Entering his ninth season in Washington, veteran playmaker Chris Cooley is willing to help the Redskins offense and rookie quarterback in more ways than one.
Cooley has taken reps during training camp at both the tight end and fullback positions, increasing his versatility in the Shanahan offense.
Cooley played some at the position last season before injuring his knee, and gained valuable experience at a position that he says is interchangeable.
"Fullback is just another part of our offense," Cooley explained. "We have a moved position – the Joe Gibbs H-back type of deal. They're interchangeable."
"I know the offense well and I feel like I'm very capable of playing any of those positions. I'm excited for the opportunity to play a little fullback."
While blocking as a fullback out of the backfield requires different technique and responsibility from blocking at the line of scrimmage, Cooley knows from experience that he can do either.
"As far as getting blocks done, I've never had a problem getting blocks done out of the backfield," he said.
Cooley isn't the bruising lead-blocker the Redskins are accustomed to seeing, but he welcomes the opportunity to take a crack at the position—as well as some linebackers.
"Would you ever look at me as a punishing Mike Sellers, Darrel Young type of blocker?" Cooley asked. "No, but I'm going to get the block in the hole, and my hat on a linebacker, and the running back will always have a chance to make the cut."
When coaches released the first official depth chart of the 2012 season, Cooley was listed as the No. 2 tight end and No. 2 fullback behind starter Darrel Young.
With Young unlikely to play (hamstring) in Thursday's preseason game against the Bills, Cooley could see extended time as the starting fullback.
Along with his new role at fullback, Cooley hopes to continue last year's success in the twin tight end set with Fred Davis. For the first time in nearly two years, Cooley finally feels healthy.
"I feel like I'm getting back to the player that I know I can be," he said. "I think our staff knows what I can do, I think I know what I'm capable of and that's what everyone expects of me."
"I think I know what I'm capable of and that's what everyone expects of me and I have to continue to provide that on a daily basis and show everyone what I'm capable of."