In the land of Los Angeles, the spotlight comes often.
During a 2019 campaign in which the L.A. Rams were unable to shake off a Super Bowl loss and return to the postseason, though, the notoriety and, perhaps, appreciation did not really shine on receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
Woods believes the terrific tandem's performance surely warranted it.
"I think we're not like the flashiest group of receivers, but we're just up there with production, up there with the best, if not the best, as a group and as a unit," Woods said Thursday, via team transcript.
Though they posted a 9-7 record and took third in the NFC West, the Rams were the only team able to boast having two wide receivers with 90-plus receptions and 1,000-or-more yards in 2019, according to NFL Research. Kupp was dazzling to the tune of 94 catches for 1,161 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Woods added 90 catches for 1,134 yards and two scores.
It was Woods' second straight 1,000-yard campaign, as he became the sixth Rams wideout to accomplish the feat and the first since Torry Holt in 2007.
The goal ahead is to be even better.
"To just be able pick up where we left off and be even more dominant, that's the biggest goal of our whole receiving corps – not only to do what we did last year, but to be even more dominant in the passing game and the running game," Woods said. "To make bigger plays. You know, we break a few tackles, but we want to break them all. That's our goal this upcoming season – to make every guy miss and score when we can."
Woods and Kupp, who are each entering their fourth seasons with the Rams, have a chemistry not just on the field, but in their approach.
"I've got so much respect for Rob," Kupp said Friday, via team transcript. "I've, personally, learned more from Rob than I have any receiver. I have been studying receivers since I was in high school. I've been studying pros since I was in high school. But being here, being able to play with someone who – in my mind – is one of the best receivers in the league, in terms of his ability to do everything. … He's just been an incredible asset to have as a friend, as a teammate, so I'm incredibly thankful for him and his willingness to share, too. I think that's something that's grown as we've built trust with each other and this friendship has grown. It's just the willingness to play off each other and be able to ask questions. There's never any feeling of like we need to know more than the other guy. It's always, we always want to learn."
This season will be resoundingly different, though, as fellow receiver Brandin Cooks was traded to the Texans and running back Todd Gurley was released and subsequently signed with the Falcons.
It's also a contract year for Kupp.
"I love it here. I don't want go anywhere," Kupp said Friday. "But, you know, in terms of all the contract stuff, I'm really letting all that stuff be handled by my agent and staying out of it."
Woods has two seasons left on his current deal, but would like to get paid, as well.
It's a pivotal season in many ways for the Rams receivers.
Dynamic a duo as Woods and Kupp are, the former realizes the Rams offense works much better when it's not just them producing. He likes what he's seen thus far from veteran Josh Reynolds, and rookie Van Jefferson has also joined the ranks
"You see, we end up, obviously, losing Todd Gurley in the backfield, so we've been working on this offseason, being able to be a big impact in the passing game," Woods said. "Having Josh Reynolds step up for Brandin Cooks, and really just be explosive. A lot of guys making big plays and we've got to keep the explosive big pass plays over 15 yards, is our goal."
Big plays and big numbers. Whether Woods and Kupp command the spotlight or not, they've certainly been producing for the Rams and are among the best in the NFL as far as receiver tandems go.