RSP writer Mark Schofield examines the on-field rapport between quarterback and receiver through the lens of Rams teammates Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp
Anyone who has been in a lengthy relationship knows the beauty in the familiarity of the mundane. Finishing each other’s sentences. Knowing the routines of busy mornings and working together to get everyone out the door. Saving the last ice cream sandwich even though you really want to have two after a hot day working in the yard. Adding those little moments together can make for a lifetime of happiness.
On the football field, the ability of a quarterback and wide receiver to finish each other’s thoughts may not last a lifetime, but it can create a lifetime of memories for the fans in the stands. When a quarterback and wide receiver can work together, off-script, to exploit a defense that might even have the play in particular covered, it is a beautiful thing to watch.
During their opening night victory over the Oakland Raiders, Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp linked up for an 11-yard gain to give the Los Angeles Rams a first down. It is a play that will not show up on Sports Center, it will not be featured in a glossy pregame package before the Rams’ next game, and most will likely just forget about it.
This video will show you why you shouldn’t.
As noted in the video, this may have been a coaching point from head coach Sean McVay, to make this adjustment. Even if that is the case, Goff and Kupp need to have the right understanding and timing to execute this throw. In addition, the subtle nuance of Goff faking the underneath linebacker to one side before throwing to Kupp moving the other way is a true baller move in the pocket.
Given the player movement at the collegiate level, it can be difficult to find relationships like this one brewing between Kupp and Goff. But it’s not impossible. Deshaun Watson had similar moments with players like Hunter Renfrow and Jordan Leggett. Now the ability to move defenders with your eyes, or your full body? That’s something you can find, as we did recently with Brett Rypien. With playing quarterback, as with maintaining those lengthy relationships, it’s the little things that add up to big things.
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