Rams News: Puka Nacua Discusses Settling In After First Drop In Stellar NFL Debut

Originally published by RamsNewswire.com

The Los Angeles Rams put together a surprisingly dominant first victory of the season against the Seattle Seahawks that saw rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua post an electric debut. He was the top target for Matthew Stafford, hauling in 10 of his 15 targets for 119 yards, tying TuTu Atwell for the team lead in the 30-13 win.

Nacua’s start to the game was less than ideal, though, as the rookie dropped his first target on the team’s opening drive. But he quickly turned things around, bringing in his next two targets on the same drive for 26 yards. Nacua played a role in nearly every drive for the remainder of the game.

Nacua spoke about his NFL debut and how long it took for him to feel comfortable within the flow of the game, according to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“Shoot, probably after my first drop, the under route,” Nacua said, when asked when he felt like he was in a rhythm and settled in. “It was like, ‘holy cow,’ he’s coming to be and I gotta be more – not that I wasn’t prepared, but I was like, ‘okay, now I’m on my p’s and q’s because I feel like I gotta be my biggest critic. I let the first one go. I was so excited, like, the first one, I gotta be ready, I gotta snag it, and of course the first one goes, we have a miscommunication. But Stafford, as I dropped it, he was the first one to come up and be like, ‘hey, you’re good, that was on me.’ It helps me to keep the confidence going, so a big help from him.”

Nacua knew he was one of the players that needed to step up in the absence of All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp. And alongside Atwell, Nacua established himself as an early top receiving target for the Rams this season.

Part of a retooling campaign is getting unexpected contributions, and 119 yards from a rookie in his debut is far from expected. With that performance, Nacua is setting himself up for a strong rookie season receiving passes from Stafford.

McVay proud of Rams resilience

Despite the narrative that the Rams may not be competitive this season, they found a way to win convincingly against a playoff-contending divisional opponent. Head coach Sean McVay was proud of the way his team stepped up against those expectations.

“A lot of guys stepped up and made big-time plays. I could go through a plethora of people but I’m so proud of this team. I’m so proud of this group. It was awesome to be able to see a lot of the work that they put in come to fruition. But it’s one game, and they know that. We’ve got to continue to keep it rolling. We’ll enjoy this and then we’ll move forward towards a phenomenal football team next week.”

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