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March 18, 2014
Cooper likes what he's seen from Kiffin
Amari Cooper is a man of few words. At least that's the reputation that proceeds him.
He's known more as a show don't tell kind of player.
But either by necessity or by choice, the University of Alabama wide receiver will be more out front this season as a sort of spokesman for the offense. With AJ McCarron and Kevin Norwood gone, it falls to Cooper to be one of the voices for the offensive skill position players.
Ready or not he seems willing to take on the role, conducting multiple interviews with various media outlets since the beginning of spring practice.
Of new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Cooper said he's already made his mark on the offense.
"I think he came in and made the offense more simple and player friendly," Cooper said. "The way plays are called, it's easy to recognize what you have to do as a player."
Cooper said play terminology, including the names of plays, has been streamlined.
It's been just over two months since Kiffin accepted the Alabama job, and he's had just two practices this spring. But so far so good in first impressions with his new players.
"Pretty cool guy," Cooper said. "Pretty laid back guy. He pays attention to everything, every little thing. I noticed that about him when we were practicing for the bowl game."
The offense has watched game film of Kiffin's Southern Cal offense to get familiar with what's to come.
"Yeah, we look at it for concepts we need to learn for our offense here and we know what those guys did for him at USC at the wide receiver position," Cooper said.
Whichever quarterback emerges victorious in the competition for starter, and that won't be settled until fall camp, they'll have one of the top wide receivers to throw the ball to in Cooper.
Injuries hampered him a bit in 2013, but he still led the team with 45 receptions for 736 yards. During the Alabama Pro Day earlier this month, Cooper said he ran an unofficial 4.31 in the 40.
With no McCarron under center, Cooper knows there will be an adjustment period.
"I mean, yeah. It's pretty different," Cooper said. "It's like when I came in. AJ was a new quarterback to me. It's the same thing with these guys. We've been working on timing since before spring practice started. We tried to get together almost every day to work on our timing with the routs that are on our strip.
"I think all of them are pretty good. We've been working on timing, so all of them have some good timing down with us receivers. It's not weird. It's just a quarterback competition. I think schools have that every year."
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.722.0229.TideSports coverage on Facebook