clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

When Will Jared Goff Become The Los Angeles Rams' Starting QB?

New, comments

Jared Goff was the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft earlier this year. When does he take over the starting duties for the Los Angeles Rams?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

So the biggest pullquote from Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher's press availability yesterday after the team's final organized team activity of 2016 concerned 2016 NFL Draft #1 overall pick Jared Goff and the fact that he's still behind Case Keenum (at a minimum) on the depth chart:

(On if he has thought about giving Goff all of the first-team reps in training camp)

"No, we’re going to change it up with the reps. (QB) Case (Keenum) is our starter right now, so Case needs the first-team reps. To give Jared the opportunity - and (QB) Sean (Mannion) for that matter - to run with the first-team, it’s easier to evaluate them. We’ll change things up. Once we get in there and we’ll make some decisions as to who plays when and how much in the preseason."

Last week, Bate covered some comments from ESPN's John Clayton's thoughts on Goff's timeline:

Even though it has taken time, coach Jeff Fisher is building the type of team he liked when he coached the Tennessee Titans. He has built a playoff-caliber defense. He got his Eddie George running back in Todd Gurley. The headache is seeing where the Rams are at quarterback. Fisher traded up for Jared Goff to be his franchise quarterback, but the question is how quickly Goff can turn into an NFL winner. The Rams averaged 17.5 points a game last season. There is no guarantee the Rams can score more than that with Case Keenum or Goff. The headache would be moving to Los Angeles and starting with a losing record.

Prediction: Keenum starts the season, but Goff gets to start in the first two months.

In a poll in that piece, nearly 3/5ths of respondents had Goff as the Rams' Week 1 starter where nearly 2/5ths had Keenum as the starter when the Rams take on the 49ers on Monday Night Football to kick of the 2016 regular season.

Two points of order and then I've got a different poll to throw at yall.

Fisher's History With Starting Rams Rookies

Here's every Rams draft pick from the first three rounds under Fisher and General Manager Les Snead and when they got their first start in their rookie season:

Year Rd Pick Player First Start
2012 1 14 DT Michael Brockers Week 4
2 33 WR Brian Quick Week 10
2 39 CB Janoris Jenkins Week 1
2 50 RB Isaiah Pead Week 2
3 65 CB Trumaine Johnson Week 10
2013 1 8 WR Tavon Austin Week 2
1 30 OLB Alec Ogletree Week 1
3 71 S T.J. McDonald Week 1
3 92 WR Stedman Bailey Week 14
2014 1 2 OT Greg Robinson Week 6
1 13 DT Aaron Donald Week 6
2 41 CB Lamarcus Joyner *
3 75 RB Tre Mason Week 9
2015 1 10 RB Todd Gurley Week 4
2 57 OT Rob Havenstein Week 1
3 72 G Jamon Brown Week 1
3 89 QB Sean Mannion N/A

* - Had trouble finding which game Joyner started, but he did log one start in 2014

So among the first-round rookies, only one of six has started in Week 1 under Fisher, though the asterisk of Gurley's injury offers a fair footnote. Still, that leaves four first-rounders that didn't start in Week 1 including Aaron Donald...Aaron Donald.

Overall (not counting Joyner since I couldn't identify which week he logged his one start from his rookie campaign), five of the 16 rookies from Days 1 & 2 started in the season opener.

Fisher's Career History With Rookie QBs

And here's a list of all quarterbacks drafted under Jeff Fisher's tenure as head coach of the two franchises he has guided:

Year Rd Pick Player First Start
1995 1 3 Steve McNair Week 15
1999 5 151 Kevin Daft N/A
2006 1 3 Vince Young Week 4
2010 6 176 Rusty Smith Week 12
2014 6 214 Garrett Gilbert N/A
2015 3 89 Sean Mannion N/A

I don't think it's unfair to take the cynical route here and suggest that since Jeff Fisher has never drafted a QB and started him in Week 1 it's perhaps likely that Jared Goff also gets some time to build in. Then again, Goff's the first #1 overall QB he's even taken so...

Look. Jeff Fisher has a long, long, long track record of head coaching with a very short track record of success. It's fair to suggest he's pressured into this situation by failing in every other aspect thus far in his time with the Rams. Going all in on a new QB is perhaps the only escape valve left for Fisher.

Because inside the Rams bubble while we're hoping everything works out and finding ways to justify it, outside of the bubble, the world doesn't think much of Fisher or the Rams.