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Cooper Kupp Made One Important Desire Very Clear

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(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

 

Reigning Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp had a stellar 2021 season for the Los Angeles Rams.

He won the triple crown for wide receivers after leading the league in receptions (145), yards (1,947), and touchdowns (16).

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His excellence continued in the postseason, wherein he became Super Bowl LVI Most Valuable Player.

But as great as he is, Kupp knows that the Rams will be a formidable unit if they will have Odell Beckham Jr. back.

On Beckham’s possible return to the Rams, Kupp said, “I would absolutely love nothing more than just to be able to have him come back and be a part of what we’re building here.”

However, the timetable for Beckham’s return remains uncertain after suffering an ACL injury in Super Bowl LVI.

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He was having a fantastic game until he blew out his knee while making an open catch.

If not for that injury, Beckham could have made a strong case for Super Bowl MVP.

But beyond the individual recognition, Kupp understands Beckham’s invaluable contribution to their success.

Likewise, opposing defenses will be having a more difficult time stopping their offense if both of them are playing.

They are both capable of home-run plays which force defensive backs to pay attention to them.

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Having Beckham back could help establish a dynasty for the Rams.

 

Rams’ Receiving Corps Remains Solid

With Beckham sidelined, the team brought in Allen Robinson II to become one of Matthew Stafford‘s targets.

While Robinson had a down year last season, he had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020.

If he gets back into shape, the Rams won’t miss a beat with Kupp, Robinson, and Van Jefferson.

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Tyler Higbee will also make crucial catches, especially on third down.

But even without OBJ, the Rams offense should continue to run like a well-oiled machine.

The post Cooper Kupp Made One Important Desire Very Clear appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Stat Trolls Tua Tagovailoa As He Tries To Make A Change

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(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

 

Much is left to be desired from Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

In two NFL seasons, the former Alabama standout has amassed 4,467 yards and 27 touchdowns.

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However, he has thrown 15 interceptions, which put him in a bad light.

But there have been changes that can turn the tide for him in 2022.

First, he will have an offensive-minded head coach in Mike McDaniel.

Second, they gave him more targets downfield like Cedrick Wilson, Chase Edmonds, and Tyreek Hill.

Third, the Dolphins also improved the protection around him with offensive linemen Terron Armstead and Connor Williams.

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Those additions should help him rise above this eye-popping comparison.

The NFL on CBS tweeted that Odell Beckham Jr. has more 30-yard passes (2) for touchdowns than Tagovailoa (1).

While the claim may sound dubious, it should motivate Tagovailoa to throw more deep balls and to trust his teammates.

He has no excuse to falter, especially after getting everything he needs on offense.

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Likewise, he should build more confidence to throw the deep ball with ease.

Doing so will help him overtake Beckham on that statistic.

 

No Excuse For Failure

Coming into his third NFL season, Tagovailoa will be compared to his NFL Draft classmates Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert.

The former has already led the Cincinnati Bengals to a Super Bowl stint while Herbert has become Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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Those are the lofty standards that Tagovailoa should live up to if he wants the Dolphins to take the next step.

Gone are the days of finding an alibi because he already has several weapons around him.

Therefore, Tagovailoa should make a significant jump in performance to make the front office consider him as a long-term option.

The post Stat Trolls Tua Tagovailoa As He Tries To Make A Change appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Chargers HC Brandon Staley Is Pushing The Envelope

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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

 

The NFL has been changing and evolving over the years, as it has become more of a pass-friendly league through the past decade or two.

Part of that evolution has been the offensive philosophy on fourth down, which was, until recently, strictly a punt-only situation.

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But now, more and more teams are going for it on fourth downs, and Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley is one of the men who is leading the way in that department.

Last season, his team went for it on fourth down 34 times, which was third in the NFL.

But the Chargers went for it on 31.5 percent of their fourth downs, the highest percentage in the league.

Staley explained his mindset regarding such situations in an interview with Daniel Popper of The Athletic.

“There has to be a fearlessness to play in this game, and what I wanted to establish was that,” Staley says. “The history of this team when I got here, it was like someone’s going to get hurt, they’re going to blow a lead, something catastrophic is going to happen. There’s this ‘Chargering’ thing. There’s all of these external factors that I know in my life, they’re just all excuses. They’re just all excuses.

“And so, how do you change that? Well, you have to do things different, you have to have a different approach. … Our mindset’s going to be on us, it’s not going to be on the opponent. It’s going to be on us. So creating that fearless mindset of, we are going to be aggressive, we’re going to put the ball in our hands, we’re going to trust our guys to make plays.

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“If we lose, we’re going to do it on our terms, not someone else’s terms.”

There is certainly an argument to be made for leaving your offense on the field during a fourth down, but some feel the Chargers overdid it last season, and in doing so, possibly cost themselves a playoff berth.

 

Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword?

For most of the NFL’s century-plus history, teams usually only went for it on fourth down if it was in a desperate situation at the end of a game where it was down to its last chance.

But over the last several years, that has been changing, as fourth-down attempts have been rising, as have fourth-down conversion rates.

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Analytics, which have taken over multiple team sports over the past decade-plus, has been a big factor in this change in philosophy.

Staley is absolutely right when he says that fearlessness must be present in order to win in the NFL, even more than in baseball, basketball, hockey or any other team sport.

But sometimes, one’s aggressiveness can go from his greatest asset to his greatest flaw, as it can be a double-edged sword.

With quarterback Justin Herbert running and gunning his way to a Pro Bowl appearance in just his second pro season, L.A. forged an 8-5 record and had a real shot at finishing first in the AFC West.

Its next contest in Week 15 versus the Kansas City Chiefs was billed as the that would likely decide the division winner.

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But in the first half, the Chargers failed to convert on two fourth-down situations inside the Kansas City 10-yard line, and they trailed 14-10 at intermission.

They failed on another fourth-down conversion attempt in the second half, and given that they lost 34-28 in overtime after leading 21-13 in the fourth quarter at one point, those failed attempts look bad in retrospect.

Then came the season-finale versus the Las Vegas Raiders, which was a doozy.

The Chargers converted six of seven fourth-down attempts, but the one they failed on was one even Staley may have wanted to take back.

The argument in his favor is that Herbert is an MVP-caliber QB who is turning into a clutch signal-caller, as evidenced in that contest against the Raiders.

But even with someone as talented as Herbert on your side, sometimes a bit of caution is a good thing.

The post Chargers HC Brandon Staley Is Pushing The Envelope appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Kevin Durant shuts down 'comical' retirement rumors | UNDISPUTED

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According to Marc Stein, an NBA executive was hearing that Kevin Durant was more apt to retire than play for the Brooklyn Nets again. However, Durant went to Twitter to shoot down that notion, tweeting quote: ‘I know most people will believe unnamed sources over me but if it’s anyone out there that’ll listen, I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon.’ Durant would go on to say the situation as a whole is quote: ‘comical.’ Shannon Sharpe weighs in on the soap opera-like reports, including why it is not a good look on KD.



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