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Todd Yoder Attributes His Success To Chris Cooley. Sort Of.

Posted by Matt Terl on November 15, 2009 – 8:09 pm

It’s been awhile since Todd Yoder had two touchdowns in a season. “In a season?” he said. “Tampa, my fourth year, actually, two in the same game — in this stadium. Washington.”

The date was October 12, 2003. Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” was climbing the charts. The Red Sox and Yankees were in the middle of a heated ALCS, which the Yankees would eventually win, thus prolonging the story of the Red Sox “curse” and launching seven years of non-stop Yankees/Red Sox coverage on ESPN.

And young Todd Yoder came to FedExField with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and caught the first two touchdown passes of his career from Brad Johnson, ending with 28 yards and two touchdowns. From the ESPN game recap:

The unlikeliest hero was tight end Todd Yoder, who got wide open for his first two NFL touchdowns after starter Ken Dilger left in the first half with a sprained right ankle. Yoder, known more for his special teams play, also set up another touchdown by dragging Champ Bailey and David Terrell past the first-down marker on a third-and-8 deep in Washington territory.

Today, he recorded his second touchdown of this season — and his second in two games — as he continues his development into one of the main redzone targets of the 2009 Washington Redskins.

Or not.

“Actually, it’s kinda funny, that play,” Yoder said. “Really I’m supposed to help block down and seal the edge, and I really didn’t have anybody to block, ’cause [my guy was] the guy that spiked across the front. And I was just like, ‘Well, might as well just get over here and get open,’ and he found me.”

He added, “It was just kind of a bootleg play; it just happened that I kinda was able to come out of it and Jason [Campbell] found me. I’m really not even the primary target on that, and I just think me and him got a little chemistry going now where he finds me and sees me and throws me the ball.”

And — as he’s previously noted on this blog — he attributes much of this recent success to his mohawked hair. “It’s definitely” the mohawk, he reiterated today, “so we’re gonna keep it and we’re gonna ride it out. We’re gonna see where it goes.”

I suggested that other players on the team might benefit from a similar power haircut, and Yoder seemed skeptical. ” I don’t know if anybody else’ll rock the mohawk,” he said, “but I’m definitely gonna get my barber — who is Chris Cooley — to maybe re-trim it up, and we might dye it again. You never know.”

Wait a second. Your barber? “Yeah,” Yoder said. “Chris Cooley’s my barber. He mohawked it; you can see the straightness of it.”

So there you have it: Todd Yoder’s offensive explosion is directly attributable to Chris Cooley’s skills. At shaving hair in a straight line, but still.


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