Cook: Going back from the season we had and the chemistry we built last year and then bringing it into spring and going into fall camp itâ€™s just great. Knowing where guys are going to be at, knowing how different guys go up for a ball compared to others. Knowing how some guys run routes differently than others. Just having that chemistry is great.
Q: Tony Lippett says you are making the receivers better more than they are making you better because of how you are reading things.
Cook: I donâ€™t know about that. Today I had a really lousy ball in one on one coverage and Tony ran a fade. Arjen (Colquhoun) was right on him. I tried to throw it back shoulder and it was basically at Arjenâ€™s back. Tony went right up and plucked it off of his back. I would say that he is making me better there.
Hondo: Tyler Oâ€™Connor says that Tony Lippett is clearly your number one receiver, would you agree with that?
Cook: Yeah for sure. He is definitely number one.
Q: Trevon Pendleton is a weapon; could you talk about what makes him special?
Cook: Trevon is so versatile and he is so smart too. We were talking about him the quarterback meeting room, about who is the most valuable player on this team. Who is the best overall football player on this team? Heâ€™s in the running for that award. He changes plays. If I call something wrong in the huddle he will switch it. Heâ€™s so smart. Heâ€™s so crafty. Heâ€™s cut blocker, he can take you high he can take you low. Heâ€™s got good hands and at the scrimmage he caught a fade route at the sidelines. Heâ€™s versatile, heâ€™s smart heâ€™s just a great football person and heâ€™s just a great person.
Q: But heâ€™s a fullback and heâ€™s not supposed to be that smart. Heâ€™s supposed to be a meathead right?
Cook: I donâ€™t know. I hear the people in Portsmouth, Ohio are really really smart. Heâ€™s got great football knowledge and Iâ€™m just lucky to have him as a fullback.
Q: How much of a luxury for you is it to have the depth at wide receiver that this team does?
Cook: I would say Tony (Lippett) is my go to guy, but then youâ€™ve got guys like A.J. Troup who is another big X. Guys like Keith Mumphery who is fast and can run by anyone. Aaron Burbridge who is versatile or Macgarrett Kings and Matt Macksood, R.J. Shelton I can go on forever. Being a quarterback and having the luxury of having those guys around me where I can just throw it up and they can make it (a play). Every single 50-50 ball in practice today they made. Having guys out there like that, that can go up there and make those grabs, those tough catches that awesome. Being a quarterback that reassures me.
Hondo: Last year the edict to the offense was donâ€™t do anything that costs us a game. This year itâ€™s OK go win us a game. How much do you relish the change in roles?
Cook: Iâ€™m just really excited along with everyone else on offense because we know how good we can be. We are just ready for the season. We are chomping at the bit. We are ready to get out there.
Q: How much does having a Andrew Gleichert or a Dylan Chmura in the backfield enhance your offense and the options you have?
Cook: It enhances it a lot. Obviously you want to get two running backs back there, but sometimes you can mix it up and have a running back and a tight end (H Back when lined up in the backfield.) Where if no one comes, Gleichert is supposed to block the MIKE or the SAM, but if they donâ€™t come he releases and gets on a route. Thatâ€™s a bigger target than a running back. So in case guys donâ€™t blitz and I want to throw a check down and Gleichert gets out it is a bigger target for me. We are just expanding the play book trying to be as versatile as possible.
Q: How has it worked so far?
Cook: Itâ€™s doing great. We did a lot of that stuff in the scrimmage, and I remember seeing Gleichert having a chip block too. The big freshman Craig Evans was going up against Connor (Kruse) and was almost going to slip in, because he was on the center and then Gleichert comes in and knocks him flat on his back. And then goes out on a route. Gleichert is a good blocker and a good catcher.
Q: So how many guys are working at the H Back?
Cook: Gleichert, Chmura and Josiah Price. Just those three guys are usually back there
Q: How is DeAnthony Arnett performing?
Cook: DeAnthony went bananas in the scrimmage as you guys saw. Almost had 200 yards receiving. Tyler Oâ€™Connor through him a deep post route for almost 40 yards that got called back. If you add that 40 to his 188 (receiving yards) he would have had well over 200. DeAnthony is a just a great player. He is slippery. In the open space guys can tackle him. Heâ€™s got good juke moves and his comfortable. This is his third year here at Michigan State. Heâ€™s not thinking as much as he was early on. Heâ€™s a deep threat as well which you guys saw in the scrimmage.
Q: Was his transition just a night and day thing with him? You have been here his entire time.
Cook: Yea. When he came in he was just thinking a lot. You could see this past spring he was more comfortable, not thinking so much, just going out there and playing. Heâ€™s made an even bigger jump from the spring until now. That receiving slot with all of those guys competing, especially with DeAnthony, you really got guys all over but DeAnthony really proved himself in the scrimmage.
Q: Was it fun to get away from the grind and just have a scrimmage and play football?
Cook: For sure. Thatâ€™s us just going out there and playing football. We arenâ€™t doing the individual drills, weâ€™re not working on our handoffs or our footwork. We just got to go out there and play football. Thatâ€™s what everyone looks forward to and itâ€™s just fun for us to go out there and cut it loose.
Q: How would you assess the performance of Andre Sims? Do you think he has played himself into the mix?
Cook: He definitely hasnâ€™t hurt himself. In the scrimmage he helped himself out a lot, he had 146 or a 160 yards, whatever it was. He and DeAnthony were just burning guys left and right. Andre again, this is his fourth year in the program and heâ€™s smart and knows the offense. Really hasnâ€™t dropped any balls this camp so far. Heâ€™s made the 50-50 catches and that sort of has just boost the competition for that wideout spot.
Q: Coach D has always talked about wanting to be balanced on offense. With the ability of this offense is the best youâ€™ve been at able to stay balanced?
Cook: Yea, I think we are really balanced. You look at the tight end spot and weâ€™re deep. You look at the wide receiver spot and weâ€™re deep. You look at the running back spot. I think going down the line, everyone. You know you got guys at tight end that can make plays. You got Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill who can make plays on the ground. Anytime you have a good running game that takes pressure off of the quarterback, and when youâ€™ve got a good passing game too. It just makes everything better. You got guys going down the line, I could go on for days on offense. Showing what we did in the scrimmage we have to run the ball more effectively, today we ran the ball great and we are opening up those holes for the running back.
Q: Can you see how that (Your high powered offense) affects your own defense?
Cook: We have one of the best defenses in the country and THE best defensive coordinator out there. For the defense that weâ€™ve been having on defense it just shows us that the sky is the limit out there on offense.