Rome Odunze 'absolutely chasing' Rams Puka Nacua record absolutely doomed

Los Angeles Rams OTA Offseason Workout, Puka Nacua
Los Angeles Rams OTA Offseason Workout, Puka Nacua / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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The reality

If the rookie performance of LA Rams rookie Puka Nacua was as simple as thinking or saying it into existence, the record would have been broken almost every year. But the record stood from 1960 until 2023, and even then it required a perfect alignment of multiple forces to happen for this offense in 2023. So what did it take to come to be last year?

For openers, the record could only be broken by a pass-centric offense that was sophisticated enough to thwart, overcome, and counterpunch the myriad of adjustments made by NFL defensive coordinators. If you examine the game-by-game production of Puka Nacua, you will find that he struggled mightily against the Arizona Cardinals secondary. In two games, he caught eight of 15 passes for just 53 yards. But in both cases, he got back on track in the following game.

Another key factor to Nacua's jaw-dropping season is the fact that he was catching passes thrown by veteran QB Matthew Stafford. If you examine the NFL All-Time Receiver Records, the receiver who hold the top spots are Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson, LA Rams WR Cooper Kupp, and now LA Rams rookie WR Puka Nacua. The common element to all three record-holders is that they caught passes thrown by Stafford.

And then there is the incredibly complete domination that Puka Nacua put onto the football field all season long:

The Rams did not just anoint Nacua as an elite receiver. He had to fight for his roster spot, to get onto the football field, to be targeted, and to be featured in the offense. Of course, it helped that starting WR Cooper Kupp was out for the first four games of the season, creating the opening and opportunity for Nacua to excel. But nobody was talking about Nacua setting records before training camp arrived.

It don't come easy. The LA Rams offense, and Puka Nacua, worked very hard last season and earned every yard through Discipline, Attitude, Work Ethic, and Grit. (Just as Coach Henny preached). I would recommend that NFL rookies say less and play more. Even if the Bears pair of rookies have good seasons, they are highly unlikely to match their pre-training camp boastful words.

Rome Odunze's claim to be 'absolutely chasing' LA Rams Puka Nacua rookie receiving yards record is absolutely doomed to fail. No NFL rookie should be so foolish to ask for the spotlight before accomplishing the achievement.

As always, thanks for reading.