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Quick Hits: Connor Cook Talks Preparation For First NFL Start


Quarterback Connor Cook

The postseason is here, the spotlight is on, and it's shining directly on rookie quarterback Connor Cook who will make his first career start this Saturday against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Oakland Raiders signal-caller will lead the Silver and Black on the gridiron as the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to make his first NFL start in the postseason.

Wednesday afternoon, Cook took the podium to chat with the media about being named the team's starter. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity, and made it clear he will hit the books diligently in preparation for the AFC Wild Card game this weekend.

Here are the quick hits from his media session:

Cook discussed what it's like being thrown into the moment, and how he's handling it thus far.

"I'm just embracing the opportunity. Going to go out there and have fun, let it all hang out, and obviously prepare my butt off, do what I've been doing all season long and just go out there and have fun with my teammates."

The Michigan State-product recapped his NFL debut e against last season's Super Bowl champs.

"I felt pretty calm. With hard circumstances just going in there and stuff, I felt like I was confident and I know the offense well. I've been in the system for almost a year now. We're running stuff that I've been familiar with so, it was actually fun to get out there and get some reps."

He talked about how quickly things have transpired in recent weeks, but stated that he isn't surprised.

"Yeah, for sure. It's just the name of the game. You see things like this happen a lot. Anything can happen. Anything can change with a drop of the hat. So, you just always have to be ready and whether it's out there on the practice field getting mental reps, putting yourself through it mentally to now actually getting reps, you just have to approach every single day like it's the same."

Cook broke down Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and spoke about how he attacks the game.

"Very talented edge rusher. A guy who can stop the run, get to the quarterback on the pass rush. Just a guy who makes plays all over the field, a guy who could track down a receiver who's running 40 yards downfield. I think he ran a 4.40, or whatever it was, at the combine. He's a very, very talented football player."

He commented on building chemistry with wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

"A little bit here and there in practice. If it's just routes on air, if we're doing quarterback drills and they're just spot catching, stuff like that. That's really all the chemistry I've had with them or opportunities to work with them in practice in drills like that."

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