Recently New York Jets safety Emanuel Cook took the time to answer a few questions. For those of you that are not familiar with Cook, Emanuel joined the Jets late in the season last year and took part in Gang Green’s postseason run. As the Jets prepare for 2011, Cook will be given the opportunity to take on an increased role in Rex Ryan’s defense.
TR: Emanuel thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. In the beginning of December you were signed to the Jets active roster. What was it like joining Gang Green as they prepared to make a run at the playoffs?
EC: It was very exciting. Having been with the Jets throughout the 2009 and 2010 training camps/pre-seasons and knowing the strong winning spirit of the team, I knew exactly what I was going back to and there was no place else I’d rather be.
TR: New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is said to be the type of coach that all of the players want to play for. What are your thoughts on Rex?
EC: Rex is a phenomenal coach, motivator and leader. He has a way of bringing the team together and focusing on the goal at hand that I’ve never seen. He makes his team be like a family. There’s so much heart in what we do and that comes from what he instills. Aside from that he’s also a tremendous coach in terms of decision making on the field. It’s truly an honor to play under him. I know he’ll be one of the legends.
TR: As a young defensive back what have you been able to learn from Darrelle Revis, a guy that many consider to be one of the best defensive players in the NFL?
EC: You can’t help but learn from being around a player like Revis. Sometimes he’ll do things and we just look at each other like “how did he do that?”. The thing about Darrelle is that he’s so good he can make it look easy, but it’s really that he’s just that great. As a young DB I try to study his moves, pay attention to his skill sets, and basically be a sponge for whatever I can get from being blessed to have daily exposure to a player of his caliber.
TR: Even though the Jets had a very successful 2010 season, many in Jets nation cannot get over the team’s performance in the first half of the AFC Championship game. What are your thoughts on the team’s performance in the first half? Do you think there could have been somewhat of a letdown following the emotional victory over the Patriots?
EC: It was obviously a let down for us and we know it was for the fans as well. We went there to win. We went there to give it our all. Sometimes in football things happen that are hard to explain. Our team, and the level of skill of our team came together in the second half, but unfortunately it was too late and time ran out. We learned from it and we are even more hungry than we were before.
TR: The NFL players are currently being locked out by the owners. What are your thoughts on the lockout? Do you expect any backlash from the fans?
EC: I want to play football. The players want to play football. It’s a very hard situation and one that none of us want to be in. All I can say right now is that I hope that it can all be resolved shortly so that we can get back to work and bring the JETS fans what they deserve…. a ring!
TR: Do the players have any types of plans in place to continue working out and training even though they are locked out from the team’s facilities?
EC: I’ve been working out and training the same way I would, the difference is that it’s on my own. I’ve talked to quite a few guys that are doing the same. Football is our life and that doesn’t change regardless of the circumstances. We want to make sure that when it’s time to go, we’re ready. When the whistles blows I’ll be back on the field in fighting shape and ready to go.
TR: Assuming that there is a season in 2011, what are some of things that you are going to work on as you prepare to take on an increased role in the Jets defense?
EC: I’m fortunate that although I was just signed to the active roster in December of 10′, I spent two training camp/pre-seasons with the team under Rex, so I’ve had quite a bit of exposure to the playbooks and the style of defense we run. As I prepare to take on an increased role, which is something I’m really looking forward to, I’m trying to study my opponents better – both individually and as a team. I’ve spent a lot of this off-season watching film, learning other teams’ styles, watching movements of individual players. I’m really trying to increase my knowledge of what we’ll be up against so that I can then make sure my training and skills have me best physically and mentally prepared to defend against it.
TR: Emanuel, thank you again for taking the time to answer a few questions. Is there anything that you would like to say to all of the Jets fans out there?
EC: I would like to thank all the Jets fans for your support of me and of the team. The fans are everything. Without them there would be no game. We’re ready to bring you what you deserve – a championship. I’ve played in a lot of places, but can really say there are no fans like JETS fans!
To hear more from Emanuel, check out his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/officialemanuelcook. Also, Emanuel is doing something very special for his fans. EC has had a player post card made and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to have one autographed and mailed out to you. You cannot get any more fan friendly than that!