Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
Although he still has yet to take his first snap with the Los Angeles Rams, there is no question that quarterback Matthew Stafford is now backed by the strongest supporting cast of his career.
The receiving corps is already headed by one of the NFL’s best duos in Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Meanwhile, the emergence of running back Cam Akers in an offense run by head coach Sean McVay is an intriguing recipe for success on paper.
More importantly, Stafford will have the benefit of a full offseason to build some chemistry with his new teammates both on and off the field now that we are nearing the end of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It has not taken him long to get on the same page as Kupp.
The pair have already produced a number of highlights in the early offseason workouts. Stafford even praised Kupp as one of the smartest teammates he has ever played with, via Cameron DaSilva of USA Today:
“It’s been great. He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve played with,” Stafford said. “His understanding of this offense and what defenses are trying to do is pretty special and something that as a quarterback, it’s pretty fun to have a guy out there that’s thinking and seeing the game the same way that you are. That’s a special trait of his, something that I know he’s worked extremely hard on and we’re just trying to have dialogue. Some of these routes are his choice or are we seeing the Mike change the coverage? So we’re just trying to sit there and as we’re watching other guys go, talk about what we might’ve done in that situation and what he would expect from me and what I would expect from him. Just constantly trying to make sure we’re on the same page and able to execute.”
Stafford’s comments hardly come as any surprise given Kupp’s ability to break down opposing defenses. Even as a rookie he was considered by McVay to be NFL-ready and he has since matured into one of the most productive wideouts in the league.
Kupp’s skill set has clearly helped him waste no time in making quite an impression on Stafford. This connection to the new centerpiece of the offense should pay some major dividends when it comes to building trust in the passing game.
It is also encouraging to see that Kupp has tremendous strides in his recovery from a bursitis issue that plagued him down the stretch of the 2020 campaign. While his status will continue to be monitored in the 2021 NFL season, he is all in on building rapport with Stafford this offseason.
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