Chris Cooley was pleased by his performance filling in for fullback Darrel Young in Washington’s preseason-opening victory last Thursday.
“I didn’t play very many plays, and I think it went well,” Cooley said. “I don’t think I’m the kind of player like DY where you’re going to see someone knock someone down in the hole, but I think I’m an efficient player at fullback. And I think the capability that I have to play many different positions in our offense is a huge asset for me, especially at this point in my career.”
He hopes to play more snaps against Chicago on Saturday, either at tight end or fullback.
“I just want to be productive,” he said. “I want things to go well as far as my responsibilities and what is expected out of me in this offense. I’m not too concerned with where I line up, but I would like to play 20-25 plays and feel good about it.”
The differences regarding recognition at fullback compared to tight end were negligible, Cooley said.
“I think one thing that makes playing fullback easy for me in this offense is it relates pretty directly to what we do as our second tight end,” he said. “I could call the plays as what we call our ‘Tiger’ – two tight ends – and put myself in the same position to run the same plays as the ‘Tiger,’ but what we’re doing right now is showing our base offense, and we want to be able to run our base offense. Again, I’m really comfortable with the responsibilities, and they do correlate pretty closely to the ‘Tiger’ position. It isn’t hard for me to find a linebacker or find someone in the hole from the backfield.”
Cooley did go out on a pass route Thursday, but the ball wasn’t thrown to him. Still, he sees how Young is used as a receiver and believes he could similarly contribute.
“I think the pass catching responsibility for our fullback is a lot of times after he hits a linebacker in a pass or checking down into the flat,” Cooley said. “I think DY has done a great job with catching balls because he has good hands and he has been able to be a trustworthy receiver as he gets out in the flat. He also has done an exceptional job running with the ball for this team.
“For myself transitioning into fullback, that’s what I want to be able to do. I want to be able to catch that checkdown in the flat but not have a 3- or 4-yard gain; turn it into a bigger play. I’m capable of that, and I’ve done that a lot in my career.”