Q: Hi Jared. Please don't ever leave us.
Jared Cook: *laughs* If I had control over that, then I would probably never leave. I don't have any control over that.
Q: Hi Jared, cool you're doing this with us! What makes Gruden different from the other coaches you've had throughout your career?
JC: No. 1 is he's an offensive coach.
No. 2 is he's an offensive coach who is probably more involved than I've ever seen any other coach be. Especially at this stage in his career. He's always in there watching film. He's always in there getting tips. He lives in his office. He's always in there working. Probably one of the hardest working men in the building. He writes his own scripts — he writes his scripts for practice, which is pretty awesome. Just his work ethic, his willingness to be involved, his communication efforts to us probably set him apart from any other coach I've ever had. He's the real deal, fa sho.
Q: Jared, the city must know: what's your favorite place to grab a bite in Oakland?
JC: Golly, that's tough. In Oakland. Probably Ole's diner. I'm a huge breakfast fan. I'm from Atlanta. I'm a huge Waffle House fan; I can't go to Waffle House right now because of racial tensions, so Ole's is my next best bet.
Q: Jared, you had some strong words for the fairweather fans this week. What are some things that fans do that mean a lot to players that we may not realize?
JC: It's the little things. You see a lot of the same guys standing out here after practice everyday asking for autographs. You see people always writing you each week, telling you to keep your head up, telling you keep going, keep balling, words of encouragement. That's important in this game. Especially, with such a historic franchise. I've been lucky enough to play for two of them in here and Green Bay, when you have historic franchises, I've played a part of organizations where people have given you fake love. Nobody in life wants fake love. You can miss me with that, you feel me? You can tell when a person is being genuine to you, encouraging you to do better and to get better, I feel like that's pretty awesome.
As long as this train is going, we can only get where we're going together.
As long as people are pulling this way, pulling that way, that's not gonna do sh— for us. So it's all about positive vibes and positivity. You preach positivity in your life, that's what you're gonna see. You can keep that fake love.
Q: Thank you for that catch last season against the Chiefs
JC: My pleasure.
Q: What exactly is your TD celebration? Are you making cotton candy and tossing it out to the imaginary kids? Are you flushing a toilet and splashing the walls? I must know.
JC: C'mon, man. Lil B started it. I just added my own flavor to it. That's all.
Q: Hey Jared, what was your the best moment of your football career?
JC: Just being able to play the game I love, probably. It's been a dream of mine to play a professional sport, from the time I was a kid. Either hooping or football. Just being able to come into work every day and kick it with the guys, it's the best job in the world. You can't get this kind of stuff in a cubicle or a regular desk job. So I'm blessed just to have this job.
Q: Hey Jared, thanks for being a part of the team! What advice would you give your college/high school self?
JC: Young Cook! What would I tell Young Cook? Hmm.
Just keep your head down, stay grinding. Don't listen to what people say. That's No. 1. I wish I could've learned that earlier in my career: F--- all the outsiders. Keep your head down and stay grinding and continue to put God first.
Q: Jared, who is your favorite defender to compete against in coverage? Thank you for some amazing plays with your tenure here in Oakland.
JC: I gotta lot of good friends in the league that I love, like Ha-Ha from Green Bay; just good safeties that give me a challenge each and every week.
My toughest competitor is probably (Byron) Jones, No. 31 from Dallas. He's a corner converted to a safety. Me and him been going at it for a minute. He always gives a pretty good matchup.
Q: James Jones famously called Carr "Baby Rodgers." You've caught passes from both as well, do you find this to be accurate?
JC: I think Derek absolutely understands the game. I think they deliver the same type of ball in terms of the way its thrown and ball placement. Aaron of course is Aaron. He's set himself apart for who he is. When you have a young quarterback like Derek that actually gets it, who understands what's going on in the offense and his role, it's really priceless because it's hard to find young guys that have the talent the talent to do it but also have the talent to do it *on Sundays.* Derek is on his way, man. He's doing a great job.
Q: Jared, you are on pace to have a career year statistically. Can you tell us about the chemistry between you and Derek from last year to this year?
JC: Last year, (the chemistry) was growing. Last year, the offense wasn't as good as it is this year, in my opinion.
We're just trying to build on that. Get in each other's ears and talk about routes, stay on the same page with him. He's come a long way from last year, in terms of his mental and physical play.
Coach Gruden has helped facilitate that big time. He's helped facilitate all of us with our mental and physical status. Him spending so much time with Derek gives him just a bigger understanding of how huge of a role that he plays, not only in this offense, but where this franchise needs and wants to go.
Q: Who's your favorite rapper?
JC: Ah, man. Why would you do this to me? In Atlanta, we've been running hip-hop for a minute now. ATL stand up. So I'm a huge Outkast fan.
Huge Kendrick fan, Killer Mike… If I had a Mount Rushmore and could include Outkast as one, it would be them, Kendrick... We're gonna do Biggie… and…. man, it would probably have to be Jay Z.
Editor's Note: The conversation briefly turned to this year's Super Bowl in Atlanta. Jared isn't a big fan of Maroon 5 being the halftime show.
I'm hot about that. I'm not gonna lie. When it first came out, Waka Flocka was like, what're y'all doing?
This is why I feel some type of way: The Super Bowl has been waiting to come back to Atlanta for a very long time. We have a new stadium, and the city has been in, like, an uproar waiting for it. And you really go out and get Maroon 5, when all these artists from Atlanta are there?! You could do a set with like five different artists from Atlanta — and you go out and get Maroon 5, bruh?! Come on! You coulda had Migos, you coulda had any of them!
Q: Jared I heard you got a clothing company, you got anything for the thicc boys and will it be affordable?
JC: *laughs* I do have a clothing line. It's called Nifty Genius. Nifty-Genius.com. We're an online men's lifestyle website, a clothing line, It's only for men. So women, you're SOL on this one, but if you wanna buy something for your man, holla at your boy. Do we have stuff for bigger guys? Yeah, we go up to a XXL, sometimes a XXXL on some clothes, I can fit the clothes, so for how big…. I dunno. *laughs*