Copper ready to begin fourth season
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
After a long summer, Terrance Copper is ready for the NFL season to kick off this week.
Copper will begin his fourth season in the NFL, including his second with the Saints. He’s currently listed as a back-up to Marques Colston at one of the receiver spots.
Following a couple years where he worried about just making a team, Copper’s mindset during the preseason was a little more secure this time out.
That doesn’t mean Copper took it easy in camp. He worked hard to improve his game during a scorching summer in Mississippi.
Copper, who wears No. 18, played in four of New Orleans’ five preseason games, including the Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He led the Saints with three receptions for 39 yards in that game. The players had a chance to tour the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, prior to the game.
New Orleans went on to play four more preseason games, finishing with a 3-2 record. Copper, who played in four of those games, hauled in 12 receptions for 144 yards.
Along with several “regulars,” Copper didn’t play in the team’s preseason finale on Thursday.
Copper and the Saints open the regular season Thursday at the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts. The game will be televised by NBC on WITN-Ch. 7.
Copper is coming off a career year where he helped to fill in for the injured Joe Horn. He played in 15 games, starting four of them. The former Washington High School and East Carolina University standout hauled in 23 receptions for 385 yards and three touchdowns. He had three catches for 29 yards in the team’s loss to the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game.
He also returned four kickoffs for 79 yards (19.8 average).
Copper is hoping for another big season.
After two years of playing primarily on special teams, Copper saw his role expand in 2006.
In 2005 with the Cowboys, Copper played in all 16 games and had 11 special-teams tackles. He returned two kickoffs for 32 yards (16.0 average) and had one catch for five yards.
As a rookie in 2004 Copper grabbed seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. He also had 16 kickoff returns for 307 yards (19.2 average).
In his career, Copper has 31 receptions for 474 yards and four touchdowns. He has 22 kickoff returns for 418 yards (19.0 average) along with 29 special-teams tackles.
He’ll look to be more of a presence in the passing games with the Saints once again this season. Copper said the competition at receiver with the likes of Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, David Patten, Robert Meacham and Lance Moore made each player better this summer.
After helping to get the Saints to the NFC Championship game last year, Copper said the team wants more this year.