It is often said that “too many cooks spoil the broth”, but no one ever tells you just how many is too many. In the case of the Minnesota Vikings, the answer is obvious: just one Cook is far too many. Chris Cook, who the Vikings drafted in the second round back in 2010, is the worst defensive back to ever put on the purple and gold. Due to a complete lack of career highlights, I am left with only a long list of lowlights through which to drag you.
First off, Cook can’t stay on the field. In his four seasons in the NFL, he has played in only 30 of a possible 64 regular season games. Here is a guy that–for legal and/or health reasons–finds himself on the sideline and/or witness stand far too much. You just can’t count on him to be there and build any chemistry with his fellow defensive backs. He only makes it on to the field about 46% of the time, but I imagine he somehow manages to cash his paycheck a full 100% of the time. There’s something seriously wrong with that ratio.
Although, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that he has missed so much time, for when Cook has made a rare appearance on the field he has been as unproductive as a starting NFL player could possibly be. In 30 career games, Mr. Invisible has zero interceptions. Zero. How is that possible? At least twice per season every starting CB in the league has a tipped ball fall right into his hands. Not only is Cook unable to ever jump even a single route or close in quickly enough to step in front of a bad pass, he can’t even stay close enough to his receiver to be in position to grab a popped up ball.
As for his other career stats, Cook has been equally impotent. He has zero forced fumbles, zero fumble recoveries, zero touchdowns, one sack, and a paltry 13 passes defensed. Bottom line, this guy is an empty uniform. You never see him make a big hit to jar a ball loose, stuff a RB at the line of scrimmage, or slice through the line for a sack in a critical moment. The fact that Cook continues to be run out on the field by Leslie Frazier is a further indictment on just how awful the defensive secondary has been for the Vikings the past few years.
Thankfully, Cook’s getting torched by Alshon Jeffrey (again) followed by him getting tossed for pushing the ref should be final confirmation that the 4 year nightmare will be over after this season. Cook’s contract is up, and I can’t envision any scenario where the Vikings decide to keep paying this breathing mannequin.
The Vikings have two good young DBs in Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes. They will also have money to spend this offseason, and experts are predicting the crop of free agent DBs will be deep. If the Vikes can add an capable veteran and also draft someone that doesn’t totally suck, then they will have a corps that might actually be able to slow Rodgers, Stafford, and Cutler.
The second TD catch by Jeffery was just a microcosm of Cook’s entire career. Unable to use his size against a tall receiver, not turning around or putting his hands up when the ball arrives, and losing his cool with an official are representative of the gross underachievement and total lack of behavioral control he has shown during his time in the league. All that was missing from that play was Cook sustaining a season ending injury.
For the Vikings to develop a culture of winning, they must stop allowing useless players to take the field and begin demanding weekly productivity. Is that too much to ask?