It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Rams shocked the league going from the worst offense in the NFL in 2016 (and perhaps one of the worst in NFL history) to one of the most explosive and top scoring units in the league in 2017.
Although it was an amazing story, it’s an apt time to wonder if the Rams will be able to duplicate their efforts and if QB Jared Goff played as well as he did as a sophomore because of his maturation or if it was mainly because of the playcalling and management of Head Coach Sean McVay.
I decided to ask Sports Illustrated writers Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling about Goff and his development and also more information about Sean McVay’s offense on the most recent episode of the MMQB NFL Podcast:
My question: How would you compare Jared Goff to the other young quarterbacks in the league and what can he do to improve? Also, what could year two of McVay’s offense look like with defenses having a full offseason to study them and watch film?
Gary: We do kind of overlook Jared Goff a little bit, not to the point where people wonder who the quarterback for the Rams is, but I feel like more than anywhere McVay is kind of the headliner and Goff is kind of like the co-headliner. That doesn’t really happen.
Andy: And I don’t think either guy is particularly thrilled with that either, but they’ll take it because they’re making headlines because they’re winning games and winning their division.
Goff is a very, potentially, I mean he’s not here yet, but I think what he can be is a very refined high, high-level timing and rhythm player. I see a lot of stylistic similarities to [Minnesota Vikings QB] Kirk Cousins but Goff is a more talented version of Cousins. He moves better. I think both guys would move better than the average QB. You can get outside of the pocket when something breaks down. He’s got a stronger, more precise arm. I think he’s a little bit bigger. He’s a supersized Kirk Cousins. and that gives him pretty good potential especially in a scheme that has been built around Cousin’s strength because of McVay in Washington. I’m pretty high on Jared Goff and I liked him coming out of Cal too, he’s got a lot of the physical traits that you desire.
The two then went more in-depth about the Rams’ offensive scheme and how it will evolve and how it presents a challenge to the defense. There was another highlighted item that was mentioned about the fact that McVay stays in Goff’s headset right up until the point where it has to be turned off pre-snap.
Andy: We don’t know if McVay is telling him to throw here, then here. Or if he is saying the checks: Check into this. Check into that. We don’t know that, but here is what we do know. We do know is that [New England Patriots QB] Tom Brady told Peter King when Peter went and saw him in Montana after the big Super Bowl comeback against Atlanta, Brady told him, “Yeah, we get to the line of scrimmage quickly so that [Patriots Offensive Coordinator] Josh McDaniels can be in my headset still.” So Tom Brady’s been doing it and I would imagine that McDaniels isn’t holding Tom Brady’s hand.