With the NFL season at its midway point, No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff has yet to play a single snap for the 3-4 Los Angeles Rams. And from the sounds of it, the Rams don’t have plans to throw him into NFL actions just yet.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher explained to MMQB’s Emily Kaplan that, despite the number of rookie quarterbacks playing across the league, the Rams are content to let Goff watch from the sidelines and develop.
While that may anger some Rams fans who want to see the quarterback for whom the team surrendered a bounty of future draft picks, some within the NFL believe the Rams’ strategy is smart.
One such supporter is Brandon Weeden, a 33-year-old backup quarterback with the Texans, his third team since being drafted by the Browns in 2012. Weeden told Kaplan that coming out of college, he simply wasn’t prepared for professional defences that are significantly more talented and complex than college.
“I look at what the Rams are doing and I think it’s awesome. By having Case Keenum on the roster, Goff can have a year, a half a year, and redshirt to learn the NFL game. That’s huge. My rookie year, I had no idea what I was doing a lot of the time. I knew coverages, but they are just so much more complex, dissecting everything — it was impossible. I wish I had been in a situation like Goff’s where I wasn’t forced to be thrown into the fire.”
According to Kaplan, the Rams are aware of the risk of throwing a young quarterback into the fire too soon, reportedly spooked by the struggles of Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.
Much of this stems from the “Air Raid” offence that Goff, and many other quarterbacks, ran in college, which varies significantly from NFL offenses. The language, mechanics, and play-calling responsibilities are different in the NFL, and many quarterbacks coming from college offenses need time to learn it before going out on the field to execute.
While it’s arguable that Goff can’t learn and adjust while holding a clipboard on the sideline, for now, it seems people within the Rams believe it’s in Goff’s best interest to continue sitting out. Fisher said he believes Goff could play in the NFL right now, but as Weeden suggested, “redshirting” for a year may be better for Goff in the long run.
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