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NFL Wide Receiver Following God’s Game Plan

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A game can provide a remarkable, emerging journey, even at a distance! It has for Cooper Kupp! The Rams play-making receiver is shaped by bloodlines from Yakima, Washington’s first family of football … three NFL generations worth, while setting multiple college-career records from Eastern Washington before making an immediate NFL impact in Los Angeles!

Question: “So Coop, your offensive awareness has almost made you a quarterback whisperer. Chemistry with your quarterback - what’s most important to you about earning trust?”                                                                  

Cooper Kupp: “It’s huge! Us to ask the quarterback to sit back there in the pocket and knowing that there’s guys bearing down on him and him, just being able to trust that we’re gonna be at the right place at the right time I think is everything, in terms of that relationship. And if we’re not doing that, you know, that’s when things go off schedule. Now you’re asking our quarterback to have to make a play because we’re off as receivers.”

Question: “Football’s a game about game speed how do you prepare yourself to what that requires?”

Cooper Kupp: “Yeah, well I think it’s just practice! Our approach to practice, I think, is paramount! You know we always say that practice preparation equals game reality! Exactly what we want it to be in terms of our tempo and our focus going into that and just being able to execute and we get to the game, we step on the field on Sunday we’ve already performed this over and over again during practice. So much about football is preparation and you go out there on Sunday with a quieted mind - be able to just play the game that you’ve prepared all week for.”

Question: “Does the tempo and rhythm of football heighten your awareness just translating into life? You’re a dad now you got no choice probably, right?”

Cooper Kupp: “It’s interesting because I feel like sometimes you come into work and you’ve got to be laser focused all the way through and in another way it’s nice to be able to go home and be like oh I don’t have to be like that right now! Yeah, we do have a one-year-old now, so I get the 24-7 training experience.”

Question: “Looking back now, storied, record-setting career at Eastern Washington, how did that prepare you for the NFL?”

Cooper Kupp: “Going to Eastern, I had coaches that came around me that never let me become complacent with anything. Yes, this is good, but this is how you can be better! It was just calling me to something greater than what I’m seeing for myself. Look at how much better you can be if you can fix these things. And get in there and say, ‘well this is good, how can I be better?’”

Question: “Your family - The Kupps - are now just the fifth to have three generations drafted in the NFL, playing the game. Your dad as a former quarterback - your granddad as a former lineman, what kind of support did that give you?”

Cooper Kupp: “Oh, it’s been incredible to have such experience to lean on and just perspective, I think. Just how much they love their family. Just how much they took care of things, how they treated people! I’m now being able to live out my dream but I have such bigger things happening in my life that are beyond football! As much as I absolutely love football I know I’m gonna put everything I have into it - that I’ve got a family at home and my faith in Christ is more important to make sure that’s healthy! That’s something that like my dad and grandpa showed me.”

Question: “You’re back from the ACL tear! What did you learn about yourself, you never would have seen by the waiting, the wondering and the rehabbing?”

Cooper Kupp: “(sighs) That’s a good question! More than anything else and there’s a lot of lessons through this. But I think if I pinpoint down it’s that I can’t do this by myself! The first thing that comes to mind is the spiritual battle goes on when something like this happens! Just reactively is, ‘why, you know, what caused this to happen?’ I needed God. I needed to trust in what my faith was! Just my wife and son, being able to push me through this! Teammates, the coaching staff, training staff, strength staff, I mean I just had a team around me that encouraged me! It really showed me how important it was to have the people that God has really placed in my life. Seeing how much of a blessing that is!”

Cooper’s Dad, Craig Kupp: “Faith is a huge part of that, you know, our faith is that we’re not number one, we’re not the number one focus of our lives and it’s others and it’s Christ first and then it’s others, starting with the closest people to you!”

Cooper’s Mom, Karin Kupp: “I know he knows there’s purpose in everything and he’ll look back and know that he’s grown from it and he’s a stronger person and hopefully he can help someone else down the road that goes through the same thing!”

Question: “You are referred to as a playmaker! Altering a game, impacting a game. Off the field you ever consider Jesus Christ being a playmaker in lives?”

Cooper Kupp: “He might just be the greatest playmaker that’s ever lived! Restoration, redemption, sacrifice. You know, what He laid on the line to change the world forever! You can’t find a better playmaker than Jesus Christ!”

Question: “Coop, who is He to you?”

Cooper Kupp:  “I don’t think there’s words really! At the very basic levels of my life - as a husband, as a father, as a football player, knowing how much of a failure I am at these things, if it wasn’t for my faith, if it wasn’t for knowing that Christ has told me who I am in His eyes and know that how far short I fall in all these things that he’s bridged every gap and that He’s called me to even greater things!”


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About The Author

Tom Buehring

Tom currently travels as a National Sports Correspondent for The 700 Club and CBN News. He engages household sports names to consider the faith they’ve discovered within their own unique journey. He has over 30 years of experience as a TV sports anchor, show host, reporter and producer, working commercially at stations in Seattle, Tampa, Nashville and Fayetteville where he developed, launched and hosted numerous nightly and weekly shows and prime-time specials. Prior to his TV market hopping, Tom proposed and built an academic/intern television broadcast program at the University of North