Matthew Stafford: Cooper Kupp is ‘one of the smartest guys I’ve played with’

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Matthew Stafford is officially in the second chapter of his career after being traded from the Lions to the Rams, and with this new start comes a fresh group of receivers to throw to. Cooper Kupp will be one of Stafford’s favorite targets this season and the two have been working closely together during OTAs and minicamp.

Stafford had some very high praise for Kupp this week when asked about how their chemistry has developed, mentioning that the Rams wideout is one of the smartest players he’s ever taken the field with.

“It’s been great. He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve played with,” Stafford said. “His understanding of this offense and what defenses are trying to do is pretty special and something that as a quarterback, it’s pretty fun to have a guy out there that’s thinking and seeing the game the same way that you are. That’s a special trait of his, something that I know he’s worked extremely hard on and we’re just trying to have dialogue. Some of these routes are his choice or are we seeing the Mike change the coverage? So we’re just trying to sit there and as we’re watching other guys go, talk about what we might’ve done in that situation and what he would expect from me and what I would expect from him. Just constantly trying to make sure we’re on the same page and able to execute.”

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Kupp and Robert Woods were Jared Goff’s two most reliable targets over the last four years, consistently making plays for their quarterback – particularly after the catch. Stafford has played with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Calvin Johnson in his career, but Woods and Kupp are excellent players in their own right.

If Stafford can develop a strong connection with both receivers before the season begins, he’ll be in for a big first year with the Rams.