The Cleveland Browns are back on top of the AFC North for the time being due in no small part to the connection between quarterback Jacoby Brissett and receiver Amari Cooper. Both are in their first season with the team, and after just three weeks in the regular season are already hitting their stride and proving their worth in big moments as they seek to bring the Browns closer to Super Bowl contention.
Brissett talked about the pass-catcher’s impact in Thursday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a press conference after the game and went into detail about what he has seen from him to this point in the season. A glowing review was expected, but what stood out in his comments was the way he seemed to admire Cooper’s presence in the locker room, even in his first season in Cleveland.
“He played really well,” Brissett explained. “Even in the first game – he was just getting PI-ed (defensive pass interference) the whole time. That is just who he is. He is a great player, a great teammate, a guy who is going to give you his all. You see the things that he is doing obviously in the pass game, but in the run game, he is holding his own.
“You don’t see that a lot from a lot of No. 1 receivers. I am sure he is going to want to continue to get better and better. Even on the long pass on that big third down, he was like, ‘Man, I need to find a way to stay up and go score.’ That is just the type of player he is. It is obviously a treat to have him on this team. I am looking forward to just continuing to grow with him.”
Their monumental win over their divisional rival won’t soon be forgotten, and with 14 games left to secure a playoff berth, the tandem of Brissett and Cooper is likely to play a large factor in the team’s success moving forward. The elephant in the room is Cleveland’s suspended franchise quarterback, who threatens to break up the connection that has made such an impact for the Browns in their last two tilts.
For now, though, their partnership will be an integral part of Cleveland’s gameplans, and the team will lean on Brissett and Cooper for more explosive plays and clutch touchdowns until the permanent starter takes over.