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Rams working to spread passing targets around: "We're at our best when everybody's getting involved"

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Good things happen when wide receiver Cooper Kupp is involved. The Rams know that.

More beneficial, of course, is when they're able to distribute the ball to multiple receivers in the passing game. Kupp knows that, too, and would be the first to tell you because of the selfless player he is.

As the Rams prepares for Sunday's game against the Cowboys at SoFi Stadium (1:25 p.m. pacific time, FOX), working through that is at the top of their minds.

"It's just kind of been a struggle overall," McVay said Tuesday. "There's been a lot of different things. Being able to get receivers the ball is such a product of the offense as a whole. We're at our best when everybody's getting involved. You look at the two games that we've been able to kind of stay on schedule, it's been getting different guys involved. Obviously Cooper's a huge part of it, but whether it be (wide receiver) Allen (Robinson II) or any of the other eligibles, those are things that we're continuing to work towards."

Through the first four weeks of the season, Kupp has 42 receptions on 54 targets, both team-highs. The rest of Los Angeles' receivers collectively have 26 catches on 39 targets.

Further reinforcing McVay's assertion, in the Rams' two wins this season, at least five different receivers were targeted three or more times. In Monday night's loss to the 49ers, that was also the case; however, in both that game and Week 1 against the Bills, Kupp and Higbee commanded the bulk of the targets.

The biggest topic on getting the ball spread around is the involvement of Robinson, who caught 2 of 6 targets for 7 yards against the 49ers.

"Like I've said, a lot of what ends up determining where the ball goes is based on what the defense plays, then there are your 'pick a side' plays," Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said Wednesday. "So the answer, I would say, is a lot of it's out of his control. What we ask of all of our players is within the framework of the receiver room, be where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there, be able to create separation, and do those types of things. Sometimes when you're at that outside location, you're seeing a lot of different coverages that can basically take you out of it. But it's really continuing to work edges, be available, and maximize the opportunities that you get, for everybody, not exclusive to Allen."

Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen said at the end of the day, organically spreading around targets comes down to formation identification and formation variety.

'You're going to actively take your (Cooper Kupp) Triple Crown winner and say he is not going to be the primary on some things, and you have to be okay with that," Coen said Thursday. "We have to be okay with that. It's fine to be able to do some of those things and move guys in different formations, personnel groupings, things like that. That can try to create a little bit more of a target for those guys as the primary, not just finding the ball. As a receiver, sometimes the ball can find you or it can't. Sometimes you got to be able to find a way to be more creative, like I mentioned. We're working through that right now."

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