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Mike Ditka

Rookie Amari Cooper is quietly making his mark with the Oakland Raiders

Rookie Amari Cooper is quietly making his mark with the Oakland Raiders

Amari Cooper is, by all accounts, as mild-mannered and polite a young man as you'd ever want to meet.

For NFL defenses, he's been a rude slap in the face — the same kind of slap that Cooper felt a few years ago.

The Oakland Raiders receiver is the first rookie since Mike Ditka in 1961 with three 100-yard performances in his first six games. Cooper, the fourth pick in last spring's draft, and St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley are midseason favorites for offensive rookie-of-the-year honors.

The slap Cooper absorbed came on an unofficial recruiting trip to Florida State, after an assistant coach from his high school issued a challenge to Seminoles...

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