The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The story of Chris Cooley’s comeback, as told by Cooley

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

As soon as it was announced that Fred Davis was done for the year, Chris Cooley became the most talked-about Redskin not named Robert Griffin III. After a physical, Cooley signed a one-year deal, which he says is for the veteran minimum.

The comeback also came with a mini media tour. Here is a pieced-together timeline of the re-signing, in Cooley’s words to ESPN 980, 106.7 The Fan, Comcast SportsNet and NBC Washington.

To The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980: “I wasn’t going to retire this season by any means, and I had other offers to play in other places. I am one of those strange people that, for whatever reason, had a loyalty to a team and it was like the Redskins were kind of like my ex-girlfriend and I just couldn’t get over it.

“Really, Leesburg was my home and I was doing what I wanted to do in life, but I wasn’t ready to be done playing football. I would have accepted it, if they hadn’t called back. If it wouldn’t have worked out, I would have been fine with it.

To the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan: “It wasn’t a guarantee that I wasn’t going to go anywhere. I considered other places. But I wasn’t going to go somewhere else for starting salary where I wasn’t going to play into a role. I wasn’t interested in that. And I’m glad it worked out. Because if I would have went somewhere else and this happened, I would be dying right now.

“I was driving and listening to it on the radio, listening to Larry Michael. And they said he took his gloves off, and I thought ‘Oh my gosh. I’m going to be playing this week.’”

To Comcast SportsNet: “I felt very very bad for Fred. I felt for Fred because he was having a great year, and the timing  of it is awful in his life. As a player you see how that goes. And it’s just very frustrating for him. When I found out he tore his Achilles, it’s a definite IR situation, and I was on my toes all day. I wasn’t fun to be around.”

To NBC Washington: “I sat and waited for the call, and I’m like “I hope they call.” It was like, ninth-grade or eighth-grade basketball — ‘am I gonna make the team’ call. And I’m laying there like, ‘C’mon. Just gimme a call. Tell me I can come back.’ And coach called about 7:30.”

To CSN: “I was excited to get the call. Coach landed, I think, about 7 or 7:30, and the first call I got was from Coach Shanahan. He said ‘Do you want to play football again?’ I said, ‘Yeah. Right now. Let me come play.’”

To NBC Washington: “I went to bed about 3:30. I went to bed, but I just didn’t sleep in bed because I was so excited to come back to work. I talked to Coach for 20 minutes, and he said, ‘We’re gonna count on you. We need you to step up and play.’ I’m not sure what the role will be week one, or week two as I transition into it. I got prove to them that I should be on the field. And I gotta prove it right away, and that’s what I’m gonna do. I have the chance, I think, to make the most of a great opportunity this year, and I’m looking forward to that.”

To the Junkies: “I’ve had so many people text, ‘How’d the physical go?’ Literally, you go into the training room, and the doctor’s like ‘How are you feeling, man? Good? Good. Okay, you passed.’

“I think it might be different if I went to another team, or somewhere where they don’t know me. The doctor that did it is the doctor that did my knee surgery before…I mean, he knows me. So it’s not up in the air. I’m healthy. My knees not swollen; I’m not overweight. I’m sure if I was a fat slob when I walked in there yesterday, someone would be like, ‘Hey, let’s run a little bit.’ But I’m in good shape right now.

“Literally, I have text correspondence trying to negotiate a case of beer into my contract. They wouldn’t do it. I wanted it in writing so much.”

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