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Inside The Breakfast Club


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Long before anyone arrives at the Rams' facility, Matthew Stafford takes a cup of coffee and his breakfast into the quarterbacks meeting room.

The clock reads 6 a.m., and Stafford has sat down in front of the computer to break down the All-22 film of the next opponent. Soon, wide receiver Cooper Kupp – and then-backup Carson Wentz – will join him.

This is The Breakfast Club, a meeting that began in 2021 when Stafford joined the Rams that has become a critical part of both Stafford and Kupp's game-week process. This meeting not only plays a huge role in their preparation and chemistry, but ultimately has a big impact on the team's gameplan and success.

"I think it's just a space where there's not coaches, and we can kind of talk about what we see, what we think," Stafford told "Some of it is, 'hey, how do we approach to fix this? Or how do we make this better?' Or other times it's, 'let's continue to do this this way. Hey, Cooper, make sure you tell so-an-so in the receiver room in your own kind of way how to get this job done.'"

Week 15 – Washington Commanders

December 11

In the documentary, both players explain the breakfast club started naturally. It wasn't coordinated or talked about or anything like that – it just so happened that Kupp and Stafford's morning routines aligned that way, in terms of getting to the facility early and going to the QB room to study film.

"This used to be my room, you know," Kupp jokes at one point in the documentary, referring to how this was his routine before Stafford got to the Rams.

Stafford also emphasizes that it's not exclusive – every teammate is welcome.

On this day, Stafford arrives at the facility, watching film in the QB room before others join.

That position room is located in an area of the facility where there is a lot of foot traffic, so it's a natural point where multiple offensive coaches cross paths with Stafford. On this morning, then-pass game specialist Jake Peetz pops in to hand him some notes, making a comment about how the hit Stafford took the previous week against Baltimore.

A few minutes later, Wentz arrives, taking a seat at the table in the middle of the room and sitting about two feet from Stafford.

On this day, they keep it light, but they also call out big plays and key plays made by receivers.

Next, Kupp arrives and grabs a seat at the head of the table, positioned between Wentz and Stafford. Kupp brings up how one of his buddies told him the 2-yard outlet throw by Stafford against the Ravens was one of the best he's ever seen. Football assistant Carter Crutchfield pops into the room and echoes the same sentiments as they're watching tape. They then talk about Stafford's throw to wide receiver Puka Nacua where Nacua made the diving catch.

Serious work is done in this setting, but they also find ways to have fun and build camaraderie.

December 13

Kupp is the first one there, going over specifics with Peetz. Stafford is second to arrive, then Wentz.

"Let it ride, whatever you guys want to watch," Stafford says, letting the other two players dictate what the group starts this meeting with.

They lead off with a discussion on certain Commanders defensive players and their tendencies. Stafford goes to the white board in the room to draw out a play and work with Kupp on how to attack it, then Wentz chimes in with his thoughts on Ron Rivera's defensive approach.

Leaning on that history is important, because with the Commanders firing defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio in late November, there's only 3 games' worth of inventory of a Commanders defense called by Rivera instead of Del Rio for them to study.

Stafford says the explosives reel is Kupp's favorite to watch, and they review explosive plays allowed by the Commanders' defense.

The trio continue to share observations with each other as they watch tape.


December 14

Stafford arrives, but Wentz has already beat him there. Kupp is a later arrival – he didn't sleep well because his kids kept him up the night before.

Then-quarterbacks coach/pass game coordinator Zac Robinson walks into the room shortly thereafter to hand each player call sheets, then Stafford goes to the white board and gets to work.

Today, the trio are relaxed before discussing what Giants play involving Mario Manningham or Hakeem Nicks a play reminds them of.


December 15

Wentz and Stafford are discussing the craziness of the Thursday Night Football game between the Raiders and the Chargers, a 63-21 Raiders victory in which they jumped out to a 42-0 lead by halftime.

The seating arrangement is a little bit different this time. Wentz is at the computer in the chair Stafford normally sits in, while Stafford is in the seat at the head of the table (where Kupp normally sits).

Stafford and Kupp dive into different coverage looks and preferences for playing them briefly.

What comes out of this week's discussions translates to Stafford completing 25 of 33 pass attempts for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns, with Kupp catching all 8 of his targets for 111 yards – including a 62-yard touchdown grab down the left sideline – in a 28-20 Rams win over the Commanders. Stafford's other touchdown pass is a 23-yarder to Demarcus Robinson.

Week 16 – New Orleans Saints

December 19

All three are in the room together, and Wentz tells Kupp "he might be the only wide receiver in the NFL that comes in at 6 a.m. and watches film with the QBs," or at least the first wide receiver he's been around that does so.

"Much to the chagrin of Matthew Stafford," Kupp jokes.

They discuss wide receiver Demarcus Robinson's touchdown catch against the Commanders, then Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance Reggie Scott stops in to provide injury updates on some of their offensive teammates.

After that update, they dive into what they're seeing from the Saints defense. Kupp at one point asks what Stafford is seeing on a particular Lions play from 2016 that Stafford has up. This is a very conversational, back-and-forth discussion, and it also shows that it's not always Rams film that they watch in these meetings – remember Stafford's recall ability discussed in the documentary.

Stafford knows that whatever comes out of their breakfast club meetings will be said the right way to the rest of the offense because of how smart Kupp is and the way he communicates.

Stafford tells Kupp he needs to tell the wide receivers to be ready to make big plays downfield, seeing opportunities for them. Sure enough, Stafford on Thursday night will torch the Saints with deep completions of 41, 32 28 and 16 yards.

While that came to life that week, Stafford says that sometimes ideas and tactics they discuss also sometimes emerge later on in the season.

"There's moments and sometimes it doesn't show up for a week, it shows up two weeks later," Stafford said. "It's something we've talked about, being able to build that trust, right, the more you communicate, the more you understand each other and you build the trust to either pass that trust on to somebody else and say, 'Hey, let's make sure we get this guy doing it a certain way,' or it's tangible and 'Hey, we get this look, I want you to do this. And this is what it will look like when it shows up,' and it does and it helps our team win. So that's the goal, right? Our goal is to do whatever we can to try and solve any issue or think about anything that might come up that we need to figure out, and go out there and get it done."

If there's one story that best illustrates the impact, it's this one told by Kupp to

According to Kupp, two years ago, he and Stafford were seeing some stuff against a certain team, and Stafford was discussing how they want to attack that look by taking advantage of a certain linebacker who was overplaying some stuff.

"And he's (Stafford) like, 'shoot, we could do this, manipulate this seam with this tight end here a little bit,'" Kupp continued. "He ended up taking that and presenting it to Sean (McVay), and he ended up getting it in, running it and it ended up getting us a first down in the playoffs in 2021, and it kind of became a staple for us where it was like hey, this is a good little answer on some of these longer to-go situations."

So good, in fact, they saw four or five teams take that play and start running it against the Rams in those situations this year, according to Kupp.

"I was like, you know what, Matthew, you're too good at your job and now you got all these other coaches taking your stuff," Kupp said. "You know, eventually he'll be an OC somewhere, probably at a high school in Texas, and he'll have that play up."


December 20

This Breakfast Club meeting begins with Kupp and Stafford discussing ball placement on a certain throw.

Stafford talks about throws on a certain route he made to Calvin Johnson and throws he made to Robinson on similar route, mentioning they had to pull those catches off against man coverage. Stafford also talks about a deep ball down the sideline to Kupp.

At one point, the discussion shifts to a hit Stafford took in the game. Stafford recalls "getting his soul run through" on a hit against Jacksonville awhile back in his career. Later, they talk about the holidays and the evolution of the Christmas lights decorating the Stafford home.

Collectively, they're loose and in a good place, and it shows up on gameday.

Stafford is sharp again, completing 24 of 34 passes for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns as Los Angeles jumps out to a 30-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. Nacua finishes with 9 catches for 164 yards and one touchdown, Robinson 6 for 82 and one touchdown, as the Rams win 30-22 over the Saints for their second of what will be four-straight victories to close out the regular season.

With offseason workouts underway and the 2024 season coming up, it will be exciting to see who joins Stafford and Kupp in the QB room and the impact these meetings will have on the team's success.

"We're just trying to solve problems and get our team in as good a position as we can, while also not having the confines of, here's our meeting time, here's what we have to get done," Stafford said. "Kind of bouncing in and out of that, and asking Cooper how many hours he slept with his kid in his arms all night."

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