Chris Cooley (American Football)
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Chris Cooley American Football

Chris Cooley
refer to caption
Cooley in 2011
No. 47
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1982-07-11) July 11, 1982 (age 38)
Powell, Wyoming
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:243 lb (110 kg)
Career information
High school:Logan (UT)
College:Utah State
NFL Draft:2004 / Round: 3 / Pick: 81
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:4,711
Receiving touchdowns:33
Player stats at

Christopher Ken Cooley (born July 11, 1982) is a former American football tight end who played for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Utah State University, and was drafted by the Redskins in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft.

Early years

Cooley attended Logan High School in Logan, Utah, and lettered in football, wrestling, and baseball. As a senior football tight end, he caught 45 passes for 625 yards (13.34 yards per rec. avg.) and on defense, added eight sacks and numerous tackles. In wrestling, he posted a 54-0 record his senior season and won the state championship and All-America honors.

College career

Cooley finished his college football career at Utah State University with 95 receptions for 1,255 yards (13.2 yards per reception). He was part of a talented receiving unit with teammate Kevin Curtis.

In 2003, his senior season at Utah State, Cooley led the NCAA in receptions by a tight end.

In 2017 he was inducted into the Utah State University Athletics Hall of Fame.[1]

Professional career

2004 season

In 2004, Cooley was drafted in the third round, with the 81st overall pick, of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. After being used sparingly in the first half of the 2004 season, Cooley began to be used more extensively in the last eight games, developing a rapport with Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey. In his first NFL season, Cooley led the team in touchdowns with six, while recording 37 receptions for 314 yards, catching three passes of more than twenty yards, and getting 23 first downs. He finished the season with an average of 8.5 yards per catch. He was the Redskins' nominee for the NFL Man of the Year award[2] for his work reading to children and feeding the poor. He is also lesser known by the nickname "Johnny White Guy," which was given to him by Clinton Portis during one of Portis' colorful press conferences, but the off color nickname did not stick.

2005 season

During the 2005 season, Cooley had a solid season as a receiver, catching 71 passes for 774 yards and seven touchdowns, including three in a game versus the rival Dallas Cowboys, breaking the Redskins franchise record for receptions as a tight end in a single season.[3] Those three touchdowns cost Cooley his fantasy football playoff game, because his opponent had Cooley on his fantasy team.[4] He led all NFC tight ends in fan voting for the annual Pro Bowl with 422,314 votes, but following player and coach voting (each group had 1/3 weight), was not chosen for the position. He was named first team All-NFC by Pro Football Weekly.[5]

Cooley at Redskins training camp in 2006.

2006 season

In 2006, Cooley got off to a slow start under the play-calling of the Washington Redskins' new offensive coordinator, Al Saunders. With only three receptions in the first two weeks of the season, Cooley appeared to not have a place in the new offensive scheme, but in the weeks following, became a growing part of the Redskins offense. He ended the season with numbers slightly less than his sophomore outing, but was still one of the top tight ends in the game.

2007 season

On September 1, 2007, Cooley signed a six-year, $30 million contract extension.[6] In 2007, he had scored in all but one game as of week six. In the sixth week, Cooley had nine receptions for a career-high 105 yards and one touchdown in a 17-14 loss against the Green Bay Packers. On December 18, he was named to the 2007 Pro Bowl team with Redskins tackle Chris Samuels, long-snapper Ethan Albright, and the late safety Sean Taylor. Cooley set an NFL record by being the only tight end in league history to have six or more touchdowns in each of his first four seasons.

Cooley with Mike Sellers at the 2009 Pro Bowl

2008 season

In 2008, Cooley scored only one touchdown. In Week 5, he had eight receptions for a career-high 109 yards and one touchdown, on a pass from Antwaan Randle El in a 23-17 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Cooley finished the season with 83 catches for 849 yards and one touchdown, with career highs in both catches and yardage. He was the only player not to get into the stat book in the 2009 Pro Bowl.

2009 season

Cooley broke his ankle in a Monday Night Football matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 26, 2009.[7] It was initially speculated that Cooley would miss the remainder of the 2009 season. On October 27, 2009, Cooley commented via Twitter that the break may not have been as bad as originally thought and that he could possibly return in as little as four weeks.[8] His longest play of the year was a 66-yard touchdown. On November 30, 2009, Cooley was placed on injured reserve.

2010 season

Cooley played in all sixteen games of the 2010 season, but had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after the season on January 3, 2011.[9]

2011 season

Still recovering from the arthroscopic surgery to his left knee, Cooley did not play in any of the preseason games in 2011. Cooley played only in the 2011 season's first five games. After the win in Week 1 against the New York Giants, Cooley became the Washington Redskins' all-time leader in receptions at the tight end position with 422 receptions, breaking the previous franchise record of 421 set by Jerry Smith.[10] In Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys, Cooley subbed in for Darrel Young and Mike Sellers, who were both injured, and played the fullback position for the first time in his career.[11] In Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Cooley suffered a broken finger.[12] On October 25, 2011, Cooley was placed on injured reserve after his knee was examined further by his doctor and he was told that it would take another four or five weeks before full recovery.[13]

2012 season

During the preseason, it was reported that Cooley's knee was completely healed from the surgery and that he even lost 20 pounds to prepare for the 2012 season.[14] However, Cooley was released by the Redskins on August 28, 2012.[15] It had been hinted by general manager Bruce Allen that Cooley could return to the Redskins.[16][17][18]

On October 21, 2012, Cooley agreed to re-sign with the Redskins after Fred Davis tore his Achilles tendon and was done for the season.[19][20]


Year Team G GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2004 Washington Redskins 16 9 37 314 8.5 31 6
2005 Washington Redskins 16 16 71 774 10.9 32 7
2006 Washington Redskins 16 16 57 734 12.9 66 6
2007 Washington Redskins 16 16 66 786 11.9 39 8
2008 Washington Redskins 16 16 83 849 10.2 28 1
2009 Washington Redskins 7 7 29 332 11.4 25 2
2010 Washington Redskins 16 15 77 849 11.0 35 3
2011 Washington Redskins 5 5 8 65 8.1 17 0
2012 Washington Redskins 9 2 1 8 8 8 0
TOTAL 117 102 429 4,711 11.0 66 33

Retirement and post-playing career

On July 16, 2013, The Washington Post reported that Cooley was retiring from the NFL. The Post further reported that Cooley would join the Washington Redskins' radio broadcast team as an analyst.[21]

Cooley also co-hosted "Cooley & Kevin", a morning drive time sports show on ESPN 980 in D. C., with Kevin Sheehan.[22] The show was cancelled in 2018.[23] Cooley now hosts his own podcast, The Chris Cooley Show, in which he discusses Redskins and NFL news and breaks down each week's game film. He also produces weekly film review segments on the Redskins' official website.

On August 11, 2015, it was reported that Cooley expressed interest into returning to the NFL after working out at the Redskins facility during the off season. Cooley never officially retired from the NFL after not being re-signed by the Redskins in 2013. After playing only with the Redskins throughout his entire career, he was afraid to tarnish his legacy by joining another team.[24] The following month, Cooley attended a workout for the New York Giants but was not signed.[25]

Personal life

Cooley resides in Hamilton, Virginia.

Though he has previously attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he has not affiliated with that Church since at least 2004.[26][27] He and his first wife Angela divorced in 2005.[28] Later that year, he started dating Redskinnette (Redskin cheerleader) Christy Oglevee. She was fired for fraternizing with Redskins players, which the Redskins organization prohibits.[29] They married on May 23, 2008 in Landsdowne, Virginia.[30] In January 2012 they separated[31] and in September they announced their intent to divorce.[32] Cooley's first child, daughter Sloane, was born on September 11, 2014.[33]

Cooley, frequently referred to by his nickname "Captain Chaos," is known for his eccentric hair styles, affinity for heavy metal music, and what one reporter has called an "Animal House persona". This nickname was created when teammates bet him he would not go out to the opening coin toss and introduce himself to the opposing team captains as "Captain Chaos".[34] Cooley did so and the nickname stuck.

Cooley maintains his own blog, "The Cooley Zone." On Sunday, September 14, 2008, Cooley posted on his blog a photo of Redskins training materials that also included his genitals. The picture remained on his site all day Sunday until it was finally removed. Cooley apologized and referred to the incident as "a complete accident", claiming that he initially posted the photo without realizing it showed his genitals.[35][36] He at one time maintained an online store through eBay, featuring jerseys, cards, and other personalized memorabilia. Cooley is an avid trading card collector, a hobby he rediscovered while searching for his own football cards.[37]

Cooley is executive producer of the independent film Ghosts Don't Exist, which began production in May 2009.[38] He was featured in an episode of Jake and Amir for the comedy website CollegeHumor.[39]

Cooley majored in art at Utah State, and now pursues a side career as a potter. He owns an art gallery in Leesburg.[40]

Cooley made several appearances in TV commercials for Easterns Automotive Group, a local car dealership group on the DC and Baltimore areas, alongside Clinton Portis, Antwaan Randle El, Sean Taylor and Jason Campbell.[41]


  1. ^ "Utah State University Inducts 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame Class". Utah State University Athletics. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Fletcher a Finalist for Man of the Year Honor". Archived from the original on December 7, 2010.
  3. ^ "Chris Cooley". NFL Players Association. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ "A Pro Stance On Fantasy Football". ABC 7 News. August 31, 2006. Archived from the original on February 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  5. ^ "Chris Cooley". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ "Chris Cooley Bares It All". Retrieved 2009.
  7. ^ "Redskins TE Cooley will miss remainder of year with broken ankle". October 27, 2007 1:45AM by Wire Reports on Retrieved 2009.
  8. ^ "The Associated Press: Redskins TE Cooley hopes to return in 4 weeks". Retrieved 2009.
  9. ^ "Cooley has knee scoped; four other Redskins scheduled for surgery". Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ "Cooley Sets Franchise Mark For Tight Ends". Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ Jones, Mike (September 28, 2011). "Chris Cooley lobbying for more snaps at fullback". Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ "Chris Cooley has surgery on broken left index finger". Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ Maese, Rick (October 28, 2011). "Redskins tight end Chris Cooley says NFL lockout hurt recovery from knee surgery". Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ Tinsman, Brian (May 21, 2012). "Cooley, Moss Trimmed For A Healthy 2012". Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ Maske, Mark (August 28, 2012) "Redskins release Chris Cooley", The Washington Post. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  16. ^ Maske, Mark (September 7, 2012). "Redskins to meet with Chris Cooley next week". Retrieved 2012.
  17. ^ Tinsman, Brian (September 7, 2012). "Door Remains Open On A Cooley Return". Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  18. ^ Klemko, Robert (September 14, 2012). "Chris Cooley still pondering return to Redskins". Retrieved 2012.
  19. ^ Maske, Mark (October 21, 2012). "Chris Cooley agrees to rejoin Redskins in wake of Fred Davis injury". Retrieved 2012.
  20. ^ Hanzus, Dan (October 21, 2012). "Report: Chris Cooley, Washington Redskins reuniting". Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ Maske, Mark; Steinberg , Dan (July 16, 2013). "Chris Cooley retires, will join Redskins' radio broadcast team". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ Steinberg, Dan (August 5, 2013). "Why Chris Cooley went to ESPN 980". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "Kevin Sheehan's Departure Spells the End of 'Cooley & Kevin' on The Team 980". The Washington Post. August 13, 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Chris Cooley, former Washington Redskins Tight end, Welcomes return to the NFL". Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ "Hakeem Nicks and Wes Welker work out for Giants". Retrieved 2015.
  26. ^ "Chris Cooley opens up about his release and whether he could play for Dallas". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016.
  27. ^ "Fan Mail". Fan Mail ~ The Official Blog of Chris Cooley. March 8, 2011. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ Wise, Mike (January 7, 2006). "Captain Chaos Enjoying the Ride Redskins' Cooley Knows When to Play Hard, When to Just Play". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ "Captain Chaos Finds His First Mate". Washington Post. August 7, 2007.
  30. ^ "Redskins' Chris Cooley Married Christy Oglevee". Hip Hop Elements. May 22, 2008. Archived from the original on December 18, 2010.
  31. ^ "Chris Cooley and wife Christy divorcing after four years". The Washington Post. September 12, 2012.
  32. ^ Fogarty, Dan (September 13, 2012). "Chris Cooley and His Wife are Getting a Divorce".
  33. ^ Czarda, Stephen. "Chris Cooley Holds Newborn Daughter".
  34. ^ Fitzgerald, Gary (February 2, 2009). "Cooley Helps Keep His Teammates 'Loose'". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2012.
  35. ^ "Redskins' Chris Cooley Shows His Genitals on His Blog". Cleveland Leader. September 17, 2008. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  36. ^ "Connecticut Sports News, New England Sport Scores | NBC Connecticut". Retrieved 2010.
  37. ^ "Collecting Trading Cards and Selling Them on eBay". July 2, 2008 by Chris Cooley. Retrieved 2008.
  38. ^ "Ghosts Don't Exist - Home". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved 2009.
  39. ^ "Jake and Amir: Chris Cooley - CollegeHumor video". February 4, 2010. Archived from the original on May 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  40. ^ Maguire, Ken (December 29, 2010). "A Tight End Happy to Have Hands of Clay". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010.
  41. ^ "PLAY ACTION: THE REDSKINS GO COMMERCIAL". August 6, 2008. Retrieved 2017.

Further reading

External links

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