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Cooley On Verge Of Setting Franchise Record

Posted Jun 14, 2011

Heading into the 2011 season, Chris Cooley is on the verge of becoming perhaps the greatest Redskins tight end of all time -- at least in terms of receptions.


Since joining the Redskins in 2004, Chris Cooley has blossomed into one of the top tight ends in the NFL.

Now, Cooley is poised to become perhaps the greatest Redskins tight end of all time, at least in terms of receptions.

Cooley, a two-time Pro Bowler, enters his eighth NFL season with 420 career catches. With two more catches, he would set the Redskins’ mark for most catches by a tight end, surpassing Jerry Smith.

Smith, a two-time Pro Bowler himself, logged 421 career catches from 1965-77.

It seems likely that Cooley would set that mark in Week 1 of the 2011 regular season. He has averaged four catches per game in his career.

Surpassing Smith would put Cooley into fifth place on the Redskins’ all-time receptions list, trailing Art Monk (888), Charley Taylor (649), Gary Clark (549) and Santana Moss (442).

In terms of receiving yards, Cooley needs 859 yards in 2011 to surpass Smith as the Redskins’ all-time leader. Smith has 5,496 career receiving yards, while Cooley has 4,638.

Smith has a chance to hold on to the franchise record of most touchdown receptions by a tight end, though.

In his 13-year career, Smith had 60 touchdown grabs, which is third-most in franchise history behind Taylor (79) and Monk (65).

Cooley has 33 touchdown catches, which is tied for eighth in franchise history alongside Moss.

In his first four NFL seasons, Cooley averaged 6.75 touchdowns per season. The last three years, though, he has averaged just 2.0 touchdowns per season.