Well before he was traded to the Patriots last week, Brandin Cooks had an idea of how the organization went about its business.
In each of the last two offseasons, the Patriots and Saints held joint training camp practices before playing in preseason games against each other. Each time, Cooks starred. But as he was running by defensive backs, he got a sense for what it might be like to play for the other side.
Now he'll have that chance.
"It’s a first-class place," he told Patriots.com. "It's the type of place that you would love to be a part of. When we practiced against them, it was always competitive. These type of teams you want to go against to better yourself. To be on a team like this now, it's amazing."
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Cooks gives the Patriots one of the most dynamic pass-catching threats in the NFL and should provide a boost to an offense that ranked third in the league in points scored (27.6) in 2016. He is one of three players to record 75 catches, 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. The other two? Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.
It remains to be seen if he'll be able to continue that run with Tom Brady and the Patriots, but he's excited about joining his new club regardless.
"The opportunity to play for an organization like this is a dream come true and it's a blessing," he said. "I couldn’t be more thankful. To be able to play with someone like [Brady], a Hall-of-Famer, a guy that’s so competitive, that’s what you look forward to. I'm just thankful for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started."