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Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2024 4:24 pm

Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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February 8, 2024 4:24 pm

Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver joins Zach Gelb

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Zach Gelb

A peanut butter M&M's production. In a world where Super Bowl winners get the world's admiration and a fancy ring, but the runners-up get nothing, one retired cop returns. That's one retired quarterback. Read the script.

Oh, sorry. One retired quarterback returns to claim what's his. Um, that's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter, but you're on a roll. The Ring of Comfort coming soon to a Super Bowl new you.

Okay, picture this. It's Friday afternoon when a thought hits you. I can spend another weekend doing the same old whatever or I can hop into my all-new Hyundai Santa Fe and hit the road. With available H-Track all-wheel drive and three-row seating, my whole family can head deep into the wild. Conquer the weekend in the all-new Hyundai Santa Fe. Visit HyundaiUSA.com or call 562-314-4603 for more details. Hyundai, there's joy in every journey.

2024 Santa Fe available early 2024. The sultan of sizzle, the titan of toastiness, the kingpin of kindling. These are the admired ones, those who've created the prime place together. They don't just have a backyard, they have the backyard because they know a solo stove fire pit is more than just the ultimate smokeless fire pit. It's a place where friendships are forged, football is revered, and food is enjoyed. Solo stove, the perfect flame for the big game.

A peanut butter M&M's production. In a world where Super Bowl winners get the world's admiration and a fancy ring, but the runners-up get nothing. One retired cop returns. That's one retired quarterback. Read the script.

Oh, sorry. One retired quarterback returns to claim what's his. Um, that's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter, but you're on a roll.

The Ring of Comfort, coming soon to a Super Bowl new you. Okay, picture this, it's Friday afternoon when a thought hits you. I can spend another weekend doing the same old whatever or I can hop into my all-new Hyundai Santa Fe and hit the road. With available H-Track all-wheel drive and three-row seating, my whole family can head deep into the wild. Conquer the weekend in the all-new Hyundai Santa Fe. Visit HyundaiUSA.com or call 562-314-4603 for more details. Hyundai, there's joy in every journey.

2024 Santa Fe, available early 2024. Live from the place you're getting out over the ostentatious Mandalay Bay Convention Center inside a radio row, this is the Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio across all the great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, the free Odyssey app, and of course streaming live on YouTube, youtube.com slash CBS Sports Radio. We have a loaded guest lineup today.

Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Luke Kuechly, Joe Montana, Michael Penix Jr., CJ Stroud, Austin Eckler, and DJ Moore. But now joining us on behalf of Pepsi, there are good rookie seasons and then there are just ridiculous rookie seasons and that is star and it's tough to be a star in your rookie year but unexpected star Puka Nakua of the LA Rams, kind enough to join us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio right out of the gate. Puka, first off, it's an honor to meet you. Thanks so much for doing this and congrats on all your success.

Thank you. Nice to meet you as well. Thanks for having me. So what you did this year, obviously I couldn't predict it. The rest of the NFL couldn't predict it because if that was the case you would have gone a lot earlier in the draft but when you look back at everything that has transpired and now the way people talk about you as one of the better wide receivers in the league just had to kind of reflect on what this last year has been like. Yeah, it's been a while. I've been pretty busy since the end of the season. I went to go visit my brother, played his last high school game and then was out in Pro Bowl and then obviously out here in the Super Bowl so I obviously feel like I haven't reflected too much on what's been able to happen but I just know it was such a blessing. Just every moment felt like I was in the right place and that all the balls were on my side of the court and I was able to do what felt right and everything just seemed to happen how I was supposed to. Even though we didn't win, I'm excited to get back and to improve on the things that I know I can't improve on but I would say it was a good start for sure. Yeah, you could say that. Was this season surprising to you?

It definitely was. I feel like I have a lot of confidence in myself and I know I've worked hard to be where I am and to earn these opportunities but I don't think I could have imagined it being this sweet. So what did you expect just wondering? Like I know you have big expectations to be able to do what you did.

You have to have confidence and I don't think confidence should be associated with arrogance. It's just reality but what did you expect going into this year? I was expecting just to make the team to be a special team guy and any opportunity that they were going to give me to try to take advantage of it. I knew I grew up in a physical household with all my brothers and stuff like that so I knew whether it was going to be on punt or kickoff or whatever. To exert the physical part of my game because I enjoy that side of football but when the opportunity came to run routes and then to exert my physical dominance that's why it was the cherry on top.

What are you able to learn as Pukodoku is here with us on behalf of Pepsi? Cooper Cupp, he's one of the better wide receivers in the league. I also feel like he could get and should probably get more praise for whatever the reasons are when you make these top five top 10 lists but being in that building with Cooper I know he dealt with some injuries this year but what did you kind of just learn from him? He's got his routine down and his level of consistency is going to stay the same.

He's the same guy whether he goes out and has 175 yards or he has 25. The ability to stay the same and to do the things that you know work for you to keep that routine and that consistency is something that as a young guy to watch that and to how he held himself throughout the whole season was something I was to look up to and it helped me be able to stabilize and try to find a routine and to not necessarily latch my confidence onto his but to be like okay the guy who's leading our room has his confidence has never wavered so why should mine? So now everyone's going to be a Pukanakua expert. People start reading the articles, they start thinking they know everything about your life. I still feel like there's a lot of your story that probably has been untold so I'll just simply ask you this.

What do you want people to know about Pukanakua and what it has taken to really get to this point? My family has been my biggest support. I feel like I always credit Matthew Stafford and Cooper Cupp and Coach McVeigh and they definitely deserve all the credit that I've been able to give them but my brothers have played a big part in my life of being able to compete with them at a very young age but also to feel like I have my biggest critics and my biggest supporters behind me at all time.

They're my big brothers. They never let me forget that they could do what I do better and that my brother would hit me across the middle and I wouldn't be able to get up and stuff like that but they're the first people to call me and to say how proud they are when breaking records and winning games so all five of my brothers I love those guys to death and especially my sister as well so I know I only have one sister so she gets left behind but she's just as good as they are. Well you have easy smack talk now and your bigger brothers try to talk down to you are you an all pro that's all you got to say that's after one year that's a pretty good card to be able to play so naturally when you have the success that you've had and where you were in the draft we've even seen it right with Brock Purdy people are going to say ah it's going to end I can't be replicated so instead of just replicating it how do you not only continue it but make it even better than what we saw this past year? Yeah to be able to I think it was something that I took from Coop as well as I saw Cooper playing 100% of snaps in almost every single game that we played in like and that's something I want to be able to I feel like I love being a part of the run game blocking and things like that so to be able to be out there every single play to give our team the best chance to win is something I want to be able to do and then I also was made aware actually this week that I led the league in drops I didn't know I didn't know that was a thing I didn't know I led that category which is something that I definitely don't want to leave that category again. Yeah I think you made up for it I don't remember too many drops but hey the stats are the stats as Bill Belichick says stats are for losers most of the point puka nakua here with us on behalf of Pepsi we'll talk about them in just a bit hey I say a lot of things on the radio some of the things I get right some of the things I got wrong I did not believe that this Rams team was going to be a playoff team this year you know I just kind of sensed McVay was one foot in one foot out Stafford one foot in one foot out Donald as well with the future and their future being speculated possible retirement I was just in awe and really bought into you guys in the second half of the season what kind of are you still building in LA that won the Super Bowl a few years ago you got a good mix of youngsters and vets what do you guys think you're building in LA? Well we got something great cooking up over there with coach McVay at the head of us my confidence is in another world I have so much confidence in our guys and like you said we got a mixture of young guys so we got a lot of new energy and we have the vets the right vets to lead us so I'm excited I think the sky's the limit I just like you said we had run the Super Bowl a couple years and we were we were just a couple plays away from being able to put stuff together in the playoffs this year so it hurts to lose but I'm super excited for what we got because we know we're just in the tip of the iceberg.

How about what about Stafford what really stood out to you about the one year getting an O-Matthew? From the moment I got invited in OTAs to throw routes I like in practice that there's not this. So you don't have a problem connecting with him I remember that story from his wife right that he doesn't know how to talk to these younger players you would have been one of those younger pain in the asses you know? No 100% I know that at the beginning that for sure was me but I just started throwing routes and then being able to talk ball we're able to build a little bit of a relationship and stuff like that but he takes such pride and being able to throw that ball perfectly every single time and he he can put the ball anywhere on the field so as a wide receiver that's the best thing you want to hear as coming from your quarterback he's like hey I can I he knows that as well so it makes it so fun when we're dialing stuff up and he makes my job really easy because if I'm rolling in the DBs on my top shoulder he's gonna put on my back shoulder and it's gonna be in the one spot where he can't get it so I always trust number nine and he's he's one of the best for sure. You know sometimes players they kind of reflect who their head coach you know is and you see some similarities I'm not even going McVay I'm going Kalani Sataka I've had Kalani on a bunch and I'm sitting there I'm like am I talking to Puka Naku or am I talking to Kalani Sataka you kind of remind me a lot like Kalani. I love Kalani he's the best I have I know I need to go back there to BYU and see all the guys but coach Kalani coach fest all the guys over there at BYU that's so funny I love that coach coach Kalani and coach McVay they got they got a good they both have a extreme amount of energy. Yeah there's no question about that wrapping up a Puka Naku so you you were at Washington then you end up at BYU how did that make you into the player that you were because now we see it all the time NIL transfer portal guys are at one place and they end up transferring they go on to have a really successful careers. Yeah junior Adams was my receiver coach at the University of Washington and Chris Peterson was the head coach at that time when I committed and that was those were the big reasons I ended up going out there coach coach Adams actually coached Cooper Cup so there's somebody who had put guys into the league and somebody I knew that could help me get to where I wanted to be and then but family has always been something big to me so my grandma was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that ended up leading me transferring back to BYU or transferring home to be closer to my family and then it was just it was God's plan at that point to be able to be close to my family to be there with my grandma before she had passed away with something I hold very dear to my heart those time that time that we got to spend but I know my grandma was a big part of everything that's happened in this year as well.

That's a phenomenal answer wrapping up a Puka Naku. Tell me about what you're doing today on behalf of Pepsi. Yeah Pepsi I love me some Pepsi wild cherry that's for dink so this is my favorite drink up here I gave I'm a gamer so when I when I sit down and I start to game this is my drink my go-to drink. You're getting all jacked up on the Pepsi. Now that it's off season I can enjoy some I can enjoy some soda now. That's when the trash talking starts spewing. Exactly Coop won't get too mad at me but we're just going to be I'm going to be on Saturday from 2 30 to 4 across from the the horseshoe we got Sip City Secrets so we everybody can come out and share your all right you're going to write down your secret on some invisible ink so nobody nobody should be too scared about the secret you're going to share hopefully it's nothing nothing too wild for all the fans but then when you share your secret you confess your secret you'll get a you'll get a code to win some gear over there by Pepsi they have a bunch of serious promotion no I know they got some dope stuff around they got some dope stuff what's your secret has anyone asked you that today no no I don't know I don't know if my secret is like it's actual secret like I don't like I told I think you displayed your secret this year in the NFL yeah pat back if he said my secret was done but I was like I poured my milk before my cereal I was I don't know if that's a secret I know I'm kind of an outsider with that one but he's like I didn't I don't think that was a good secret but then he said his secret was you two suck so I was like my secret's for sure better wait so you go milk first then the cereal yeah I actually don't think that's a bad combination I'm not a big cereal guy but I've done that before see I was trying to tell him so when you pour the milk before that means then like you get the perfect amount of cereal like there's just the the milk to cereal ratio is perfect because sometimes you need a bowl of cereal then you need to pour extra milk in there but I'm like now I got extra soggy cereal but now I never have that one that you poured in first because you have the perfect amount yeah I kind of think it's actually a good take some people won't now now we're trying to figure out how real this relationship is between Travis Kelsey and Taylor Swift I think they're good to see wedding bells a lot of people eventually do do you think they'll eventually get engaged um I don't know honestly I'm in the maybe category I'm in the maybe category yeah well anyway I appreciate you coming on I'll end you on this where do you think you rank like in the like do you feel like you're a top 10 wide receiver right now um I don't know I know I've been in my first year uh I don't know if I I would say a top 10 I still got a lot to prove I like that answer humbled as always here he is Pooka Dooku on behalf of Pepsi Pooka really appreciated it's the Zach Gelb show on Radio Row we'll come on back after these short messages a peanut butter M&M's production in a world where Super Bowl winners get the world's admiration and a fancy ring but the runners-up get nothing one retired cop return that's one retired quarterback read the script oh sorry one retired quarterback returns to claim what's his um that's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter but you're on a roll the ring of comfort coming soon to a Super Bowl new you okay picture this it's Friday afternoon when a thought hits you I can spend another weekend doing the same old whatever or I can hop into my all-new Hyundai Santa Fe and hit the road with available h-track all-wheel drive and three-row seating my whole family can head deep into the wild conquer the weekend in the all-new Hyundai Santa Fe visit hundayusa.com or call 5 6 2 3 1 4 4 6 0 3 for more details Hyundai there's joy in every journey 2024 Santa Fe available early 2024. I'm Tony and this is the Tony Kornheiser show well that makes it sound a bit more serious than it really is so what exactly is the show about been almost 30 years and I still don't know right now we have some of the best voices in football come on to explain to us what we need to know in the college and pro world and we get weekly picks from a monkey do you really need more than that I might just tell you about my bunker game of the latest failed entry in my quest to find the best coffee ice cream no schmutz please listen on the odyssey app wherever you get your podcasts you
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-08 18:46:43 / 2024-02-08 18:54:09 / 7

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