The 2010 preseason showed a very promising Minnesota Vikings defense, with a very particularly promising player in rookie Chris Cook.
The Vikings were already enamored with Cook’s size and speed, but more so his quick instincts and early adaptation to the scheme; almost making it look as if he had played in the system for years.
In summary, everything was moving right along.
But Cook’s rapid advancement was cut down out of nowhere when he tore not one, but both meniscuses in his knees.
The injury, at first, wasn’t viewed as a threat as Cook was still able to play. But it was almost immediately apparent that Cook’s athleticism—the same athleticism that separated him from the competition—was hindered, directly affecting the rookie’s confidence and overall lateral movement on the ball.
The injury progressed and Cook digressed.
By October, he was healing from the surgery that was inevitable, and by December he was shut down when the swelling became too constant and unbearable.
Cook finished as one of the most burnable corners in the game with a passer rating against him of over 124.
Both the Vikings and Cook expect a full-blown competition between Cook, Husain Abdullah, Madieu Williams and Asher Allen with the obvious greybeard veteran Antoine Winfield already securing the one side.
Abdullah will likely be kept in the short safety role, leaving Allen and Williams as the primary players to compete with, with Allen being the only competition of the two.
But for Cook, the primary focus will be on getting back the confidence he lost in 2010, putting the unavoidable meltdown of a season he had in 2010 behind him and rediscovering the natural talent this kid really is.
Everything else should fall into place afterwards.
The Vikings as a team need to vastly improve in the secondary this year if they are to remain somewhat competitive, and a lot improvement could come from Cook if he finds himself and gets back on track.
If not, it could be another long season for the vulnerable Vikings secondary, and another shot on Chris Cook’s damaged pride.
I hope you guys enjoyed this little piece and if you’re looking for some early fantasy football advice, come take a look at my Early Fantasy WR Rankings.