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New Raiders Coach Gruden Compares WR Amari Cooper to a Young Tim Brown

Jon Gruden has high hopes for Amari Cooper. The new Raiders head coach previously lavished praise on the young receiver, saying he’ll be the central offensive skill player in a new passing attack, Scott Bair of NBC Bayarea reports.

Gruden’s kind words continued Tuesday morning at the NFL owners meetings, when he compared Cooper to a Hall-of-Fame receiver Raiders fans know well.

“I said it when he came out of Alabama, that he reminded me of a young Tim Brown,” Gruden said. “He has that type of game speed. He’s elusive, and has a wide range of routes he can run. He’s flexible. It’ll benefit him to stay healthy and stay in the same system for a few years. If he does that, great things are ahead.”

Cooper’s stats took a downturn in 2017, following 1,000-plus yards in his first two NFL seasons. He had just 48 catches for 680 yards while dealing with injuries down the stretch. That has been a common theme during Coopers three years in the league, something he hopes to reverse in 2018.

“He has to get healthy and stay healthy,” Gruden said. “We need him to be the player he was the first two years. I’ve said it earlier. We’re going to make him the main vein of our passing offense and move him around a lot.

“…We are really excited about him. I think he’s entering the prime of his career.”

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