Newly re-signed Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley said Monday he is excited to be back with the only team he has ever played for, and that he believes he can play a big role in the offense.
“I’m excited. I was disappointed for Fred [Davis] and the way that that happened, the type of year he was having and the player that he is. I think it’s not opportune for him. But I’m excited to be a part of this team,” Cooley said Monday afternoon. “It’s been unreal watching them come together as an offense and not be there. But it’s a good opportunity for me to come in, and I think it’ll be a lot of fun for me.”
Cooley was re-signed by the Redskins Monday after Davis, the team’s starting tight end, ruptured his left Achilles tendon and was lost for the season.
Since he was released by the Redskins the week before the start of the NFL’s regular season, Cooley has done some work for NBC-4, and considered playing for other teams, but never felt strongly enough about those offers to sign elsewhere. The only team Cooley really strongly wanted to play for was the Redskins, he said.
Cooley said he would have been at peace if he hadn’t played another snap of football.
“I was definitely OK with not playing football this year. I thought a lot about playing other places, but I didn’t really like the idea of moving, and making that change at this point of my life,” Cooley said. “I feel very fortunate that I didn’t go play somewhere else, because this is the opportunity that I wanted, and I’d be kicking myself right now if I was in another city right now and this came up.”
Cooley doesn’t yet know what his role will be, but said he expects to be able to step in and contribute significantly because he knows the offense and feels good physically.
“I’ve maintained the strength that I’ve had throughout my career. It’s only been six weeks since I was in training camp. I wasn’t at home doing squats and power-cleans and listening to Rocky music, but at the same time, I’m in good shape, and I’ll step right back in and play.”
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he called Cooley as soon as the Redskins arrived back from New Jersey and asked his former tight end what kind of shape he was in.
“He said ‘pretty good.’ I trust Chris,” Shanahan said before adding that he expects Cooley to step in and play Sunday.
Shanahan said Davis will have surgery in North Carolina to repair his Achilles’ tendon and will spend five to six months to recovering.