Tight end Chris Cooley remembers the 0-2 start last season. He doesn't want a repeat performance. As the 2007 season nears, he wants the team to get off to a fast start. During training camp, Cooley spoke with Redskins.com and media:
Q: What have you been concentrating most on this training camp?
A: "I am working on getting better and improving on being a great player instead of trying to figure what I am supposed to do as far as technique. The offense as a whole is really improving--we want to be great instead of being just a functioning offense."
Q: What kind of message does having more two-a-day practices send to the team?
A: "We started slow last year, which is something that hurt us because you can't start slow in the NFL. We want to come out and work as hard as we can and get off to a quick start so that we can start feeling confident and winning games. The preseason is going to be huge for us, and we're preparing to the best we can be right now. We want to be able to give it our best shot."
Q: Are you able to focus on football despite the ongoing contract negotiations?
A: "Right now, I'm definitely just focused on football. I'm out here trying to get better. I feel like there are a lot of things that I can do [in this offense]. I've made the move to tight end in our offense, so there are a lot of things that I feel like I'm getting better at, and I'm excited about doing that right now."
Q: How has Jason Campbell's attitude changed as he enters this season as the starter?
A: "Jason has worked unbelievably hard in the offseason and I think everyone knows that by now. But I think that he has a new confidence about him--as if he knows that it is his offense. He's making throws where he's dropping back and trusting his arm, doing things that he's naturally able to do instead of thinking about it. That's a huge step for him towards getting better and improving our offense."
Q: Does Jason Campbell have a different swagger about himself this year?
A: "I wouldn't say Jason's a swagger guy, but I can definitely tell you that he is confident. I think that he's excited to be the starter and he knows what he's doing."
Q: Do you think that Jason Campbell throws a catch-able ball?
A: "He throws a very catch-able ball. It's easy to see out of his hands, he's accurate, and he's a tall guy so you can find him in the pocket, which is very helpful for the receivers."
Q: How do you feel about competing with Fred Smoot with having your last names cheered by fans?
A: "It should be fun. There should be a great atmosphere inside the stadium and throughout the season. When fans really love our team and players, it makes it a lot of fun to play football."
Q: What is the team's mentality heading into the upcoming season?
A: "For us, it is a huge deal that we come out and prove to ourselves what we know we can do, so that we have confidence going into the season."
Q: What is the overall feeling of the team coming off a disappointing 5-11 season?
A: "I think everyone here is finally excited to get back and have the opportunity to start a new season by coming back and working hard. It was a huge disappointment for us as a team to go 5-11. It was a big let down for us because we felt like a much better team. It's great for us to get back, feel the excitement of the fans, and get started again."