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

Tribune Content Agency

LOS ANGELES — 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.

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.

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

Kyren 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 Puka 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.

Cornerback Cobie Durant breaking up passes

Cobie 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.