Mike Pouncey 'really feels bad' for Eagles' Riley Cooper


Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper has been excused from team activities after it became clear that his presence would be a divisive one in the wake of a racially insensitive comment he made at a Kenny Chesney concert.

Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is now coming to the defense of his former Florida Gators teammate.

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"I spent three years in college with him. I feel bad for him. That's not Riley Cooper," Pouncey told NFL.com's Jeff Darlington on Friday. "I know him. I know his family. I wasn't offended by it because I know him. It's just an ugly situation, and I really feel bad for him. I'll reach out to him eventually -- but I want things to die down. I don't want to be one of those guys trying to give him advice."

Pouncey can sympathize with Cooper after the controversy ignited by the "Free Hernandez" hats that he and his twin brother, Maurkice, donned in support of another troubled former Florida teammate.

"I know what he's going through right now. ... One mistake can really hurt," Pouncey explained. "I know he's disgusted with himself -- and I just hope he gets through it. It feels like the lowest point of your career. You're thinking, 'I can't believe I'm that guy who made that mistake.' You don't want to be that guy."

The support from Pouncey, former teammate Cullen Jenkins and current Eagles teammates Michael Vick and Jason Avant suggests the larger problem with Cooper might be shattering the intoxication barrier as opposed to outright bigotry.

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