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After Thomas Brown was hired to be the Los Angeles Rams’ running backs coach, Sean McVay noted that he’s been on his radar for quite a while. He was in consideration for the job when McVay joined the Rams in 2017, but the Rams opted to keep Skip Peete at his current post.
McVay’s connection to Brown doesn’t just go back three years, though. The two first crossed paths about 15 years ago when they were in high school and played against each other on the football field.
It was disappointing to be the only winning NFL team not to make the playoffs, but now that some time has passed, it might be worth extracting some optimism from the way Goff performed in December.
These were his metrics in the Rams final five games of 2019:
7.8 AY/A (adjusted yards gained per passing attempt)
Jared Goff: pic.twitter.com/NDrLsuEYzg— Johnny Kinsley (Deep Ball Project Out On Friday!) (@Brickwallblitz) February 20, 2020
Expect Rams QB Jared Goff to Silence the Critics in 2020 - Downtown Rams
Despite having a career-high in interceptions, Jared Goff still threw for 22 touchdowns and 4,638 yards (even including zero TD’s in November). Furthermore, Goff set a career-high in pass attempts with 626, which also tied the league for the year. Goff was relied upon a lot more than in years past, when the offense ran through all-purposes (and All-Pro) running back Todd Gurley.
Although Goff did have a few terrible turnovers at the wrong time (including some costly pick 6’s), he still led the team to a 9-7 record despite having a weak offensive line and inconsistent run game for most of the season. It’s well known that the O-line’s inexperience, coming from the fact that several key starters were banged up for most of the season, contributed to Goff’s lack of consistency.
Jared Goff’s dead cap figure to rise to $94M in one month - Clutch Points
Spotrac notes that a month from today, Goff will be paid his $21 million roster bonus for 2020 and that his $25 million 2021 salary, $2.5 million 2021 roster bonus, and $15.5 million 2022 roster bonus will all become fully guaranteed.
That means Goff’s dead cap figure will rise to a whopping $94 million by March 19.
Todd Gurley Says Los Angeles ‘Feels Like Home’ - Rams Nation
“Yeah, it is. It definitely is, and I’m starting to develop relationships with different people. But also, it just feels home. You know how when you leave for a little while and you’re like, ‘I can’t wait to get back home?’ That’s it, that’s how you know it’s home. For LA, like, I hate leaving before I even leave. I love it down there.”
The combination of a $134 million contract and a disappointing 2019 season have fans and media members doubting the ability of Jared Goff to truly be a franchise quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. There were factors that played into his regression last season, like the constant changes on the offensive line and the lack of support from the running game, but Goff was certainly to blame for his own struggles, too.
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This belt has been signed by George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz, Darren Waller, Noah Fant, Mike Gesicki, Taysom Hill, Tyler Higbee and Darren Fells.— Lindsay Rhodes (@lindsay_rhodes) February 12, 2020
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All proceeds go to the Iowa Children’s Hospital. pic.twitter.com/x5PuU7dhy3
16. LB CORY LITTLETON – LOS ANGELES RAMS
Projected contract: 4 years, $12 million per year ($30 million guaranteed)
Cory Littleton has turned into one of the league’s best off-ball linebackers in coverage the past couple of seasons, producing a two-year coverage grade that ranks as the third best — behind only Lavonte Davis and Luke Kuechly. Littleton could very well sign elsewhere given the departure of Wade Phillips and the limited cap space ($14.7 million). That doesn’t entirely mean that new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley can’t use Littleton in the same role, but the lack of assets is more so the problem. It would probably be in the Rams’ best interest to move on from Littleton since he was just the 12th most valuable player on the team, but for now, it looks like a return is most probable.
Littleton doesn’t just cover. He affects the passing game. Over the last two seasons, he has 22 pass breakups and five interceptions. Martinez has only 17 and three over his entire four-year career.
The need for a player like Littleton is clear. The Packers could both pressure the quarterback and cover downfield in 2019, but a soft middle was too easily exposed and eventually kept Pettine’s group from truly taking the step from good to great. Martinez, despite impressive tackle numbers, didn’t have the athleticism or coverage ability to consistently handle what Pettine needed from the position.