Coop: I want to break more tackles

Sophomore running back Graig Cooper missed the first week of spring practice because of track. He's back on the football field this week and CanesTime.com caught up with him on Wednesday to address a number of topics.

Q: How was the experience of running track?
A: It was different for me. Track speed and track speed is two different things. I think it helped me learn how to run a little better. I think track made me a better runner.

Q: How is the adjustment from track to football?
A: We just have to work. There is no time to get in shape you have to be ready. There is no time to adjust from track to football.

Q: You have been practicing for two days and are already getting thrown into a scrimmage. How do you feel about that?
A: It is fun. It is just a learning process. It is like getting ready for a Thursday game. The scrimmage is a little higher level of competition. We do not want to mess up in front of the fans. We are just going to go out there and get better.

Q: How does track help with football?
A: Track helps a lot. We were running just as much as football. We just have to get used to practicing with pads. I am in shape though.

Q: Do you feel a lack of playmakers was a problem last year?
A: I feel we had them last year. We just have to come together as a team. We need to play better together.

Q: What did you guys see on film that you have to improve on?
A: It is like I said we just have to come together as a team. As long as we get on the same page we will be fine. We have the players.

Q: What things do you have to do to become a better football player?
A: I have to know my assignments better. I have to help my teammates and obviously have some bigger runs.

Q: Is it hard for the coaches to distribute playing time on a team with so many talented backs?
A: It is not tough at all. It is all about competition. If Lee or Shawnbrey come out here and practice harder than me they deserve to me. I will be the first one to say if I had a bad practice.

Q: Where you comfortable with the rotation at running back last year?
A: Yes I was. I will do whatever it takes to help the team win. I will play on third downs or every down it does not matter.

Q: What is your weight right now?
A: I am at 202. I was at 190 last year.

Q: Do you feel the added weight will help you?
A: Yes, I felt at times last year that I should have broken a few more tackles. There was one play vs. FSU that I was one broken tackle from scoring and the guy arm tackled me. I think the weight will help me with that.

Q: How do you adjust to carrying the extra weight?
A: I am adjusted to it already. I ran track to get used to running with this weight. So it is not a problem.


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