Okay, it’s time for the entire Los Angeles Rams fan base to take a cruise to a far away place that we’ve only heard about from irritating friends in places like Pittsburgh and Foxboro: the enchanted Isle of Lombardi.
A few of us have actually seen this place a lifetime ago, while some of us have only the heard stories. The journey should take about four months, but we have a reasonably sturdy ship, a yacht some might even say, named the Goffinator. Everything is going well, in fact the captain of this ship, Gared Joff, makes very few mistakes, and in fact begins to make some bold moves to cut down on travel time. You haven’t so much as spilled your Mai Tai on this wonderful journey when all of the sudden the ship has a tragic mechanical error when a walrus in a football jersey with a number in the 90s rolls onto the propeller. All is not lost though; your journey to the beaches of Lombardi will continue upon a much less tested vessel, the modest and maaaaybe sea worthy Mannion Minnow. How do you feel?
Hopefully this story has no basis in reality, and the Rams will have no reason to hand over the helm to backup QB Sean Mannion this season. QB Jared Goff, while still a work in progress, displayed the poise and improvement last season that makes his trajectory seem very promising moving into the 2018 season.
Mannion certainly has NFL size and has been around Head Coach Sean McVay’s system, but so far he has had mixed results in limited NFL experience. At times, Mannion has looked respectable in preseason appearances, but has also looked anxious under pressure. To be fair, Mannion has rarely played behind the starting offensive line, and has had few real opportunities to establish a rhythm. If tapped, could Mannion possibly replicate QB Nick Foles’ unexpected success in Philadelphia? It seems like that would be unlikely, but it’s hard to say definitively; after all, almost nobody expected Foles to do what Foles did last season in the first place.
Perhaps in the world of backups, it is best to simply roll with a backup who is highly familiar the team’s offense who wouldn’t require a completely new offensive approach if they were to be at the helm. So for now at least, we have Sean Mannion as the QB2 for the 2018 Rams.
Mannion should be playing out the final year of his rookie deal as the Rams second string quarterback this year. He has enough familiarity with the offense that it would take a heck of a preseason showing by former Jacksonville Jaguars third stringer Brandon Allen (roster preview) or former D-II bowler/quarterback Luis Perez (roster preview) to unseat him as Goff’s backup.
Mannion will get the bulk of the preseason snaps and a chance to prove his worth beyond this season. He should demonstrate a bit more poise and comfort on the field. That could really be what a player like Mannion, who has decent tools, needs to elevate his game.
Chances Of Making The Team (9.5/10)
The Rams were not aggressive in their pursuit of a more accomplished backup to replace Mannion, so it can be deduced that they are satisfied with what he offers at a modest price. While Eric Dickerson will not be stirring up Mannion-Mania again this season, Mannion will have a firm grasp on the clipboard.