THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp connection is still taking its shape, but the start in which the duo has gotten off to has been one of the more lethal offensive pairings after two weeks.
The quarterback to wide receiver duo has connected for a league-leading 16 receptions, recording 271 yards and three touchdowns. And while Kupp is off to a noteworthy campaign to the 2021 season, he says he strives to not hear the hype of the outside noise.
“I try to keep a clear mind, stay off of all the social media stuff,” Kupp said with a big smile Wednesday. “When I get home, I’ve got a couple of hours to spend with my kids, so I try to stay off the TV, too. The clearer the mind, the better it is for me. I try to keep it even-keeled.”
Despite Kupp's even-keeled approach to tune out social media and TV, his statistical numbers suggest he's one of the few pass-catchers cementing himself in elite territory.
Kupp plays primarily from the slot alignment, which may in large part be the reason why he's flown under the radar a bit. Although, his production distinctly says otherwise.
Kupp is averaging 16.9 yards per reception after two weeks this season. While that figure may come down a bit as the season progresses, he still presents a big-play downfield threat as Kupp has averaged 12.6 yards per catch over his five-year career.
“Everyone expects to go out there and produce, and sometimes that production looks differently,” Kupp said. “Sometimes it shows up in the box score. Sometimes it doesn’t. The goal is to always be a positive, whatever you’re asked to do. If it’s getting someone else open, if it’s drawing coverage, if it’s blocking, everyone wants to be a positive, moving our offense forward. These last couple of weeks, and last year against the Bucs, it showed up in the box score.”
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Last season in Week 11, Kupp registered 11 grabs for 145 yards in the Rams' 27-24 win over the Bucs. Tampa Bay retained the vast majority of starters from last year's squad, so presumably, they'll throw different coverages at Kupp this time around after he torched the Bucs' secondary for a big day in their last meeting.
On Wednesday, Kupp spoke about what he's seen from Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and the looks his unit shows.
"Coach Bowles has those guys playing really well," Kupp said. "They do a lot of different stuff. Historically, coach Bowles is a big pressure guy. He likes to bring guys, likes to let his backers fly around. They obviously have an incredible front. Just collectively, they're a really good outfit."
Kupp spoke at great length about the quality of opponent in which he and the Rams will see this Sunday. But he also reiterated that 2020 is behind them and this season is a new year.
"They know this is 2021," Kupp said. "They're an incredible football team. They were an incredible football team last year. It's a good opportunity to go against a good football team. Good outfit across the board – offense, defense, special teams and we're excited about that challenge."
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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.