Last week prior to the Kansas City Chiefs tilt against the New York Giants, KC Kingdom spotlighted corner back Sean Smith. We don’t usually want to highlight the same position in back-to-back games, but rookie corner back Marcus Cooper has thrust himself into the bright spotlight this week against the Tennessee Titans.
With starting corner back Brandon Flowers missing last game with a bum knee, and his not having practiced this week, it has placed Marcus Cooper onto the front stage. Cooper actually started last week in place of Flowers and may have to this week as well.
Cooper, who started his college career as a wide receiver at Rutgers,was drafted the April in the 7th round by the San Francisco 49ers. They cut him in the final roster moves after the preseason, and the Chiefs snapped him up.
He played sparingly, and even made a boneheaded play on a fantastic punt by Dustin Colquitt in week two against the Dallas Cowboys by running out of bounds on coverage, then being the first player to touch the live ball within the five yard line.
Last week against the Giants ruthless aerial attack, Cooper held his own. He smothered the New York receivers. The one big play the Giants did get, a 74-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz, was against Dunta Robinson, not Cooper.
If a corner back is doing his job, you will seldom hear his name mentioned by the announcers. It is because he is not getting torched down field or making silly penalties.
Cooper played solid defense last Sunday, according to Head Coach Andy Reid after Sunday’s game. From this week’s press release on kcchiefs.com, Reid had these comments about Cooper:
“I know there are some guys that have stepped up here and (Marcus) Cooper is one of them. He’s big, he’s fast, and he’s got good cover and good hips. It looks like he’s very instinctive with things. He’s young at the position; he’s young in the league and he played wide receiver at Rutgers, before. It’s just a matter of reps. Sure, he’s competitive. I appreciate seeing that. I thought that was a pretty good (Giants) receiving corps, right there, and he didn’t bow down at all. He came out and challenged and played good competitive football.”
Cooper won’t be facing as potent a passing game this Sunday at Tennessee as the Giants offered. Starting Titan quarterback Jake Locker is out with a hip injury, so former Buffalo Bill starter Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the call. While Fitzpatrick isn’t a very good quarterback with a career QB Rating of 77, he is 4-1 with a 86.7 QB Rating against the Chiefs.
Still, the Titans are the 29th ranked passing team in the NFL. If Cooper can maintain his coverage he displayed in the Giants contest, he should come away with another very solid game. Keep number 31 in your spotlight and watch how Cooper performs this Sunday. Maybe the Chiefs found a gem!