Tutu Atwell needed to branch out to grow more confident.
Another words, the Los Angeles Rams third-year wide receiver decided to expand his horizons within the Rams’ playbook. That decision is allowing him to grow more confident in the process.
What’s been in this new process for the past second round selection? One is attaching himself more to Cooper Kupp including offseason workouts. But another is learning more than one WR position on the Rams…fueling his new confidence.
“It helps a lot. Just move around in different places now and learning the X, Z and the F (receiver positions) has helped a lot and made me more confident,” Atwell said following Thursday, September 21 practice in Thousand Oaks.
How Much has Atwell Learned & Absorbed?
He’s learned how to attack defenses as the WR furthest from the tight end now rather than from the inside slot spot. He’s also one of the go-to motion players pre-snap for the Rams before he turns up field as the Z option.
The latter was evident against the Seattle Seahawks as Atwell starts out as the widest WR to the right before motioning and turning up field.
what a fun 3rd down design from the Rams.
look at how Tutu Atwell splits his teammates on his release before going vertical. pic.twitter.com/oLIva0jhd5
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) September 10, 2023
Even in a bunch look and aligned close to the line of scrimmage, Atwell has proven to be equally damaging including on this contested grab in Week 2 versus the San Francisco 49ers.
I have been joking about Tutu Atwellâ€™s size but he has been tough! #RamsHouse pic.twitter.com/7QHoJrRnDA
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 18, 2023
Atwell has also become a decoy for the Rams and can get a defense to lose focus on where the football is going as seen here.
Really like this â€œpitch sweepâ€ the Rams have run a couple times. 5â€™9â€ 160lb. Tutu Atwell is a much bigger threat running the ball than cracking on toss. The pitch letâ€™s you open up to the motion instead of traditional reverse out to toss where there wouldnâ€™t be threat of handoff. pic.twitter.com/fHeJFVTUnX
— Dean Davidson (@Coach_DDavidson) September 21, 2023
Atwell has this time taken advantage of his expanded role. But he credits time spent with the Super Bowl 56 winner in assisting his boost in production. And that includes offseason work.
“I would get out there an work out with him whether it was lifting weights or being in the classroom. We’re getting it done,” Atwell said.
What is Kupp teaching the 5-foot-9, 165-pound wideout? It’s a rather simplistic approach, yet effective one for Atwell.
“Route running, fundamentals, the plays and how to set people up,” Atwell said.
Atwell on Pace for Pro Bowl Season?
Atwell’s numbers sit at 13 catches for 196 yards — meaning he’s averaging 6.5 catches per game.
By staying healthy, he could hit 110 receptions with that average. Of course, that could change once Kupp is cleared to resume practice.
Still, Atwell is embracing his new involvement with the Rams, including expanding his learning curve.
“I feel they’re letting me do what I do best. And me learning all the other positions just has helped a lot with everything,” Atwell said.
His head coach and the man who helped bring Atwell into the league Sean McVay has loved how far Atwell has come.
â€œI think he’s really brought that stuff to life over the offseason program, which you guys got a chance to see when you were out here,” McVay said Thursday. “And Tutu is a fun guy to be around. I thought he had great play energy the other day. I thought he made a lot of different plays. And the one thing is, I think you’re seeing, he’s a guy that can play all over the formation. He’s getting a bunch of different targets in a bunch of different locations and it’s not exclusive to the deep speed that he possesses.”
McVay concluded: “But I’ve been really proud of Tutu and I know that he just wants to continue to get better. And he loves football, he loves competing, loves practicing, loves his teammates and I think a lot of his guys are happy to see what he’s done and he knows that we can continue to take steps and I’m really happy for Tutu.â€
Like Heavy.com’s content? Be sure to follow us.
This article was originally published on Heavy.com
This content was originally published here.