What do WRs Cooper Kupp and Julian Edelman mean by 'Running Routes on Air"?

Rams WR Cooper Kupp talks Running Routes on Air with Julian Edelman. What does he mean?
Los Angeles Rams OTA Offseason Workout, Cooper Kupp
Los Angeles Rams OTA Offseason Workout, Cooper Kupp / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

Perhaps one of the most overlooked qualities about the LA Rams continues to be the abundance of All-Pro players who have helped mentor rookies over time. And that experience is not so much about which exercises to focus on in the gymnasium as it is about becoming more efficient and effective with the time allowed to train.

Getting NFL wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Julian Edelman together is a fun time, particularly in the circumstances of letting the two go where the conversation takes them. You see, when two accomplished NFL veterans start talking football, nobody knows where the conversation will end up. And that goes for the two pros having the discussion.

The two talk at length about running routes on air. But what is the running routes on air drill? Let's explore:

Running Routes on Air

The drill for Running Routes on Air is a simulation for quarterbacks and receivers to run multiple routes simultaneously. The drill maximizes the impact on all quarterbacks and route-running receivers on every drill. So let's let Coach Colt Harp give you some basic principles about Running Routes on Air:

As you can see from the video above, the drill can be performed on grass, turf, or even indoors in the gym, and requires minimal preparation. The entire exercise to to become so proficient at running, catching, and passing the football that the brain disengages and it all becomes automatic reflexes. That is the purpose of running drills over and over again. The goal is to put more of the body and less of the thinking mind into each play.

Now you are ready to eavesdrop on the conversation between Cooper Kupp and Julian Edelman:

The amount of repetitions put into each offensive play is almost overwhelming. But the goal is to get the body so trained that the mind can drift to other things and execute the play on autopilot.

It is that need to get to a level of 'autopilot' that requires time for NFL rookies to achieve, and the runway needed to take off can be rather lengthy for some positions. But rookies do eventually get there. And when they have trained so hard and frequently that it becomes second nature, that's when the production soars.

It's pretty clear that Cooper Kupp worked out this off-season with Puka Nacua, and the results of that intensive training program should show up in 2024. After all, the trick to greatness is to train the body to play great without conscious thought.

The LA Rams roster has several second-year players who could up their game in that manner. This could be a very entertaining season.

Thanks for reading.