Rams News: Cooper Kupp Sees Similarities Between Puka Nacua & Robert Woods

Originally published by RamsNewswire.com

The Los Angeles Rams made the difficult decision to trade veteran wide receiver Robert Woods to the Tennessee Titans prior to the start of the 2022 season after spending five seasons in L.A. They signed Allen Robinson as his hopeful replacement, but that experiment did not go to plan and Robinson was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Rams entered 2023 unsure who their No. 2 receiver would be after superstar Cooper Kupp. But almost immediately, rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua established himself as a bona fide No. 2, and for a few weeks, a No. 1. He set rookie records for receptions through his first four games and has already won two Offensive Rookie of the Week awards.

And there has already been a consensus comparison between what Nacua brings to the Rams and what Woods brought over his five seasons. Kupp, for one, sees the similarities and discussed after sharing the field with him for the first time in Week 5.

“Yeah, sure. They are very similar. They’re playing the same position. His game is real similar to Robert,” Kupp said. “Different than Robert… I thought he had, I think, a little more track speed to him. Like he could move…not that Puka’s not fast enough. That’s all you need, to be fast enough.

“I mean their games are real similar, slasher mindset, physical, tough mentality. All that stuff is there. I think you see that reflected. I think it’s both a part of our room. This is what the expectation is to come in to be a part of the room here and what the expectations are and how you play the game. Puka’s done a great job embodying that and then letting it go on the field.”

It’s hard to expect a rookie to bring what a player like Woods brought. He was a true professional in every sense of the word, always willing to do what the team needed him to do and never asking for any of the glory. He was instrumental to the roster that ultimately went on to win a Super Bowl while he sat on injured reserve.

But Nacua has quickly become a trusted receiver for Matthew Stafford, and he even dons the No. 17 that became synonymous with Woods. Seeing Nacua in No. 17 was a welcome sight for Kupp.

“Oh, it is. It is something kind of cool about that seeing 17 back out in the field again,” Kupp said.

If the Rams have found someone resembling what Woods meant to the organization in Nacua, then they have struck gold by drafting him. Now, Nacua has to turn his five weeks of elite production into becoming a consistent staple in the Rams offense.

McVay has nothing but praise for Jefferson

At one time, it was thought that Van Jefferson would be this season’s No. 2 receiver behind Kupp. But five weeks in and he has been traded to the Atlanta Falcons. After the trade was finalized, Sean McVay spoke highly of everything Jefferson was for the organization.

“Starting off, just want to wish Van Jefferson nothing but the best,” McVay said following practice. “We’ve had great communication and dialogue. He is a special person. He’s a special player.”

The post Rams News: Cooper Kupp Sees Similarities Between Puka Nacua & Robert Woods appeared first on Rams Newswire.