Experience has its privileges.
Rams recipient Cooper Kupp is in his fifth season on the offense of coach Sean McVay. This offers Kupp creativity and freedom in running routes within the parameters set by McVay.
“It’s a lot of fun learning where these parameters are,” said Kupp after Thursday’s training session, “and pushing them a little and pulling him back, but it was really good.”
For Kupp and the Aries.
Kupp goes into Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with five NFL-leading touchdowns and 367 yards. He is tied for the championship lead with 25 receptions.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice, leading the Rams to a 3-0 start. But on Thursday, Kupp was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month. He is the first Rams recipient to receive the recognition since Torry Holt in 2003.
“More than any other position, the receiver depends on the other 10 guys doing their job really well,” said Kupp. “To be in the position I am in, I’m really just a benefactor of 10 other guys who do a really good job.
“I am very grateful for these guys and for the work we are doing offensively as a team.”
The Rams have won a 34:24 victory over reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kupp caught two touchdown passes in one day when receiver DeSean Jackson and tight end Tyler Higbee showed up as extra weapons for Stafford.
Kupp’s success helps other recipients, Jackson said.
“Any defense we play against will be responsible for him,” Jackson said, adding, “but I mean, it works at the same time.
“Our entire reception corps is looking forward to getting out and helping each other. And when we have an opportunity, we just take it. “
Kupp has seized the chance since the Rams picked him in the third round of the 2017 draft.
In 2019, Kupp caught 94 passes for 1,161 yards and 10 touchdowns, and the Rams rewarded him with a three-year contract extension worth $ 47.25 million, according to spotrac.com.
Kupp didn’t just make a lot of money. He’s also earned the freedom to spin his routes, McVay said.
“He’s so creative and has such a great thinking process,” McVay said this week. “So definitely give responsibility to your players who deserve this right.”
Rams recipient Cooper Kupp (10) and quarterback Matthew Stafford celebrate a touchdown in Indianapolis on September 19.
Last season, Kupp caught 92 passes for 974 yards and three touchdowns. But a knee injury sustained in a wildcard playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks sidelined Kupp for a divisional playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.
He did not show any ill effects on his quick start this season.
In a 34-14 season opening win over the Chicago Bears, Kupp caught a 56-yard touchdown pass and finished with seven receptions for 108 yards.
Over the next week in Indianapolis, he caught nine passes for 163 yards, including touchdowns of 16 and 10 yards, in a 27-24 win over the Colts.
“He has a great sense of when to have guys on his heels, when to pitch guys, how to do that,” said Stafford in the days leading up to the Buccaneers game.
In defeating Tampa Bay, Kupp caught nine passes for 96 yards, including touchdowns of two and 10 yards. His performance helped Jackson, Higbee, and the recipients Robert Woods and Van Jefferson.
“When we get this going, it’s hard to meet a man,” said Stafford.
The Cardinals (3-0) will try to brake Kupp on Sunday in the SoFi stadium at the NFC West opener for both teams.
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said the versatility of the Rams receivers is a challenge.
“You never think, ‘Hey, he’s just an option route guy’ or ‘He’s just a go guy,'” Kingsbury said. “I mean, you can do anything.”
If the Cardinals – or an opponent – try to focus on taking Kupp off, other Rams recipients will take advantage of it, Kupp said.
“I’m very happy with how the boxing score turned out for me personally, but I don’t think that’s how we plan,” he said. “The ball will be given to the boys. … I assume that things will move and be fluid in this regard. “