With Rams’ Matthew Stafford back in form, Tutu Atwell finally appears to be catching on

Rams receiver Tutu Atwell runs past safety Jordan Fuller (4) after a catch during organized team activities.
Rams receiver Tutu Atwell runs past safety Jordan Fuller (4) after a catch during organized team activities.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
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On a Rams team that features nearly 40 new players, it does not take much to qualify as a seasoned veteran.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is preparing for his 15th NFL season but many of the players who will be counted on this season are second- and third-year pros.

Observations from an organized-team activity workout on Wednesday.

Stafford can still throw deep: Stafford, who did not throw passes last offseason because of right elbow tendinitis, showed an improved connection with third-year receiver Tutu Atwell.


During a full-squad drill, Stafford dropped back and fired a pass more than 40 yards. Atwell split two defenders and then outmuscled them to make the catch.

The Rams 2023 schedule appears easier than last season but September will be a daunting task, especially opening with two NFC West games.

May 11, 2023

Last season, Stafford and the speedy Atwell connected on a couple of deep passes. The first covered 54 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. The second was a 62-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the game Stafford suffered a season-ending spinal bruise.

On Wednesday, Stafford also made several perfectly placed touchdown passes to tight end Tyler Higbee.

Rams rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett unleashes a pass during organized team activities Wednesday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett completed touchdown passes to new tight end Hunter Long and receiver Lance McCutcheon against reserves.

Rookie safety Jason Taylor II intercepted a pass by Bennett.

Running back Kyren Williams is getting extended look: Williams is sharing reps with starter Cam Akers, who finished last season by rushing for more than 100 yards in three consecutive games.

Williams, a fifth-round draft pick in 2022, was sidelined for most of the offseason workouts as a rookie after he suffered a foot injury that forced him to begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Williams then suffered an ankle injury in the season-opening defeat to the Buffalo Bills.

Williams rushed for 139 yards in 35 carries last season.

Rookie receiver Puka Nacua making an impression: The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Nacua is playing all three receiver positions, showing a good grasp on the playbook.

With star receiver Cooper Kupp and Ben Skorwonek absent from on-field workouts, Nacua is positioned to compete for a role during training camp.

Fans are crying (with joy) in Bye Dan beer because the Washington Commanders sale has been approved by the NFL and Dan Snyder’s 23-year bitter ownership is over.

July 20, 2023

Cornerback Cobie Durant breaking up passes: Durant, a second-year pro, is among the team’s most-experienced players in a secondary that includes fourth-year safety Jordan Fuller.


Last season, Durant intercepted three passes, one in a Week 2 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, and two in a Week 15 victory over the Denver Broncos, including one he returned for an 85-yard touchdown.

Durant and Derion Kendrick appear on track to start at cornerback.

Familiar face: Former Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury attended the workout. Kingsbury had a 28-37-1 record as coach of the Cardinals from 2019 to 2022. He is now a senior offensive analyst at USC.