Raiders Need To Use Amari Cooper More As A Slot Receiver Next Year

One of the (many) challenges awaiting Jon Gruden next year will be finding a way to get Amari Cooper more involved in the offense.

Cooper has been inconsistent throughout his career, but because of a handful of explosive games each year, his disappearing acts have been easier to overlook.

One idea that Gruden might consider is to use Cooper more out of the slot next year.

Cooper’s has been used in the slot for only 18% of his career offensive snaps, but his production has been significantly better on those occasions.

Based on those numbers, 18% of Cooper’s career snaps have come as a slot receiver, but nearly 27% of his production has come when used in the slot.

In his best game this year against the Chiefs, Cooper posted 210 yards and scored two touchdowns. He was used in the slot for only 18 plays that game, but 95 of his yards (and a touchdown) came on those plays.

Even going back to his time at Alabama, Cooper was used sparingly in the slot, but was dynamic when he was. In his junior season (his final year at Alabama), Cooper was used in the slot only 66 times, but averaged 23.3 yards-per-reception (19 rec., 443 yds) on catches out of the slot.

(Notice he also made receptions on nearly a third of his snaps in the slot that season.)

Comparatively, when lining up on the perimeter, Cooper averaged just 12.2 yards-per-reception in his final season at Alabama.

No coach in Oakland – not even Bill Musgrave – has found a formula to keep Cooper involved for a full season. The solution might not be simple, but giving Amari a few more opportunities in the slot would probably be a good place for Jon Gruden to start.

twitter: @raidersbeat


4 thoughts on “Raiders Need To Use Amari Cooper More As A Slot Receiver Next Year

  1. I firmly believe he has an anxiety disorder and he “locks up” when the ball is in the air. Giving him quick-hits to get the ball in his hands, NOT in a tight window or deep downfield in coverage, is the only way he’s going to succeed until he finds the right anxiety meds for his problem. . .. . .im not even joking….

    1. Mike go kick rocks with that anxiety crap, when the ball is in there air and they give him a chance to go up and get it Amari usually makes a great play and comes down with the catch. I don’t know what raiders game you been watching, but Amari has more problems with the quick hit slant type routes than he does in tight windows or downfield throws. Gruden will find ways to get coop the ball he will have his best year under gruden who used tim brown in the slot. Gruden compared coop to Timmy coming out of college. You should take some meds for all the crap coming out of your mouth. Justwinbaby!

  2. He’s still better than Seth Roberts. Seth was decent when no one knew about him but last season he made some dumb plays that hurt the team. Maybe moving Amari to slot isn’t a bad idea. If Gruden doesn’t bring back Crabtree, they will need someone reliable on the other side to take the pressure off of Cooper.

  3. Got to give Downing credit. He used him more in the slot then years prior. It’s kind of basic stuff. It’s a mismatch. Your best WR now against their nickel CB.

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