It wasn’t the kind of year Pharoh Cooper hoped for last season.
Coming off a Pro Bowl selection with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, Cooper battled injuries and was eventually released by the NFC champions in December. But he didn’t wait long as he was picked up by the Arizona Cardinals where he finished the season and hopes for bounce back season in 2019.
“I’m healthy and ready to roll this year,” Cooper said recently at DJ Swearinger Celebrity Basketball game. “Sat out too long last year. Ankle feels good, shoulder feels good.”
Cooper had no bad feelings toward the Rams and understands it’s part of the business. He injured his ankle in the season opener last season against Oakland and didn’t return until November.
The 2016 fourth-round pick averaged 21 yards on 12 returns for the Rams. In two games with the Cardinals, he returned six punts.
“Every year, you got to prove yourself, it is a cut throat league,” Cooper said. “You got to stay healthy, put your head down and grind. I’m looking forward to a bounce back year. I missed most of the season last year. But I’m fully healthy and ready to show new coaching staff what I’m about.
Cooper has met with new coach Kliff Kingsbury and is looking forward to playing for him. The Cardinals have the No. 1 pick in the draft and many mock drafts have them taking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Cooper didn’t want to speculate of if he wanted the team to draft the former two-sport standout.
With Arizona is reunited with former South Carolina players D.J. Swearinger and Damiere Byrd, who both signed with the club in the offseason.
“Get old college teammates back and have that connection. Have fun with the guys and grind like we did in the old days,” Cooper said.