Cooper, who signed his rookie contract on Thursday, took the field with his fellow rookies but will not be able to haul in passes from franchise quarterback Derek Carr until after rookie minicamp.
Cooper didn’t appear to be overwhelmed by his first practice in the NFL, but new head coach Jack Del Rio knows he is transitioning to the NFL.
“I thought he did fine,” Del Rio said of his rookie. “He’s going to be a good player. He’s just coming in and getting started, like the rest of them. He’s a young man transitioning into the league, and there’s a lot of work to do.”
Cooper says he wasn’t caught off-guard with how day one of practice went.
“No surprise,” Cooper said after practice. “It went exactly how I thought it would go, the first day of practice. It went pretty good, I made a couple of plays. We looked good as a team.”
While an NFL playbook may look intimidating to some rookies on day one, Cooper has the advantage of seeing a similar playbook from Lane Kiffin in Alabama.
“It’s kind of hard, you just have to study the playbook,” the young wide receiver said. “Luckily for me, it’s kind of similar to the Alabama playbook.”
The absence of veteran wide receiver James Jones allowed him to switch numbers to 89, one that he simply thought looked better than 19.
“Not really, I just thought it would look better on me than 19,” Cooper said.
With the contract out of the way, the young wide receiver can focus solely on his play on the field. That may be something that his agent had in mind.
“My agent advised me to [sign the contract], so i guess it was important to him and I guess it was smart for me to do,” Cooper said.