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Jets RB Dalvin Cook: 'I Come With a Unique Skill Set'

Another Weapon for QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green & White Offense


Running back Dalvin Cook saw the Jets' dynamic defense from the other side last season when he rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries (and a TD) in Minnesota's 27-22 victory on Dec. 4. Now the versatile 28-year-old with four-straight Pro Bowl seasons has traded the Vikings purple for his new team's Gotham Green.

"We [Minnesota] played these guys last year, we faced the defense and I feel we ['we' is now the Jets] have one of the best [defenses] in the league," Cook said on Tuesday, his first day of practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "I feel like when you have a great defense, you get the opportunities on offense to do something special. You look around at the guys we have here. I feel like we'll be able to do something special."

The Jets believe they have a loaded backfield, and it would certainly seem so with Breece Hall (who is returning from knee surgery), Cook, third-year sparkplug Michael Carter and promising rookie Israel Abanikanda

"The talent that Breece has -- the young talent he has -- we're going to be something special together," Cook said. He added: "I come with a unique skill set. I can catch the ball out of the backfield, and I can be explosive in any position on the offense. I'm just looking forward to how they use me."

Cook, who underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason and recently spent time back in Minnesota for the birth of a child, became a salary cap casualty in June. He signed a one-year deal with the Jets on Aug. 14, and even though he's had few practices with the Jets, he said that there's plenty of time to get acclimated and comfortable between now and the regular-season opener against visiting Buffalo on Monday night Sept. 11.

And instead of playing against a team, Green Bay, with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback (as he had done two times in each of the past six seasons in the NFC North), Cook said it was a bit startling to huddle up with the Jets' offense and find Rodgers among his new teammates.

"Just being in the huddle with him, it's like, 'All right, I'm in the huddle with A-Rod,' " a grinning Cook said. "I'm on the other side. It's cool, man, just being around a legend, just soaking up the game and seeing his point of view. You know, when you're in the backfield with a great quarterback, I think communication is key. And I think he's the best communicator to have been in the huddle from Day 1. He's a great guy. He's cool. I kind of knew that playing against him and how he goes about his business as a professional."

He added: "It was surreal being back in the huddle," he said. "Just embrace the moment. I was itching to get back on the green grass with the fellas. It was surreal for me."

See the top photos of the Jets' 53-man roster on the practice field during Wednesday's session at 1 Jets Drive.

Cook brings impressive versatility to an already versatile set of skill players on the Jets' offense. Over his six seasons with the Vikings, he caught 221 passes for 1,794 yards (8.1 per catch), scoring 5 TDs and picking up 86 first downs.

"We feel really confident about him and his ability to just hit the ground running," head coach Robert Saleh. "It's just a matter of getting his legs underneath him. But at the same time, he hasn't had a camp, hasn't had OTAs. He's been working, he's been traveling a lot with the baby, so we just have to be smart with him."

The past two months have been a whirlwind for Cook. Being dropped by the Vikings, meeting with and being impressed with the Jets and the possibilities, welcoming a newborn and then being welcomed to a new group.

"Now I feel like I'm part of the Jets," Cook said. "Now I feel like I'm part of the team.

"It was just a lot going on. Now I get to dig deep into the playbook, get familiar with the guys in the huddle and just have fun with this, with the guys I've got in the locker room. I'm ready to go. It's a lot of fun."

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