Washington Redskins’ Chris Cooley: “I Think Philly’s the Team to Beat”

September 6, 2011 – 6:00 am by Eric Schmoldt

Everyone seems to be buying in to the Philadelphia Eagles’ offseason moves and star-studded roster. Perhaps a bit of their luster has worn off after a lackluster preseason, but the hype is still there, including coming from other players inside Philadelphia’s division. Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley even came out and said that the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East.

I always admire Cooley’s honesty. He knows what the Eagles went out and did, so why shouldn’t they be the favorite at this point?

Chris Cooley joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. with The Sports Junkies to discuss his knee injury, why the Eagles are the team to beat in the division, if he thinks the division is nevertheless anybody’s to win, if he thinks Eli Manning has what it takes to be an elite quarterback, and what the lowest point of his injury rehab was and how he’d compare that to his health now.

How’s your knee?:

“It’s getting better, getting better every day. I’ve been so happy about the treatment and about how much it’s gotten better every day.”

Will you start against the Giants Sept. 11?:

“Obviously that’s what I hope to do.”

What do you think about Philadelphia being made the overwhelming favorite in the NFC East?:

“I think Philly’s the team to beat, looking at what they’ve done right now. But when you look at the NFL and you look at the East, everyone can be very good. I wouldn’t be surprised, any way, to see New York and Dallas both being excellent football teams. It’s a tough division and it always will be, but when you look at what Philly did and when you look at the players they have and coming off the year they had last year, I think they’re a very good football team. Obviously we’re not the team to beat based on the way we played last year and what we’ve done over the past couple years.”

Can any team in the East win the division?:

“Yeah I have no question. Any team could win the division now. You could say any team would win it and I wouldn’t be surprised.”

A lot of people say that Eli Manning has peaked and can’t make the top five of elite-level quarterbacks. Your thoughts?:

“Regardless of if he’s going to be in the top five of elite status, I think he’s still in the top 10 or 12. I think he’s still a very good quarterback. I drafted him in my fantasy league last year. … He threw a lot of picks but he scored a lot of points for me.”

When were you at your lowest point with this injury and where are you now?:

“My lowest I think was after the beginning of the second week of camp. I had taken a couple days off, I thought I felt OK and went back out to practice and it really just felt like someone shooting me in the knee every time I ran or jumped. If it were a playoff game or the Super Bowl, I could’ve played through it, but it was misery and it was swelling up. It hurt when I walked; it hurt when I slept.”

What about now?:

“There’s a little bit of swelling, but nothing that I’m even concerned about right now. … If I were to play, I’d play at 100 percent. I’m not slowed down. It’s not like a sprained ankle. The concern for me is if it blows back up.”

Listen to Chris Cooley on 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. here

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