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Chris Cooley Could Be A Key In The Redskins Pistol Offense

4:19 PM, Oct 22, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- It's been done before, you know. Returning to the Redskins.

Joe Gibbs is one. John Riggins is another. Mike Sellers is an example of a recent case.

Some of the bigger names have never been able to put the past behind them. The love these few choice men have for the Burgundy and Gold, for the fight song Hail to the Redskins, for the ravenous fan base -- it never went away. It became an itch that had to be scratched.

"I'd be kicking myself if I was in another city right now and this came up," Cooley told reporters via a phone conference. Part deux for this latest revered Redskin comeback could begin as soon as Sunday, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Reports have indicated the 30-year-old turned down a few offers from other team's around the league.

The argument can be made that the Redskins offense is light years ahead of where they were the last time Cooley stepped on the field in the regular season, October 16th, 2011. Cooley's last touchdown? December 19, 2010, in Dallas.

For the first time in forever, the roles have reversed for the Washington Redskins. The franchise, because of Robert Griffin's talent alone, is becoming a highly respected opponent. The offense is dominating at a level which prompted Osi Umenyiora to say "No one is going to stop them completely. It's just going to be impossible." While the defense on the other hand...well, yeah.

Heading into Sunday's game against the Giants, tight end Fred Davis was Griffin III's top target, tallying 24 catches for 325 yards. Because of the way the pistol option offense has fooled opposing linebackers, the middle of the field has been the Redskins bread and butter.

Davis registered 13 of his catches in the middle of the field -- hint, hint, a spot where Chris Cooley has excelled during his career.

Using ESPN's split stats for Cooley's last healthy season (2010), 50 of his 77 catches were away from the sidelines. So were 504 of his 849 yards. When he isn't pinned up against the sideline, something this version of the Redskins offense rarely uses, Cooley can shine. 

Plus, Griffin's rocket of an arm and command of this offense is something Cooley has never played with. Not with Patrick Ramsey. Not with Jason Campbell. And certainty not with Rex Grossman.

Cooley obviously doesn't have the athleticism of Davis, nor the chemistry with Griffin yet. Will he fully replace Davis' ability? Probably not. Will he be a better blocker than Niles Paul? Without question.

Cooley knows he still has good football skills within him, and additionally knows his reputation is at stake. And with RGIII slinging the rock, Cooley has potential to be a key component in this offense.

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