Task III: Getting some mileage out of (him)
I think the phrasing of this part of Liam Coen’s response is an excellent choice of wording, and accurately captures the new objective for what the team hopes to accomplish for and with Atwell this year. This young man is only entering the second season, and that is clearly not enough time to rule anything out for his future.
Sometimes that happens, unfortunately. The LA Rams brought in a player, and seemingly once he arrived tried to decide how to use him. That seldom ends well, and Atwell’s rookie season seemed to suffer over the fact that the team truly did not have a working plan in place on how to use him. Of course, he was one of the players afflicted with a positive COVID-19 test that derailed his training camp, which compelled the team to fast-track his usage with the remaining time in both practices and preseason games.
Small steps to successful niche player
However the Rams plan to use Atwell, he is not a 200 target receiving weapon in this or any offense. Optimally, he should handle the football, whether on the ground or in the air, no more than 10 times per game. I’d even lower that to five targets a game and not more than eight combined targets/carries in one contest.
Even if Atwell bulks up to 180-pounds, which seems unlikely, the wear and tear on a young man of his size should not be overlooked or ignored. Atwell’s speed is a gift, but only if meted out in the right situations, and in the right proportions. The LA Rams offensive game plans tend to be trendy. That is, if a receiver gets hot, he will likely see plenty of looks throughout the game. Getting Atwell involved in this offense will require forcibly inserting his opportunities in situations where he may have remained on the bench or at most just a decoy.
What does the future hold for WR Tutu Atwell now that his new offensive coordinator is Liam Coen? Perhaps very little. But I’m already starting to believe that Coen has a plan in place. And that could mean very good things for the oft-overlooked and discounted potential of Tutu Atwell in the Rams 2022 offense.
I’m rooting for him.