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Jerry Jeudy excited to work side-by-side with Amari Cooper, expects it to lift his game

Jerry Jeudy has been learning from Amari Cooper since he was a freshman in high school. After more than a decade of film study from afar, Jeudy’s eager for the tutorials to become up close and personal.

“I’m excited to play with Coop,” Jeudy said Thursday during an introductory news conference. “I’ve been watching him for a long time, so me watching him and actually studying him made me become a better player. So now actually being next to him and actually hearing his opinions on things, on how to run certain routes is going to help me, impact me extremely well. So I’m excited to see how this thing goes.”

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The Browns acquired Jeudy from the Denver Broncos in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round picks in the draft in April. The deal was struck Saturday and became official Wednesday when the league year started.

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He’s expected to slide into the No. 2 receiver role behind Cooper, a five-time Pro Bowler. They’re both Alabama alums and first-round picks — Cooper went No. 4 to the Raiders in 2015 and Jeudy No. 15 to the Broncos in 2020.

Jeudy, 24, began following Cooper because Nick Saban and Alabama started recruiting him when he was a freshman at Deerfield Beach High School in South Florida. Cooper, 29, is from Miami.

“I just started watching him ever since then,” Jeudy said.

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Cooper has also studied Jeudy and included him on the list of the NFL’s best route runners, along with Davante Adams and Keenan Allen, during an interview with The Chronicle-Telegram before the 2022 season. Cooper said he, Jeudy and Calvin Ridley were “pretty polished route runners” by the time they got to Alabama.

“Just knowing how great of a route runner he is and being able for him to just say my name to be in that conversation in that group means a lot,” Jeudy said.

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They hung out together before the 2020 draft and have stayed in contact but haven’t trained together. Jeudy looks forward to that changing in Berea and hopefully Miami.

“The thing I really watch about Coop is just his release,” he said. “How he manipulates the defenders off the ball and stuff like that. Once you beat a guy off the ball, it’s just routes on air after that point.”

Jeudy (6-foot-1, 193 pounds), who won the Biletnikoff Award as college football’s best receiver, didn’t live up to his draft status in four seasons with the Broncos, starting 44 of 57 games and totaling 211 catches for 3,053 yards, a 14.5 average and 11 touchdowns. He battled injuries and drops, as well as quarterback and coaching changes.

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“My ceiling is very high. I have high expectations for myself,” he said. “The past few years wasn’t exactly what I want it to be because different circumstances and stuff like that, but I’m here, I’m where my feet are at now, and I’m a Brown and I’m just ready to be the best version of myself here than I ever was before.”

He believes Deshaun Watson will help him in that pursuit.

“Always having a consistent quarterback, a great quarterback like Deshaun Watson that knows where to get the ball on time, put it in the right placement, having a quarterback like that, it is always going to be good for the receivers and to be the best version of both of their selves,” Jeudy said.

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As he failed to meet expectations in Denver, the critics circled. TV analyst and former NFL All-Pro receiver Steve Smith Sr. was the loudest, calling Jeudy just a guy and advising teams not to trade for him.

The Browns didn’t listen.

“Yeah, yeah, of course, I’m grateful for that,” Jeudy said. “Just because they didn’t let one person stop them from knowing the true meaning. They understand the game of football. Some people got their opinions on me and some people think otherwise.

“It didn’t affect me in no type of way, it didn’t affect the Browns. I know the Browns didn’t really listen to what Steve Smith had to say. They just had to turn on the tape to see if it’s really true or not. And they turn on the tape and see it wasn’t true what he said.”

The Browns were interested in trading for Jeudy last year but the price was too high. The sustained interest meant a lot to him.

“You hear things but unless nothing happens, it’s just all talk,” Jeudy said. “So actually being here now it shows how much they really wanted me and how much high expectations they have for me. So it’s exciting, for real.

“I feel like a fresh start. It’s going to be exciting just to be able to be somewhere new, especially having all the great guys on the team. So it is just going to make things a lot more easier for me and just better.”

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Jeudy is in the last year of his rookie contract and will make $13 million. The Browns likely want to see how he performs this season before considering an extension, but Jeudy wants to plant roots.

“I want to be somewhere that wants me to be there and I want to be home,” he said. “My attitude now is positive and just ready to get to work and show the world who Jerry Jeudy really is and be able to bring a Super Bowl to the team and just consistent winning and being a consistent player.”

He’s confident the situation with the Browns will help him achieve that. In addition to Cooper, he knows receiver Elijah Moore from playing together on a seven-on-seven team.

“I’m a guy that could play all four positions on the field: the Y, the F, the Z, the X,” Jeudy said. “I feel I’m a guy that just can make plays after the catch and just bring YAC and big playmaking ability to the team. And I feel like Coop and Elijah do the same thing. So it’s just going to be exciting just to be able to have three receivers that all could do the same thing right after the catch, create separation.”

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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