Second-year wide receiver Tutu Atwell of the Los Angeles Rams had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rookie campaign. Nothing about it went right and it was virtually over before it ever truly began. We don’t need to rehash the past as his rookie struggles have already been well-documented (particularly by yours truly).
Atwell has been working his tail off this offseason by refusing to let his past mistakes define the rest of his career. His work habits were one of those troublesome areas last season and Rams Wide Receivers Coach Eric Yarber has high praise regarding Tutu’s progress in that department.
“He’s progressing very, very well mentally and physically,” Yarber said via The Orange County Register. “The game has slowed down for him. He knows his plays like the back of his hand. It’s almost like he took things for granted last year. But now, he saw how Cooper and Robert Woods prepared and how it translated to on-the-field success. I was going to suggest he do that anyway, but he did it before I even suggested it. That says a lot about how he’s serious about this and he wants to be a good pro.”
This appears to be a strong sign that the Louisville product has made great use of his offseason. It’s also probably a good sign when the Super Bowl MVP is gushing about his production in practice too.
“I’m excited about seeing him out here in OTAs and training camp,” Cooper Kupp said via the Los Angeles Rams official team website. “We’re seeing some other stuff come to life because he’s been working very hard to rehab, but also just building himself up and studying the playbook – all the stuff that he needs to do to make sure when he steps on the field to just play his game.”
It’s not just the coaching staff or the team’s star players praising Tutu. Some of the fanbase is starting to warm up to Atwell, unwilling to abandon hope on a player who didn’t get much of an opportunity to show what he was made of during limited action in 2021.
Never thought I'd see the day where I was one of the few TuTu Atwell supporters out there, yet here we are...— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) May 31, 2022
For a player that played 10 offensive snaps last year as a rookie, that was somehow enough for a lot of the fanbase to draw conclusions.
People sleeping on you bro! Life long Rams fan and live in the 305. Represent Tutu!— jr castro (@jr1908) June 3, 2022
Tutu Atwell. Only been a year but he has too much "make ya miss" in him not to go off— hawaiinpunchdrunk (@kellemsjon) June 4, 2022
Tell ‘em bro! I seen a lot of mofos disrespecting you and you were hurt…— xy - ManRam (@Mannywood22) June 2, 2022
I'm looking at this guy in college, and he's speedy + smooth. Y do Rams fans troll him so much?— Walking Bucket (@Walking07085563) May 30, 2022
While I would prefer to see Tutu back up his talk on the playing field, his confidence is very encouraging. It might seem as if his talk is bordering on cocky but he carries himself with the attitude of someone who has everything and nothing to lose all at once. Atwell had every reason to be negative about how his first season in the NFL went down. However, he’s been working to build himself up and betting that he’ll have a breakout year.
“At the end of the day, I’m here, I’m on the team,” Atwell said via Sports Illustrated. “Coach (Sean) McVay and Les chose me for a reason. They see what I can do. I’m going to prove everybody wrong.”
Based on all the work he’s put in during rehab and the offseason, I’m very excited to see what’s in store for Tutu Atwell in 2022. I’ve been critical of Atwell in previous posts but I wouldn’t say I’ve given up on him. Personally, I believe draft picks have up to three years with their original teams to prove their worth to their respective organization.
Atwell is entering a crucial second season in LA. In the spirit of his handful of supporters, let’s hope Tutu can back up his talk and have the breakout campaign we’ve been waiting for.