Ex-49er cornerback Marcus Cooper has been making plays for Kansas City, and his former teammates have noticed.
Veteran Carlos Rogers said Cooper, the 49ers' final draft pick in April, sat next to him in meetings throughout the offseason. "Now I see him on TV making plays," Rogers said. "You always want to see a guy - I don't want to say looks up to you - but tries to learn from you and tries to see what's going on on the field. And he's helping them out and making plays."
Cooper is not a starter for the 5-0 Chiefs. But he serves as the team's third cornerback and often plays starter-like minutes. In Sunday's win over the Titans, he was in on 81 percent of the defensive plays and scored the game's first touchdown when he recovered a loose ball in the end zone. He also had an interception and knocked away three other passes.
He was among the 49ers' final cuts, and the team intended to add him to the practice squad. The Chiefs picked him up instead.
Rogers started talking about Cooper because he was asked, tongue-in-cheek, whether he was jealous of Tramaine Brock's two interceptions against the Texans. No, Rogers said, in fact he takes pride in seeing younger players he's helped mentor, like Brock and Cooper, succeed. Brock was named the NFC's Defensive Player of the Week; Cooper was a candidate to win the award in the AFC.
Rogers said he hasn't communicated with Cooper recently, but others on the team have. "The guys on the team keep talking to him," he said. "Everybody's watching him every chance we get because Kansas City's playing good, he's playing and being productive for them."
-- Matt Barrows