In part because of that, he ended up a starter four games into the season for a third different team over three seasons since injuries shortened his time with the Cardinals and never gave him a chance to make a difference in New England after a trade.
That’s played a major role in kind of how my career has gone, Cooper said of a series of injuries, starting with his rookie year getting wiped out by a broken leg in a preseason game after Arizona drafted the former North Carolina standout seventh overall in 2013.
Willi, a project engineer for a company that builds trains, played tight end for his local Winterthur Warriors team, 15 miles from Zurich, before going on to coach the youth side.
The kids are between 16 and 19 and support the fashionable, successful teams like the Patriots, he said. They make fun of me, but when they hear I’m a fan before they were even born, they say, ‘You’re crazy, but you must have it deep in your heart to always suffer with them.’ I can tell them, ‘Actually, we used to be quite good.’
Cooper played 24 games with 11 starts over two seasons before the Cardinals traded him to the Patriots in the offseason last year. A foot injury led to his release a month into the 2016 season.
The difference: The Patriots made the plays they needed to make to win; the Falcons, as seen on that goal-line fail, did not.
For the Patriots (5-2), all appears well after a couple of stumbles to start the season. They’ve won three in a row. But the Falcons (3-3), who have now lost three straight, have some big questions. The league’s highest-scoring offense a year ago, Atlanta has now scored 17 points or less in three straight games. New offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is already under fire for the offense’s lackluster performance.