With Kansas City Chiefs training camp less than a month away, Arrowhead Pride has reached out to the club’s rookie draftees’ college coaches to get to know them better. Our “Rookie Conversations” begin with Cincinnati co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Colin Hitschler, the college coach of second-round safety Bryan Cook.
Here is a sample of what we learned about Cook:
If you could tell us one thing Chiefs fans need to know about Cook before they can see him take the field, what would that be?
Hitschler: “One, I’d say he’s a great person before you even talk about football. He’s a leader, a well-rounded young man. He’s been successful on and off the field. He’s an academic all-American and was voted captain by his teammates even though he had never truly been a starter until this year... He’s someone who was considered a leader even though he had less playing time than guys that were returning… He’s outworked everybody his whole life, and he’ll continue to put in the work on and off the field to be successful.”
One of the biggest things we’ve noticed about Cook’s game is that he’s not afraid to hit people. Is that something you guys noticed about his game immediately when he stepped on the football field?
Hitschler: “It’s awesome to hear you say that because when Bryan came to our program, he was a corner at Howard University [in 2017-18]. This is a kid that was a thin, smaller-framed kid coming out of high school and really only had one offer from Howard close to signing day. He grew from an FCS corner to a big-time all-American level safety–and changed his body through the development of our weight room program… He turned himself into a physical specimen that was obviously evaluated highly by NFL scouts. His style of play also became this physical, tough, hard-nosed mentality, and he put a lot of pride into that.”
If you had to compare Cook to one NFL safety, is there a particular player that comes to mind?
Hitschler: “No, I think what makes Bryan unique is he takes pieces from different games. It’s hard for me to put in my mind exactly who he would be. In an ideal world, if his career pans out like I hope it does, Brian Dawkins was the guy that I always watched in Philly growing up. Obviously, coach (Andy) Reid had him under him. That would be the dream that I think he could become.
“Just a physical leader, with toughness, who can control the whole back end. He’s got a lot of work to put in before anything of that kind.”
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