Cook’s Intelligence Stands Out To Frazier

Posted May 26, 2010

As a 6-2, 212-pound CB, Vikings 2nd round pick Chris Cook sticks out. With 4.46 speed in the 40-yard dash, the 2nd fastest among CBs at the Scouting Combine in February, Cook sticks out. A hard worker who stays on the field after practice to work on his technique, Cook sticks out.

But none of those traits are what make Cook stick out to Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

“I really like him a lot. The thing that really sticks out to me is how smart of a player he is,” Frazier said on Wednesday. “It’s hard to trick him twice. Once he sees something, the next time he’ll have it.”

At a time when most of the Vikings rookies and young players are on the field during OTAs trying to make plays and impress coaches, Frazier says it’s important not to forget that making it in the NFL is just as much about mental aptitude as it is physical ability.

“In order to be successful in our league –a lot people think it’s all physical ability – but the mental part of it really plays a major role in whether or not a player is going to survive in our league,” Frazier explained. “Chris has the physical tools and now you put the mental part of that with it and you’ve got a chance to be successful in this league.”

After a rookie minicamp last month and then 7 OTAs in the past couple of weeks, Cook continues to get more comfortable as a member of the Vikings defense. In practice on Wednesday, Cook forced a fumble, grabbed an INT and tipped another pass to force an incompletion.

As much as he stood out at times during on-field activities, Cook has also seen his challenges. Ultimately, though, the 2nd round picks knows it’s about improving every day and continuing to gain comfort in the Vikings defense.

“I feel pretty good,” Cook said walking off the practice field after OTA #7. “It’s a process to try and get better every day. I’m just out here working hard, learning how the veterans work. I feel pretty good being out here around the guys and seeing how their mentality is.”

Although he’s going through on-field work for the first time as an NFL player, Cook already sounds like a sage veteran in talking about dealing with success and adversity.

“Just keep your head on straight,” Cook said. “Out here everyone is good. People are going to make plays. The way to deal with it is to keep your composure and not get down on yourself and just play the next play.”