Recently New York Jets safety Emanuel Cook took the time to answer a few questions. Cook is one of several young players on the Jets roster that will be looking to take on a larger role on defense, as well as special teams.
TR: As the NFL lockout continues to drag on, it appears that the frustration levels continue to rise for all of the parties involved. What has this experience been like for you over the last couple of months? Anything that has surprised you?
EC: It’s difficult, but I remain optimistic that a resolution can be reached. I want to play football and the players want to play football. I spend my time working out and studying so that I’m ready to go when we get back to work. I didn’t really know what to expect from this situation as it’s the first time our generation of players has been through it. I hope that it can be resolved soon so we can get back to work and focus on the task at hand…to win the Superbowl!
TR: As a NFL player that has been locked out from all of the team’s facilities, what have you been able to accomplish in terms of conditioning and preparing for the upcoming season?
EC: I train and workout almost every day on my own. I have a special trainer that I work with. Kenrick Ellis and I went to college together and we’re both from West Palm Beach, so we get together to work out quite a bit as well. I’m in the gym, I swim, I do beach workouts and field drills. As far as mental preparation, I’m also studying my plays. Not having a designated schedule definitely requires more discipline, but I’m happy with what I’ve been doing and I’m feeling in shape and ready to go.
TR: Over the past couple of weeks several players, including New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, have started organizing their own camps and workouts. What are your thoughts on these types of organized workouts? Have any of your teammates contacted you in regards to upcoming training sessions?
EC: I think anything the team can do to build in terms skill and comradery is a positive thing. I know some things are in the works, but I haven’t heard anything definite yet.
TR: From a player’s perspective, how much do you think the lockout is going to hurt this year’s rookie class?
EC: It’s tough, but they’ll get through it. Everybody has to just keep a positive head and stay focused. I think it will be particularly hard for the UDFA’s who need the chance to show what they can do. It would have been very difficult for me if this had happened a few years ago. Hopefully we’ll be back in camp at the end of July and it won’t come to that.
TR: Off the field you have been very involved in supporting several charities including the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Are there any experiences or upcoming events that you would like to share?
EC: I lost a best friend and high school football teammate, DeAndre Butler, to Leukemia in December of 2008. I’ve made it my mission to use whatever visibility I have to help in the fight against blood cancers in his memory. July 1-2 in West Palm Beach I am having a Celebrity Charity Weekend. We’ll have a meet and greet at Duffy’s Sports Bar on July 1st from 5-7pm as well as a Bowl-a-thon at Verdes Lanes on July 2nd from 3-6pm. It will be hosted by myself and I’ve got a handful of other NFL players coming to support, including Kenrick Ellis.
I’ve also created red silicone bracelets imprinted with “Remember DeAndre Butler” that I’m selling for $5 with all proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Their New York City Chapter recently asked me to run for their “Man of the Year” in 2012 and I accepted, so I’m looking forward to that campaign as well.
Anybody who is interested in coming to the charity Weekend or wants a bracelet can email RememberDeAndreButler@gmail.com or checkout facebook.com/rememberdeandrebutler. They can also always email me at email@example.com. I read every message that comes in. Aside from my work for the LLS, I do regular visits to The Children’s Home Society of Florida (www.chsfl.org). I play sports with the kids outside and sponsor a pizza party. It’s important to me to give back to the children, especially those in what could be difficult situations.
TR: You have actively embraced social networking as you often interact with your fans on Twitter (@emanuelcook27) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/officialemanuelcook). What went behind your decision to embrace social networking and what has it been like interacting with all of the fans?
EC: I’ve had my Facebook Page for about a year and a half, but it seems to be getting more attention now. I saw a lot of other players were on twitter, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I have to say that interacting with the fans and seeing how much they really do support me and the team has been really cool. There are a handful of people that engage religiously. I’m still trying to get used to twitter, but I think I’m doing ok. I also started a youtube page (www.youtube.com/officialemanuelcook) and I’m working on some videos for that. To me, I feel like the fans make the game. They support us. They are the reason why I’m able to do what I do and play the game that I love. The least I can do to thank them is interact. That’s why I decided to do the personalized autographed cards to anyone who asked for one at no cost to them (can be received by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org). I didn’t know how it would go over, but I’ve sent over 500 out and more requests come every day. I also know this is a stressful time for the fans and if I can do anything to make that better, I try to do that.
TR: Emanuel, once again thank you for your time. I strongly encourage everyone to check out Emanuel’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/officialemanuelcook) as well as follow him on Twitter (emanuelcook27). Emanuel routinely interacts with the fans and shares his insight on everything from the NFL, to gaming, to the NBA.
In April Emanuel Cook shared his thoughts on Rex Ryan, as well as what it is like to play alongside Darrelle Revis. For the full interview see: April interview with Emanuel Cook.