FOXBOROUGH — New England has made a good initial impression on Brandin Cooks. Now the receiver is out to do the same.
“Right away, I love it,’’ said the new Patriots receiver, who was acquired from the Saints for a first-round pick in March.
Not even the inhospitable spring weather (“It’s a little cold coming from New Orleans, but I love it”) could dampen the enthusiasm he feels for joining the Patriots.
“I love the way they run things here, and it’s a blessing to be able to be a part of this organization and I’m just happy to be here,’’ said Cooks, taking a break from his conditioning to meet with the New England media for the first time Tuesday.
An electrifying player with elite speed and strong hands, Cooks said he couldn’t be happier to join such a diversified bunch of receivers.
“Oh man, I’m excited to join a group like this,’’ he said. “To come here and do my job and do what I have to do to help make this receiving corps better and to help this offense, that’s what it’s all about.’’
Cooks has spent time working with Tom Brady — as well as Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett — during the team’s offseason program, and called his new starting quarterback “amazing.”
Pressed on why he chose that word, Cooks smiled.
“I think you can answer that,’’ said the dynamo, who collected 162 passes for 2,311 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons. “He’s an awesome quarterback. I’m glad to have an opportunity to be able to play with him.’’
Cooks, who knows a thing or two about connecting with an awesome quarterback after playing his first three seasons with Drew Brees, ticked off some of the qualities he admires in Brady.
“His attention to detail and how focused he is,’’ said Cooks. “I look at him and try to strive to be just like that. Obviously, [watching] the game on TV, he’s amazing. But to see him now, in person, and his study habits, is awesome.’’
He relayed that he has spent “a lot of time” trying to get up to speed with the Patriots offense, so he’ll be ready to go when full-team activities begin.
“I want to make sure I can catch up so I’m not left behind, so every opportunity I get to study the playbook, I do,’’ he said. “I’m out here by myself, so I have nothing else to do but to think football and study the playbook.’’
Cooks, who has worn No. 10 throughout his career, will wear No. 14 with the Patriots. He said he passed on any attempts to pry the number away from Garoppolo.
“No, I didn’t even try,’’ he said, smiling. “I didn’t even think about asking him. New journey, new opportunity, so I kind of wanted something different.’’
Though he has yet to play a game for the hometown team, Cooks got a good first taste of just how much sports mean to the people of New England when he attended a recent Celtics playoff game.
“It just seems like the sports history here is amazing, from baseball to hockey to football, you name it,’’ he said. “So when I was in the Garden, I always dreamed of that. It was a great atmosphere and not only a great atmosphere but a dream come true, as well.’’
Cooks acknowledged that he’s excited about heading back to New Orleans for a Week 2 matchup with his old club but cautioned that he won’t get caught up thinking too much about it until the time comes.
“I’m not going to treat it any differently,’’ he said. “It’s Week 2, so I’ll be focused on Week 1. Once Week 2 comes, that’s what I’ll be focused on. It’s not like I put an X on the calendar for that game.”
While Cooks was the headliner of the Patriots’ offseason overhaul, he has been impressed by the team’s other personnel moves, including grabbing a handful of other proven veterans.
Mike Gillislee and Dwayne Allen are key additions on offense, while Stephon Gilmore, Kony Ealy, and Lawrence Guy are new faces on defense.
“We’re on a mission,’’ said Cooks of the reigning Super Bowl champions. “Whatever mission that may be, I don’t know, but we’re on a mission. That’s what it seems like.’’
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The Patriots hosted veteran free agent linebacker Andrew Gachkar Tuesday, according to ESPN. The seven-year veteran has 135 career tackles with stops in San Diego (2011-14) and Dallas (2015-16).
Jim McBride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.