Through two weeks, not only has Puka Nacua established himself as a reliable option in the passing game for the Los Angeles Rams, but he also looks the part of a future NFL star.
The Rams rookie has been a revelation as Matthew Stafford’s go-to read in the offense and has been able to soften the blow of Cooper Kupp’s absence. In Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, Nacua recorded 15 receptions for 147 yards and was subsequently named the NFL’s Rookie of the Week.
Nacua was drawing rave reviews during OTAs and training camp for picking up the offense so quickly and that’s shown on the field so far. Sean McVay’s scheme requires a lot of attention to detail, but Nacua’s been up to the task of learning when and where he should be at all times.
The young wideout has been attending the early morning film sessions with Stafford and Kupp and admitted he’s been enjoying learning from them as the newest member of the ‘Breakfast Club,’ via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic:
“I’m kind of following Coop, like, ‘Hey, when do you guys come in? Hey, Coop, can I watch with you guys?’” Nacua said laughing. “The first couple of meetings, I’m like a fly on the wall. Nothing is really being said to me, they’re just like, watching the tape (and) talking to each other. Then they’re like, ‘Oh, Puka, you’re in on this rep? This is what we want you to do.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, you’re talking to me?’ I’m so focused the whole time! My ears perk up and I’m like, ‘He’s talking to me now.’”
Stafford and Kupp started the ‘Breakfast Club’ in 2021 when they would meet every morning and go over film while they eat before practice.
Nacua has been able to learn how much the two prepare before games and said he’s trying to incorporate more of their process into his own:
“Those two — as much as they’re in the moment for the reps that we’re taking, they’re thinking light-years ahead. ‘Hey, we’ve played this team before, on this look we have run this before, we’ve got a different look so when you run this, expect this because we’ve seen that before,’” said Nacua, waving his hands to demonstrate how rapid-fire the information comes toward him from Stafford and Kupp. “It’s been sweet, it’s been a blessing. Every morning. … They’re next level. I guess that’s a part of being a professional. They are the best of the best. I’m trying to build some of those things into my routine.”
Nacua has already seemingly outplayed his draft position and with his work ethic and on-field ability could be a long-term piece for the franchise going forward.