Bill Belichick on Brandin Cooks: ‘I’m glad we don’t have to play him twice a year’

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick is seriously impressed with Brandin Cooks.

The New England Patriots squeaked out a victory against the New Orleans Saints 26-24 on Saturday, and second-year wide receiver Cooks robbed the Patriots defense for 117 yards on four catches including a touchdown.

Cooks played so superbly that that he actually received a handshake and a few words of praise from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick who shared this regarding the young receiver:

“I’m glad we don’t have to play him twice a year and he’s not in our division,” Belichick said (via The Times Picayune) after the Patriots’ 26-24 win. “He’s a really good player.”

Cooks gave the credit for his excellent performance to quarterback Drew Brees, who lit it up with eight or 10 completed passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns:

“Obviously, Drew puts the ball where it needs to be,” Cooks said. “All I have to do is catch the ball. He did all the hard work.”

If Cooks’ performance in Saturday’s game is a forecast for what we will see weekly once the regular season starts, then the Saints are in fine shape offensively. Last season Cooks showed off some flashy performances until he broke his thumb in Week 11.

He has big plans for the 2015 season.

“That injury has made me more hungry,” Cooks said. “I worked my tail off (during the offseason) to able to shock the world. That’s the ultimate plan.”

We should expect much more action from Brees to Cooks now that the Saints are without their No. receiving target from last season, tight end Jimmy Graham. In 2014, Graham was targeted 125 times by Brees, catching 85 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Cooks will play an integral role on the Saints offense this season and looks like a fantastic draft option for those fantasy football enthusiasts out there.