Emanuel Cook Steps In For Ed Reed


Who stepped in for future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed last week at minicamp?

It was mainly reserve safety Emanuel Cook who ran with the first-team defense, a signal of who could be the starter if Reed misses more time.

"It's a lot of hard work," Cook said of running with the ones. "I'm just trying to be perfect out there and help the team the best way I can."

For fans who may not be familiar with Cook, he was claimed off waivers on Nov. 29 last year after he was unexpectedly cut by the New York Jets.

Often, waiver players are at the end of the bench and frequently not active on gameday. But Cook suited up for all five remaining regular-season games and both playoff contests.

He made two defensive tackles in Week 16 against Cleveland, and had two special-teams stops. Cook also recovered a fumble on a kickoff return in the AFC championship game.

Reed is expected to return for training camp, but if not, Cook could be looking at more time.

Free-agent addition Sean Considine is another more experienced option, and could play both safety spots if needed. Rookie Christian Thompson is also in the safety mix. Strong safety Bernard Pollard has been making the calls in the back end with Reed out.

"I've got a lot of players out there helping me, showing me how to work the defense," Cook said.

Cook, 24, said he's working to improve in his deep coverage. He's been watching tapes of Reed, who is one of the best in the business at tracking down long passes.

"I'm a hard-hitting safety," said Cook, who wears the same jersey number as former Ravens big hitter Dawan Landry. "I'm trying to turn my game around so I can have better ball skills. It's a lot of hard work."

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