Jeff Fisher has said a lot of words about quarterbacks.
Those words offered things that might not make sense in hindsight, or things that...well, weren't really true. We're going to chart these quotables to get a better picture for how Fish evaluates and understands the quarterback position. The opinion of whether or not the staff can handle the most important position in the game will be left to you.
The reason I took this job and came here, there were two reasons...one was to work for Rams owner Stan Kroenke. The other was because of Sam. Because of the respect I had for him.
Before I took the job, I talked to several people close to me in the business, one being Mike Shanahan and the other being Mike Martz. Both of them said the same thing about Sam. They had never seen a guy throw a football like Sam.
This is a good initial dose of Fisherism, but let's be clear: Fisher is saying Sam Bradford is good. Very good. Those are some pretty big name drops considering which coaches told him that. The baseline has been set.
From a big-picture standpoint, there was a little unwillingness on behalf of Sam's camp to redo his contract. And the trade with the Eagles just ended up kind of being the perfect scenario for us.
Now we're up to the trade. It appears that money and injury history are the primary drivers. Fair enough, the team can't guess if an ACL tear is going to happen or can't happen. Now things get interesting:
[Foles] makes all the throws...He's athletic. He's tall and can see the field, which is important because we've got Tavon Austin, the 5-8 wide receiver and sometimes he's hard to find. I like the way Nick handles himself in the building and the huddle. He's demanding.
The thing I like about Nick is, if there's a mistake made, it's over. For lack of a better term, I'll call it the give-a-bleep factor. It's low. But it needs to be that way for a quarterback. It's a 60-minute game. You've got 60 minutes to win the game. So if something happens early, it's OK. He just shrugs off things and goes on to the next play.
Not only does Fisher say that he's athletic and can make all the throws, but he's very poised. He shrugs mistakes off during the game. He adjusts.
This does not sound like Nick Foles in 2015.
Now, we get to BenchGate:
We're going to go ahead and go with Case...this is my decision. Nobody came down the hall and said, 'This is what we need to do.' The lack of offensive production is a collective effort and coaching. But we need more production, and it starts with that position.
The key is that Fisher is looking for more production. The Rams passing offense under Keenum was more efficient with a 3.2% TD rate instead of 2.1% under Foles, but yardage dropped by over 40 yards to 133.3 yards a game.
That's not exactly a huge increase in production any way you slice it.
Nick also understands that he eventually will be under center for us again.
By no means do we regret the extension. Nick is a good quarterback. He’s captain of this football team. But at this point right now, based on where we are offensively, I feel this is the direction we have to go.
Case Keenum comes back as our starter and we're going to give Nick Foles a chance to compete.
Sure, this was later revised even further by Les Snead. But Nick Foles went from a certainty of reclaiming his starting position to merely being given a 'chance' to compete. That same Nick Foles that was the poised quarterback they traded for in a "perfect scenario".
With that, we're caught up to the Jared Goff era:
He may start on Monday [opening] night...That's the goal. We understand the environment, believe me. He does. We've had lengthy conversations. If I had concerns about whether Jared could handle this, I wouldn't be talking about Jared right now. He can handle it.
Just like Sam Bradford, a quarterback who can just do somethings that other QB's can't.
Just like Nick Foles, a poised, collected quarterback.
Just like Case Keenum, a guy who can come in and win.
Except of course, until he isn't.