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Brandin Cooks has been traded twice in the past 13 months despite being one of the NFL’s most productive receivers over the past three years Ryan Tannehill Jersey , so the Rams’ new top target knows he probably shouldn’t get completely comfortable in Los Angeles.

He’s still grateful to be joining another talented team with a shot at another Super Bowl – and perhaps he can still find a long-term future at home in California, too.

”It would be an extreme blessing to be here for a long haul, coming in here to be with a special group of guys,” Cooks said Thursday at the Rams’ training complex. ”At the end of the day, it’s not something I’m pressing. I just want to come in here and be the best that I can be.”

Los Angeles coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead praised Cooks’ character and talent when they formally welcomed him to the defending NFC West champions, who had the NFL’s highest-scoring offense last year.

They’ve been interested in acquiring Cooks since before his first trade from New Orleans to New England last March. After Cooks posted another 1,000-yard season and reached the Super Bowl with New England, the Rams finally got him Monday.

”I’m hard-pressed to remember a player that’s got so many positive things said about him from different people he’s been exposed to,” McVay said. ”You’re talking about a special person and a special player. Clearly he’s going to be a big part of our offense, being able to play our `X’ receiver (position) and do a variety of things.”

Cooks’ ability as a deep threat makes him a strong replacement for Sammy Watkins, who was acquired by the Rams last season after they failed to get Cooks. Watkins parlayed his single season in McVay’s high-powered passing game into a lavish free-agent deal with Kansas City.

Cooks also can be a free agent next year, but the Rams were willing to take the risk because they’re determined to build a Super Bowl contender with the payroll space available while Jared Goff is still in his rookie contract.

”Simply put, 2018 is important De'Vondre Campbell Jersey ,” Snead said. ”We definitely want to repeat as NFC (West) champions, but … a lot of the players we’ve acquired are young and have evolved to be in the prime of their careers, and we would love to take advantage of that over not just `18, but `19, `20, `21 and moving forward.”

The Rams’ trades for Watkins and Cooks have left them without a pick in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft, but Snead doesn’t sound terribly worried about the potential loss of organizational depth.

The Rams would rather have Cooks, who has already put together three seasons that were more productive than anything Watkins has done in the same four-year stretch. Cooks also is still three months younger than Cooper Kupp, who just finished an impressive rookie season for the Rams.

Cooks’ 1,082 yards receiving with the Patriots last season were 11th-most in the NFL. He was seventh in the league with 1,173 yards in 2016 during his final season with New Orleans, and he is one of just three active players with 1,000 yards and at least five touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

Cooks had the benefit of catching passes from Drew Brees and Tom Brady. He already seems confident in Goff’s ability to provide him with similar service.

Cooks did have to playfully bat down one rumor that had already excited Rams fans: Although he has met Goff several times Marshawn Lynch Jersey , and although they share the same agent, they haven’t already had throwing sessions before the trade.

There’s plenty of time for that now.

”I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to be able to grow with a young guy,” Cooks said. ”I’m young myself, so to be able to start that rapport this offseason is going to be extremely huge. I look forward to getting to work right away.”



Antonio Senzatela’s most important pitch came early.

Senzatela worked out of a first-inning jam en route to throwing seven scoreless innings in his first start of the season, Nolan Arenado hit his National League-leading 22nd home run and the Colorado Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 8-1 on Tuesday night.

Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon had three hits, including his first homer since June 20. Trevor Story had an RBI triple for the Rockies, who have won five of their last six games.

D.J. LeMahieu added a run-scoring double for Colorado, which has beaten the Giants in 14 of the past 16 games at Coors Field dating to Sept. 7, 2016.

Senzatela, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Albuquerque, struck out four and walked none while limiting the Giants to three hits but two of them came in the first inning. He got out of the two-on, two-out jam by retiring Pablo Sandoval, getting him to pop-out on a 2-0 changeup.

”To get out of that inning with a zero Jarius Wright Jersey , stranding those runners, was huge,” Senzatela said through a translator. ”I settled down pretty nicely and I’m glad I gave the team a chance to win.”

Arenado said Senzatela’s ability to work out of first inning trouble helped set the tone for the rest of the game.

”Getting out of that first inning with no runs was huge,” Arenado said. ”I feel like sometimes we always give up a run in the first and lately they haven’t. He was just great, pounding the zone, throwing strikes getting ahead of guys. It was awesome. Our pitching in general lately has been huge for us and I think that’s why lately we have been playing better.”

Senzatela started in the spot vacated by struggling Jon Gray, who started for the Rockies in their season opener but was optioned to Albuquerque last weekend.

Senzatela (3-1) made the team out of spring training and began the season in the Rockies’ bullpen before being optioned on May 2 to Albuquerque, where he went 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in eight starts prior to his recall. As a rookie last season, Senzatela had most of his success as a starter, going 10-5 with a 5.03 ERA in 20 starts.

Chris Stratton (8-6) went 5 2/3 innings and allowed eight runs on 11 hits, including Blackmon’s solo shot in the first inning as well as Arenado’s three-run drive.

”His fastball command wasn’t real sharp tonight,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ”Fastballs missed their spots there. That’s usually his forte, he commands it so well. He threw some good fastballs to Arenado and the changeup stayed in the middle. He wasn’t real sharp with his command. He threw strikes but he needed to work the edges.”

The Giants broke through for a run on Alec Hanson’s RBI single in the eighth off reliever MikeDunn.

The Giants were trailing 3-0 when Arenado broke the game open in the fifth with a three-run homer. Stratton walked LeMahieu to start the inning and Blackmon singled before Arenado drove a 3-2 offering over the left-center field wall.

GIANTS NEMESIS

Arenado has driven in 90 runs in 100 career games against the Giants Danielle Hunter Jersey , the second most among active players. Matt Kemp leads with 93 career RBIs against the Giants. Said Arenado: ”I think they bring out the best in all of us. They bring out the best in me – three World Series rings and they’ve always been one of the top tier teams in our division. It’s always a tough place to play and I always want to beat them because I always feel like they’ve beaten us in the past, a lot.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: The team’s starting rotation is nearing full strength again. Manager Bruce Bochy said that RHP Johnny Cueto is slated to be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, when he’s scheduled to start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Cueto was placed on the DL, retroactive to April 29, because of a right elbow sprain. RHP Jeff Samardzija is slated to start Saturday’s game against St. Louis after being reinstated from the 10-day DL. Samardzija went on the DL after leaving a May 30 start against Colorado following one inning due to tightness in his pitching shoulder.

Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis has gone on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger. Bettis left his last start on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers after three innings because of the finger injury. Senzatela was recalled from Albuquerque to fill Bettis’ roster spot and started Tuesday against the Giants in the place of RHP Jon Gray, who was optioned Saturday to Albuquerque.

UP NEXT

Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (3-4, 4.18 ERA) is coming off a strong outing in which he allowed one run on seven hits over six innings in a 2-1 win against Arizona.

Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (5-3, 4.23 ERA) has gone 1-3 with a 5.26 ERA in eight previous starts at Coors Field this season.

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Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:25 am
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