In Week 3, the speedster had five receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with less than 30 seconds left. This time, it was the Raiders in Week 11 who got torched.
Cooks burned the Oakland secondary with a 52-yard catch in the first half, then completely embarrassed them by connecting with Tom Brady on a 64-yard touchdown.
Take a look at how he did it:
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 19, 2017
When the Patriots acquired Cooks back in April 2017, they had no idea 2016’s leading wide receiver Julian Edelman would be out for the year with an injury. Having Cooks in the lineup has kept the offense rolling without Edelman, and has allowed Brady to really air things out.
Cooks has taken advantage of the opportunity.
The Oregon State alum is on pace to set career highs in receiving yards, yards per catch average, and receiving yards per game this season. How does he stay so fast? When he’s training with drills on the field or in the gym, Cooks focuses in on building muscle in the areas that help him stay fast.
“I do some type of speed training during every workout, even if it’s something small,” Cooks tells Men’s Fitness. “To keep my legs strong, I use the leg press and sled workouts, and over the summer before camp, I’ll do a lot of beach workouts and agility drills on the sand. When I train, I’m not looking to be the biggest guy on the field, but I know how to work to make sure my body is as strong as it needs to be.”
Cooks is now a Reebok ambassador alongside big-name stars like J.J Watt, Aly Raisman and Gigi Hadid. The Patriots wideout has been using Reebok Flexweave gear in his training and is part of the Reebok x Huntsman Partnership, which has come together to create “a one-of-a-kind men’s suit using Reebok’s latest innovative footwear material.”
“After wearing the Flexweave shoe and experiencing how comfortable it was, I’m excited to get into the Flexweave suit, which I’m expecting to feel the same,” Cooks said. “I’m hoping to wear the Flexweave suit when I’m either traveling to an away game or showing up to a home game.”
Cooks hopes to keep burning cornerbacks the rest of the 2017 season—while showing his versatility and speed in the process.
Cooks spoke with Men’s Fitness about his training routine, playing for the Pats, and what it feels like to connect for a “big-play” touchdown.
MEN’S FITNESS: What was the transition like going from the Saints to the Patriots? What have you enjoyed most about this season so far?
Brandin Cooks: I would have to say just getting into an organization like this is amazing. But the city [Boston] alone has been awesome, and the people around the city have welcomed me with open arms so it’s been an easy transition.
What’s your daily training routine like during the off-season?
Waking up in the morning, eating, then going straight to a workout, whether it be some type of run or agility workout. After that, I’ll take a break, and then do it again in the afternoon. Sometimes I’ll do some boxing, I like to box throughout the off-season as part of my training. It helps with keeping me quick on my feet.
What are your favorite exercises and workouts to use in your training?
When I’m working my upper body, I like hitting it with cable workouts, row moves, resistance-band pushups, and I’ll also do sled pulls and pushes. I use med ball workouts for my core, and to stay flexible, I’ll use Pilates and yoga, and some resistance-band workouts. When I’m doing weights, I’ll work out on the bench press, and dumbbell workouts. I also do a lot of pullups and drills to keep my hands strong.
What advice do you have for guys looking to build speed like you when they work out in the gym?
Be consistent, work hard, do some type of speed training every single day. Doesn’t have to be a lot but as long as you do it every day and be consistent with it you should see gains.
What’s your favorite part about making a big play—like a 70-yard touchdown catch-and-run—what do you enjoy most about those moments?
I would have to say the blood rushing through my veins, knowing that I’m helping my team win. There’s nothing quite like pulling a good fake-out on a corner.
Do you ever watch anything or listen to music to get hyped up before games?
Yes, Michael Jackson gets me into the mood every time.
What are some of your favorite off-field activities to do?
I love to travel, I love to hike. Being from the Pacific Northwest, there are a lot of beautiful hikes through waterfalls. I would say I tend to hike a lot during my home time—that’s my hobby.
What are your expectations for yourself and the Patriots for the rest of this season?
Continue to play ball, come together as a team and pay attention to details and take it week by week. I feel like if we can continue to do that we can do something special.