starter. There were obviously no guarantees, but if he wanted to be a starter, I would give him every opportunity to seek that opportunity out. That’s what we’re doing at this time – giving him an opportunity to see if there is a chance for him to be a starter on another team in the National Football League. I had many conversations with him over the past year, just general talks, sometimes a little bit more specific than others. In essence, he’s going to get an opportunity to check if there is that option to be a starter on another football team.”

On if Cooley asked for his release:
“Like I said, there are conversations that went on. I’m not going to reveal all the conversations that we had. At the end, he wants to be a starter, to start for a football team. He’s going to seek out those options.”

On if he would bring Cooley back if he couldn’t find another team that would start him:
“There are a lot of options. I’m not going to go through all of the options. We’re talking about the present option of what’s going on right now. You know what happens day by day, not a week in advance. We could lose two or three tight ends this weekend. In fairness to him and what he’s done in this organization and what he’s meant, we certainly have to wait until the end to make our final decision. If that is something that he would like to do before the end of the season, even though it could put us in a tough situation if we do lose two or three guys or one or two guys, I think he’s earned that right.”

On if this release is tougher than others:
“Any time you deal with people like Chris or anybody that has accomplished a lot both on and off the football field, it’s always very, very tough to talk about. Things like that eventually do happen to a lot of players. That’s as tough as it gets.”

On what he saw in Cooley this summer:
“I know he can play and hopefully he gets that starting opportunity.”

On if he is willing to keep Cooley as reserve player for less money:
“We really never talked about anything having to do with money. We never talked about reduction or anything like that. I wouldn’t do that to a guy like him. It was more that he wants to start and he wants to play. I hope he gets that opportunity.”

On if he would keep Cooley as a backup:
“There are a lot of scenarios that can still occur. I’m not going to get into specifics because once you go down that road…there’s a lot of scenarios that could happen here in the next week. Chris wants to start. He wants to play. He’s done a lot to prove that he can play. He came back in excellent shape.”

On if Niles Paul was overtaking Cooley at the tight end position:
“Let’s talk about Chris. I’m not talking about Niles. There are a lot of possibilities. I can talk about what’s going to happen or what would happen. The main thing is Chris wants to be a starter in the National Football League. When you want to be a starter and you see Fred [Davis] as a starter, what is going to be your role if you are second team or third team or somebody rolls their ankle? I don’t know what’s going to happen here this weekend. It’s very, very tough to go through a process like this and we’re wishing Chris the best - that he does get that opportunity to start. I think he will have the chance to get that opportunity.”
On how much Cooley’s knee injury played into the decision:
“I think he’s in a position right now that you practice well and I thought he played well and I think he has an opportunity to start in the National Football League. He’s healthy and we’ll just see how it plays out.”

On how the locker room will change without Cooley:
“Any time you lose a leader, it’s tough. No question about it. Guys have to step up and play. What I thought was right was to give Chris an opportunity to do what he wants to do. I think he’s earned that right.”

On if Cooley’s release was a risky move:
“It’s a risky move. We could lose two tight ends this week. It’s always risky when you don’t have to make a move and you make it anyhow. It’s always risky going into the last preseason game. We did what we thought was right for him and the organization and we wish him well.”

On changing kickers:
“You’ve got to make some tough decisions and we had competition right until the end. We had the opportunity to get Billy [Cundiff]. By our research over the years, we just thought that was the best move for us at this time - that he was the best chance to win.”

Tight End Fred Davis

On his reaction to the news of tight end Chris Cooley being released:
“It makes you understand what the NFL is. Chris played a hard eight-or-nine years in the league. He dedicated his whole life to the Redskins for those eight or nine years. It’s just one of those things that happens. Any time you are out there you should appreciate the game and play it as hard as you can because you never know when you will get another opportunity to play the game.”

On what Cooley has meant to his maturation as a tight end:
“Just watching him as a player and in the film room and how he studies will be missed. When I got an opportunity to play a couple years ago and last year, he was always in my ear telling me little things that I can do better. He helped me adjust my game a lot so I definitely appreciated having him here and learning from him.”

On Cooley coming back from his knee and hand injuries:
“I felt like he came back hard. I felt like he came off the hand injury and knee injury. He came over the hump and he was out here practicing every day and didn’t miss any days. He was running good routes and catching the ball well, so I think he did a real good job.”

On if he thinks Cooley can start somewhere else:
“I know for sure Chris could start somewhere. I definitely feel out of 32 teams, there is definitely a team he can start on.”

On when he received the news of Cooley’s release:
“I just found out right now. It is definitely stunning, but you see a lot of stuff like that in the league. Every player is going to come to that crossroad with a team one day.”

On Cooley watching practice yesterday:
“I just thought he was a little banged up from the game. I didn’t have any idea about that. But now that you say it, it does make me wonder now. But I didn’t know anything about that.”
 

Bulldog

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So he will come back and retire after 2 years with the Raiders.
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Bulldog

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The Raiders need more 30 year olds to surround Carson Palmer on offense :)
 

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