The Vikings season is not over yet, but it is certainly dead, and before we get too far ahead of ourselves by looking towards the offseason for quick fixes, I wanted to look closer into the causes of death. In this series we will look at the long list of reasons this season has been such an epic failure. Up first, my good buddy, cornerback Chris Cook.
Today, I had a bit of an online scuffle with Cook, after he let the world know that he was “still in bed” on his day off I noticed that many of his teammates were volunteering at a Children’s Hospital at that very moment. Then, chippy bastard that I am, I suggested that maybe Cook’s tweet about taking a day off was actually meant to be posted on Sunday. He then decided he had seen enough of me and told me to “get a life” and promptly blocked our VT account from communicating with his.
He then went on a little rant stating “I swear some people live to try and make other people look bad” and “I guess I’m not allowed to have a day off!” I assume the people that he is referring to are all NFL wide outs.
He then went on to say “laptop thugs are the worst.” I would actually argue that, you know, real thugs are worse. Whatever, though, different chokes for different folks. He then suggested that he would like to be rude, presumably back to me, but that the “little birdie called media” prevents him from doing so.
Now perhaps I didn’t utilize much tact in my tweets, and didn’t show much respect, but the fact is Chris Cook is my least favorite Vikings player we’ve had in a long time and his social media habits in contrast to, say, Greg Jennings is one of the reasons for it. I can’t think of a single moment, in almost four full seasons, that I have been proud to see Cook wearing a horn on his helmet.
Injuries, an arrest involving a firearm, and an arrest for felony domestic assault by strangulation have caused him to be one of team’s least reliable players over the last four years. He only played in six games his rookie season, six in 2011, 10 in 2012, and eight so far this year. When he does manage to stay on the field, however, the results have not been very impressive.
Through 30 games played (26 starts) Pro Football Reference credits Cook with a career stat line of 84 tackles, one sack, and 13 defended passes. That means he has zero interceptions, zero forced fumbles, zero recoveries, and virtually no big plays to his name whatsoever. Turnovers aren’t the only measure of a defender in the NFL, but a lack of them has been a big reason the Vikings secondary continues to look miserable.
Cook is far from the worst talent the Vikings have at the position, but he has failed to live up to the hype that caused the Vikings to draft him in the second round in 2010, and he doesn’t seem to have progressed at all since last year. You wouldn’t expect a player of his size to play so soft so consistently, but he does, and the result is a player as unintimidating in coverage as he is in run defense.
Rick Spielman and Brad Childress made Cook their top choice in 2010, but Childress is long gone and Cook is now in the final year of his rookie deal. Cook was acquitted of both his felony charges, after the Vikings essentially paid him to stay home, and Judd Zulgad has reported a few times that his presence on the roster didn’t sit well within the locker room at that time.
Cook is going to be a unrestricted free agent following this season. The Vikings could likely keep him around for another year on the cheap, but it remains to be seen if they have any interest in doing so. Nearly every week he has been a giant question mark since joining the team and never once has he appeared to be any sort of answer.
One thing is for sure, though, and that is that the Vikings surely won’t be content relying on Cook going into 2014 and will be forced to search for more upgrades at the corner position.
Stay tuned for the next version of our Autopsy Report on the 2013 season. I might even update you all on whether or not I finally got a life.