Before Odell Beckham Jr. sent more ripple effects across the NFL landscape by joining the Los Angeles Rams via free agency on Thursday, November 11, one ex-Ram got a first hand look at how OBJ operates.
And that former Ram admits he’s unsure how things will work between him and L.A.
John Johnson III, who was one of Sean McVay’s first draft picks in 2017 before signing with the Cleveland Browns during the 2021 offseason, spoke with Browns beat writer Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal when word got out that OBJ was on his way to L.A. And “JJ3” gave an honest take of the move.
Johnson, who only played with Beckham Jr. for six games before OBJ had his falling out with the Browns, had his doubts about how Beckham will fit in with the Rams.
Then, Johnson III was asked by another reporter to clarify even more what he meant by his doubts about how it’s going to work with OBJ and L.A.
“I just felt they had a good thing going, like (having a) complete offense,” Johnson said.
He then added who really is the focal point of the Rams’ attack.
“I just feel like, being in L.A., I know for a fact the offense runs through Cooper Kupp,” Johnson said. “Even in the run game, the pass game, the screen game…it kind of runs through Cooper Kupp.”
Johnson knows from experience — having practiced against Kupp during the sessions at Thousand Oaks, California and getting a firsthand look at how the Rams’ offense operates.
Even right now, Kupp is the league leader in receptions (74) and is currently the league’s only 1,000-yard receiver through nine games. Kupp has been responsible for 33.63% of the Rams’ 220 team catches. And the next closest Rams receiver to Kupp from a statistical standpoint? Robert Woods with 29 less catches than Kupp’s total.
Does Johnson Believe his Former Head Coach can Make it Work?
The arrival of Beckham Jr. will add more star power to a city full of stars, with Johnson saying “Obviously, Odell is a big name. He’s going to want that attention as well. It’ll be interesting.”
Does the former Rams safety, who intercepted eight passes in L.A. per Pro Football Reference and emerged as a defensive captain for the Rams, think his former head coach Sean McVay can make this work?
“Coach McVay is one of the best to do it. I know he’ll find a way to get it done,” Johnson said. “But right off the bat I’m like, I wouldn’t really want to go there if I was him. But we’ll see how it goes and I wish him the best.”
Regardless, the Rams will find a way to insert Beckham into the offense, Johnson believes. And he’ll follow his former team as they now add his former Browns teammate.
“They’re going to find a way to get him the ball. They’re definitely going to do that,” Johnson said. “Matt Stafford is one of the best doing it right now. They have an electric offense, they’re fun to watch, so yeah it’ll be interesting and I’m going to be tuned in to see how it goes.”