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WR Riley Cooper Addresses Media

Posted Aug 6, 2013

Opening Statement: "I just want to start off by saying it feels great to be back and doing what I love to do, playing the game of football. I had fun out there on the field today and I realize being in the NFL you have a responsibility to behave on and off the field. I realize that. If you all have any questions for me, I'll be happy to answer them."

On what he did during his excused absence: "I just went out and sought help. I talked to my family and sought help. I'm going to keep that between me and the others that are helping out. It went well."

On when he knew he was ready to return: "It took a few days to be honest with you. It took a few days. It's been a tough, tough ride. I talked to Chip (Kelly) last night and this morning. He asked me. He said, 'How do you feel? Are you ready to come back?' And I said, absolutely. I love being out there on the field. I love being out there with my guys. I wanted to be out there today, the sooner the better."

On how it felt when he was on the field: "To be honest with you, it felt good. It felt great. I love being out there on the field playing football. That's what I do and that's what I love. It felt good to be out there with the guys, catching and running, making some plays and them coming up to you, supporting you, high-fiving you, chest-bumping you like Jason Avant did in the end zone when I had that TD. It just felt good to be back out here with all of the guys."

On whether he feels as if he's here to stay: "I sure do hope so. I'm going to try each and every day to prove that and just play as hard as I can and play my game. I want to stay here."

On what he communicated to his teammates: "I talked to everyone individually. I told them, 'I don't want you to forgive me because that puts the burden on you.' I want it all on me. I told them that and I told them I apologize. They could tell it's from the heart. They know I'm not that type of person. It feels good to have support from the guys."

On whether he had 100 percent support from his teammates: "I went in and I talked to everybody and everyone seemed to support."

On whether he wants to earn that respect back: "Absolutely. Just by my actions and what I do. Don't judge me for the past, moreso the future. Just watch my daily moves and what I'm doing."

On when he talked to his teammates: "I talked to a few this morning, but primarily I talked to everyone before I left."

On whether that communication was face-to-face: "Face-to-face."

On what the counseling consisted of: "We just talked about the situation and how big this is. I realize that and I realize how many people I've hurt, how many families I've hurt, how many kids I've hurt. That's what we talked about, the severity of it and I completely realize that and I take full responsibility for it."

On how he will move forward: "It's going to be tough. No doubt, it's going to be tough. I'm going to live with this for the rest of my life. It's one of those things where you can't let it affect your play on the field and that's what I'm going to strive to do."

On whether or not the counseling will be ongoing: "I'll reach out, but I'm going to keep that between me and my family."

On being back on the field going against another team: "Everyone was great. It felt great being out there running around and making plays. It did. I've told you guys a hundred times. That's what I love to do. It felt great to be back on the field."

On whether he had to pay special attention to any particular teammates: "No, absolutely not. No."

On whether alcohol was discussed during the counseling: "We didn't really touch on that, but I'm not going to get into all that we talked about. I'm just going to try to move forward and hopefully people judge me from here on out."

On living with this for the rest of his life: "It's brutal, but that's reality. It's going to be with me every day and I'm going to think about it every day. I know I will. When I had to talk to the team the day everything came out, it was extremely emotional. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, talk to my boys and talk to my teammates and tell them what I did and how I let them down. Yes, this is the most emotional thing I've ever been through."

On whether it will affect how opponents play against him: "I know people are going to say stuff, but people have always said stuff. You have to be the bigger man and you have to have thick skin in this situation. I'm aware of it."

On being away for the past couple of days: "It's always good to have someone you can talk to. They tell you and try to help you through something of this magnitude, so it was extremely helpful. I got to see my family which was extremely important for me, just for them to let me know and see me face-to-face and let them know that everything will hopefully be all right."

On the reaction of his parents: "They're extremely, extremely disappointed in me. That's one of the hardest parts of dealing with this whole thing. It's just knowing how I was raised, I was raised great. I have a great mom and dad. They're having a tough time dealing with it and that's pretty tough for me to cope with. I'm trying to be there for them and they're trying to be there for me. I'm their son. That's where we are."

On whether any players said that they would never forgive him: "No. No."

On considering legal action against the person who took the video: "I haven't talked to anybody about that. That's not important. The important thing is what I said. I'm taking full responsibility for it and how apologetic and sorry that I am that I said it."

On whether he wants to apologize to the security guard: "Yes, I do."

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