The Los Angeles Rams may still be trying to figure out their depth chart for the wide receiver position, but by many reports Puca Nakua has has a solid training camp, it’s just a matter of where on the depth chart he’ll be. Kyren Williams seems to be building excitement around his potential role, and Matthew Stafford had some high praise for Tutu Atwell.
Do you believe the hype for any of these players? Do you have a guess to which of these three players (Tuta Atwell, Puka Nakua and Kyren Williams) will have the biggest impact for LA this year?
We’ve got a a few other fun links including one about Odell Beckam Jr. and another discussing Stetson Bennett as a steal in the draft. Thank you for checking out today’s links and have a good Monday!
Please comment on anything you’d like, as always we want to hear from you!
Rams’ Matthew Stafford Praises ‘Master Of Offense’ Tutu Atwell (fannation/ramsdigest)
“Even as quarterback Matthew Stafford connected repeatedly with receiver Cooper Kupp on what turned out to be the game-winning drive in Super Bowl LVI, it was clear that the Los Angeles Rams offense was too dependent on their All-Pro wideout.
That became especially apparent in 2022, when a high ankle sprain limited Kupp to just nine games during what turned out to be a disastrous 5-12 season for the Rams.
So while it’s not ideal that Kupp is once again sidelined — currently out with a hamstring injury — it is a reminder to the Rams how important it is that other receivers step up. And third-year receiver Tutu Atwell has looked the part so far in Training Camp, according to quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“Yeah, he’s doing a great job,” Stafford said. The best thing that he’s doing now is just his master of the offense. He knows exactly where he fits in at all three positions at receiver, which is tough to do, and he’s done a really good job of it… All the physical tools have always been there and I think he’s doing a great job of making plays when he is getting the opportunities and it’s been fun to work with him.”
A second-round pick out of Louisville, Atwell didn’t record a catch in the eight games that he played during his rookie season. Across 13 games in 2022 — four of which were starts — Atwell had 18 catches for 298 yards, averaging 16.6 yards per receptions. That type of game-breaking ability would be nice to harness on a more consistent basis, even if Kupp returns to the All-World level he played at in 2021.
In addition to Atwell, new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said this week that the Rams are “really, really pleased” with where rookie Puka Nacua is. The fifth-round pick was a valuable weapon for BYU both as a receiver and a rusher over his final two collegiate seasons.”
A legendary play can start with a routine echo screen.— Rams Community (@RamsCommunity) August 6, 2023
We’ve teamed up with @EdwardsLifesci for “Off the Sidelines” to make screening for heart valve disease a priority for people ages 65 and older. pic.twitter.com/l2oUxVdbyU
OBJ: ‘You Changed My Life!’ Ravens’ Beckham Message to Rams’ Sean McVay (fannation/ravencountry)
“Coach McVay,’’ Beckham tweeted after seeing Replying to McVay’s recent appearance on “The Pivot,” “you changed my life forever man. Grateful I had that experience wit u, single handedly changed my life. Love and miss them boys over there, can’t wait to whooop u and coach Rah (defensive coordinator Raheem Morris when the Rams play at Baltimore on December 10) this year.’’
What McVay said about OBJ, a mid-season Rams signing in 2021, with the three-time Pro Bowler helping L.A. to the Super Bowl before suffering a torn ACL in the second quarter of a game the Rams would win?
“I love that guy,” McVay told The Pivot Podcast. “… I always feel like the people that shine the brightest, when the stage is big as possible, like no moment is ever too big, he’s the kind of guy that comes to mind. I thought he played his best in those most important moments.’’
Beckham is now in Baltimore, where he’ll attempt to help the Ravens to a Super Bowl of their own thanks to what seems to be a stout defense and what seems to be an electric offense keyed by QB Lamar Jackson.”
“With the loss in the 2023 NFL Free Agency market of both NT Greg Gaines and DL A’Shawn Robinson, the LA Rams were not only committing the defense to new and unchartered waters. This move unsured a great deal of uncertainty moving forward, as both veterans were known for their ability to play superb defense to stop the run.
That still seems like a risky direction to take as the NFL may be moving away from valuing the contribution of running backs. But the rebirth of an effective rushing attack is beginning. And the LA Rams already know this
It was disappointing in the 2022 NFL season as the Rams defense began to fall to the same injury epidemic as the one that claimed so many offensive linemen and forced them to the bench. The Rams defensive front lost the services of All-Pro Aaron Donald, veteran defensive end A’Shawn Robinson, and was still called upon to answer the bell each week.
Rams roster is rookieville
But through all of the adversity, and the rising frustrations of the Rams fans, the defense never stopped trying. Yes, nobody embraced the deep cushions given by young and inexperienced defensive backs to receivers, but the Rams did not lay down and play dead. Even after the season was long over for the team, the LA Rams continued to compete.
Now the Rams may not have an option to lean on veteran leadership. In the case of the Rams defense, the team has veteran All-Pro Aaron Donald back to full strength. But beyond him, this is a young and energetic Rams roster that hopes to make a play with every snap of the football.
From this fountain of youth, the LA Rams defensive line must stitch together players of diverse ranges of experience. Much like a quilt, the hope is that by blending the wisdom and consistency of veteran players with the enthusiasm and energy of young players, the Rams defense will surprise opponents with an ability to blanket receivers, smother rushers, and heat up their chances of winning.
A quick summary
The LA Rams need help along the defensive front, and with the 89th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, they got it in the form of DL Kobie Turner out of Wake Forest. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 288 pounds, he has a similar style of play to that of Aaron Donald. But his smile, his snappy banter, and his zest for all things football are definitely cut from the same cord of wood as former LA Rams nose tackle Sebastian Joseph Day.
Like many players who compete to play along the defensive front but stand under 6-foot-4, Turner faced the same ‘too small,’ And that is a tough narrative to fend off because, well, it’s based on height. The Rams have some experience with adding players deemed to be too small to the defensive line. The question is: Does this team have more of that magic to share with Kobie Turner?
What I don’t like about this signing
If you were looking for a defensive lineman to step into the nose tackle role in the wake of Greg Gaines, you will be very disappointed. While he did compete at the 0 technique at Wake Forest, Turner is not going to earn his keep trying to fend of an offensive center and an offensive guard at the point of attack.”
Best part of our day too, Matthew. pic.twitter.com/KgyRWEQIiZ— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 6, 2023
“The two-time College Football Playoff National Champion quarterback of the Georgia Bulldogs went to the Rams in the fourth round. He was always going to be drafted after his Heisman finalist campaign with the Dawgs last year, but even some prognosticators thought the fourth round was too high. Well, well, well… Maybe he should have been a day-two pick instead, y’all?
Just look at The Mailman delivering dimes to the Rams’ receiving corps running with the first team on a scheduled off-day for fellow UGA alum Matthew Stafford. Bennett could start in Tampa Bay…
We said he could be the next Baker Mayfield or Case Keenum, but what if Bennett becomes the NFL’s next version of Kirk Cousins? That is a lofty former fourth-round comparison to aspire to.
And the craziest part in all this is if Stafford gets hurt or stinks again, Bennett will start games!
Stetson Bennett IV already looking like such a draft steal for Los Angeles Rams
I am biased, but I don’t really care. There is a lot to like about Bennett’s game translating to the next level. He is mobile, throws with great timing and precision, and appears to be exceedingly coachable. However, his greatest trait is simply undeniable. Bennett made himself an Athenian legend by playing his best football when the game required him to do so. The man is so clutch!
The best part is he gets to back up a hall-of-fame talent and Super Bowl champion in Stafford, a quarterback he grew up idolizing as a kid from Blackshear, Georgia. Stafford is clearly on the back nine, but I don’t think there is a quarterback he would rather hand the baton off to in Los Angeles than Bennett. After all, they both have that Dawg inside of them. Plus, there is also Sean McVay…
Bennett was beyond blessed to play in an offense with elite talent around him in college. More importantly, he thrived in Todd Monken’s pro-style system over the last three seasons with quite a bit of spread concepts attached to them. Bennett was never afraid to hand the ball off either, which makes him perfect to be groomed to take over the reins for Stafford in the McVay system.”