The Washington Post

Chris Cooley tempers his enthusiasm

Veteran tight end Chris Cooley said as training camp got under way Thursday for the Washington Redskins that he’s excited about the arrival of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III and the other changes made by the team.

Cooley praised Griffin at length.

He said he regards any season that doesn’t end with a Super Bowl appearance as a disappointment.

But Cooley also has seen enough Redskins’ seasons begin with high hopes, on the heels of big offseason moves, and then end in disappointing fashion to know the enthusiasm that accompanies the opening of training camp must be properly tempered.

“There’s a lot of confidence now,” Cooley said. “There’s always a lot of confidence in August. We always think we’re going to the Super Bowl. We’re the best football team in the NFL in August every year, in my opinion. So I think we’ve got to look past that and say we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ll come and do it every day. We don’t have anything to talk about right now. We haven’t won a lot of football games in a long time. So let’s see what we can do to fix it.”

The Redskins have totaled 11 wins in Coach Mike Shanahan’s two seasons. They beat the New York Giants twice last season with the Giants en route to a Super Bowl triumph, but Cooley said there are no lasting bragging rights from that.

“No, you cannot talk about beating the Super Bowl champs twice last year,” he said. “They’re a different team this year. We’re a different team this year It’s a new season. That was fun rivalry point through the offseason last year, that we did beat them twice. But it means nothing right now.”

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.


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