He’s alive! After what sounded like a rocky start to his first professional offseason, rookie quarterback Jared Goff is picking up steam. According to NFL’s Steve Wyche, Goff is on his way to becoming the starting quarterback by the time the regular season rolls around.
That was not Wyche’s original sentiment, though. Wyche was down on Goff two months ago, claiming that, “Jared Goff is nowhere near ready to start Week 1.” It’s suspect for Wyche to have flipped-flopped as violently as he did. In his most recent report, Wyche went to bat for Goff making excuses for some of Goff’s poor play in his first preseason game, while also magnifying some of the successes the rookie had in that same game.
Trying to sort out which side of Wyche is legit is troubling. Of course, there is almost certainly a legitimate element of Goff developing over those two months. That said, the major transition Wyche has made on his stance would suggest that Goff has made huge strides, which doesn’t quite seem to be the case.
In Wyche’s report, he noted that the handling of Goff’s development has shifted a bit:
I was told by someone with ties to Goff that he works best when he learns his own way and at his own pace, not when things are forced. The Rams have taken this approach and, according to some coaches I have spoken with, he is learning quickly and shaping into the player they hope that he will be.
As opposed to forcing their will on Goff, it appears that the Rams may be taking a more laissez-faire approach to bringing their young quarterback along. Goff took to Cal’s system well in his three years up in Berkeley. He proved that he could made adequate pre-snap reads and make efficient throws to keep the chains moving. In college, Goff was not forced to make throws he wasn’t comfortable with and it took him a few years at Cal to become the college quarterback he was. It’s likely that the Rams have now identified that and are trying to use that template to breed success.
It’s clear that Goff still has a ways to go. In his first preseason game, he had his fair share of ups and downs. That being said, Goff threw the ball accurately when given time in the pocket and reinforced his ability to make clean coverage reads. With conflicting reports from a number of sources still coming out, it’s tough to gauge where Goff truly is in terms of being ready for the regular season opener, but Wyche’s sudden transition to being pro-Goff is intriguing and, to some degree, encouraging.