Fisher familiarity sold Cook on St. Louis

Jared Cook’s familiarity with coach Jeff Fisher made the free

agent tight end a natural fit with the St. Louis Rams. The Rams

remained hopeful of adding another big piece to the offense, tackle

Jake Long.

Fisher said Thursday at a news conference to introduce Cook that

Long was still in town a day after interviewing with the team.

Fisher believed the team also was in the running for safety Louis

Delmas, who also interviewed with St. Louis.

The physical exam with Long had no red flags, Fisher said. Long

was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2008 draft and started every game

his first three seasons, but has missed six games the last two


”He’s a very, very talented player and he’s still got a lot

left,” the coach said. ”You have to do your due diligence from a

physical standpoint, we’ve done that, and let’s see where it


Fisher scoffed off a remark from incumbent left tackle Rodger

Saffold’s agent that a move to right tackle would make his player


”You know, we had discussions with Rodg, not his agents,”

Fisher said. ”And what I’m concerned about right now is Rodger,

and Rodger’s fine.”

The 6-foot-5, 248-pound Cook, who got a five-year, $35.1 million

contract, played his first two seasons in Tennessee under Fisher in

2009-10. The Rams envision having Cook, who said the majority of

his snaps last year came from the slot, and holdover Lance

Kendricks on the field at the same time.

Cook’s production slipped a bit last year with 44 catches, an

11.9-yard average and four touchdowns after getting 49 receptions,

a 15.5-yard average and three TDs in 2011. He’s confident, to say

the least, in his abilities.

”I see the word potential as you really ain’t done nothing, and

I don’t see that as myself,” Cook said. ”I think I’m on the

elevator going up. I don’t see myself looking back at all, and I’m

excited about the future here.”

Cook ran a 4.49 40 at the Combine and said it was ”safe to

say” he still had that speed. He has enthusiasm to spare, too.

”You play for the excitement, you play to line up on Sundays

… ” Cook said. ”I’m here to play and get better and be a great

tight end, and look good doing it.”

He’s fired up about the franchise’s future. The Rams were 7-8-1

in Fisher’s first season after totaling 15 victories the previous

five years.

”I know his vision, I know what he’s capable of, and I’m

excited the path the Rams organization is taking,” Cook said.

”It’s been a big turnaround and it looks like they’re headed for

clear skies.”

Cook could give the Rams a battleship look in the slot,

replacing 190-pound Danny Amendola, the unrestricted free agent who

signed with the New England Patriots to replace Wes Welker,

according to Fisher.

”You’d think as soon as Welker leaves, Danny’s their guy, and

in fact he is,” Fisher said. ”He’s going to be very productive in

their offense.”

Fisher said he’d likely fill one of his safety vacancies with

Darian Stewart, who played mostly special teams last year after

getting injured early but made 13 starts in 2011. It doesn’t hurt

Stewart that he and Cook are friends.

”He didn’t get a chance to play very much but he’s a very

talented player,” Fisher said. ”And so, yeah, he steps up and

he’s our guy. We’re counting on him.”

Cook said Fisher called him a few times but had no specific

sales pitch.

”He didn’t have one. I know the guy. What did he have to say?”

Cook said with a chuckle.

Fisher said Cook had been high on the Rams’ list and the team

was just waiting to see if the Titans would franchise him. Cook

priced himself out of Tennessee, wanting to be paid like a wide

receiver instead of a tight end.

The Rams beat out the Dolphins for Cook, who said ”quite a few

teams” had shown interest and that it had been a ”bidding


”He fits in a lot of different places,” Fisher said. ”It’s

about creating mismatches with him and taking advantage of his