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Saints TE coach: Jared Cook a 'one-on-one nightmare' for defenses

Jared Cook's first season in New Orleans didn't get off to a great start after a training camp injury led to early-season struggles. Down the stretch, however, Cook proved to be the difference-maker the Saints thought they were obtaining.

In the final eight games of the regular season -- all with Drew Brees in the lineup after an early-season injury to the QB -- Cook caught 28 passes for 537 yards and seven TDs. That production came after he caught just 15 balls for 168 yards and two scores the first six weeks.

Following his second-half skyrocket, tight ends coach Dan Campbell believes Cook will pick up where he left off last season.

"Jared Cook, the sky's the limit," Campbell said, via The Times-Picayune. "That talent level has been in there. (Raiders coach Jon) Gruden was able to pull it out of him, he knew exactly what to do with the guy, and we're trying to do the same thing. We just know he is a one-on-one nightmare, he is a matchup nightmare for a defense. I don't know how to cover the guy. I wouldn't know what to tell them."

After the rusty start to the 2019 season, Cook provided Brees a No. 2 target behind Michael Thomas that the Saints had been missing. With the addition of Emmanuel Sanders this offseason, Cook should see even more favorable matchups in 2020.

"To me and to him, to everybody on the offense, that's what we pictured," Campbell said. "We pictured a guy that we could put out there, and if you try to take away Mike Thomas and you're going to try to leave somebody one-on-one with Jared Cook, you've got a problem, and we're going to hurt you if that's what you want to do.

"If you're going to single us up and you want to (put single coverage on) Jared Cook, there is nobody in this league that can cover him (man-on-man)."

Cook owns the size and speed combo to be a matchup problem for defenders. The troubles through Cook's career have never been talent but rather consistency. If he puts it together for a full season this year, the Saints offense will be difficult for defenses to handle.

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