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Behind the Grind extra: Cooper Kupp
As a supplement to the corresponding Behind the Grind episode, a behind-the-scenes visual look at Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp's offseason drive following a historic 2021 campaign. 
By Stu Jackson Jul 11, 2022
Photographs By Brevin Townsell/ LA Rams

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Complacency?

Cooper Kupp knows no such thing.

Even after a historic 2021 season as the NFL's fourth receiving triple-crown winner, the Rams wide receiver still finds plenty he can improve on. Here's a look behind Kupp's offseason grind.

Becoming a better football player

So, how do you measure that improvement?

There are numbers to account for it, but as Kupp alluded to, it's not the ones you'll find in a box score.

Getting bigger, faster and stronger is about the work put in in the weight room and on the practice field with the speed training seen in this episode.

"The big thing about last year, I mean, there's a lot of statistical stuff people are looking at," Kupp said in the July 8 episode of Behind the Grind. "But for me, it's not about getting more yards, more catches, more touchdowns. It's not about that as much as being a better football player. I want to be a better football player than I was the year before."

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The intangibles

Inevitably, opposing defenses will be scheming up new ways to try to stop Kupp. However, until he gets to the regular season, he won't know exactly what that looks like.

Kupp in late April said you try to anticipate some things, but there are also "little things" a player can do, in terms of figuring out what kinds of ways they can win at the point of attack.

"You will set yourself where, typically when you're one-on-one, if you don't win at the line of scrimmage, a lot of times you still have an opportunity to win at the top of the route," Kupp said during that video conference. "When you get doubles and things like that, it becomes imperative to win at the line of scrimmage because you need to set yourself up to beat the next guy at the top of the route. So trying to find ways where, is there somewhere within that space as you're setting up, you're coming off the line of scrimmage, somewhere in that intermediate area where you can set guys up as well."

Kupp said at the end of the day he's not going to sit there and try go through the what-ifs of what opposing secondaries might throw his way from a coverage standpoint. He knows that if even if he's getting double-covered, the Rams have other receivers that have one-on-ones who are capable of making plays.

"That is what we've been built on," Kupp said.


Measuring success

When the time comes to look back on Kupp's 2022 season, remember that it will not be deemed a success by him if he somehow eclipses the 147 receptions, 1,953 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns he collected the year prior, but if he accomplishes the intangible things he set out to work on this offseason.

"There's so many things you can go through from last year," Kupp said. "How are you hitting these blocks, how are you going to get off the ball? How efficient were you against press coverage? How good were you with your handwork, with your footwork? How precise were you when you were running these routes? There's so much that you can be better at. It's across the board."

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