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."
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:
|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:
|1995||1||3||Steve McNair||Week 15|
|2006||1||3||Vince Young||Week 4|
|2010||6||176||Rusty Smith||Week 12|
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.
When I first read that Case Keenum is in front of Jared Goff it didn't make much sense. Then I remembered that Jeff Fisher coaches that team— Fantasy Douche (@FantasyDouche) June 17, 2016
Fisher's figured out a way to squeeze at minimum another season of low expectations out of his time with the Rams.— Fantasy Douche (@FantasyDouche) June 17, 2016