The Goff and Wentz Pre-Draft Interviews
I honestly watched these two interviews with a “Team Wentz” bias—noticing everything that went well in his interview and everything that went wrong in Goff’s. However, both quarterbacks equally impressed with their poise, articulation, and confidence.
I went through the interviews a second time, this time taking notes on the obvious and subtle differences between the two quarterbacks’ answers. For example, whereas Wentz believes that he’s capable of making the small school-to-NFL transition, Goff believes that his “Bear Raid” offensive background won’t set him back in a professional system. Whereas Wentz wants to carve his own path despite pro comparisons, Goff wants future quarterbacks to follow his example.
However, the most telling answers in the interviews came when Klupenger asked “What is the impression you want to give [to Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead]?”
Let’s start by taking a look at Carson Wentz’s answer to this big question:
"“I think the biggest thing you can leave [with] somebody is that you’re a winner, and that I’m ultracompetitive. I think a lot of people know that about me, but I just strive to be the best at whatever it is I’m doing. And, you know, the track record of winning speaks for itself. But, you know, I think winning can fix a lot of things in this league… I’m going to do what it takes to win.” – QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State University"
First of all, let me preface the following analysis with this: there aren’t any glaring weaknesses in Wentz’s answer. He’s a guy that wants to win and believes that he can be the solution to the Rams’ long trend of disappointment and mediocrity. There’s no problem with that.
The only problem I had with Wentz’s answer was the fact that he used the words “I think” in front of most of his sentences. Yes, several successful players preface their statements in this fashion, but a great leader shouldn’t “think” that he and his team shall be successful; a great leader should know that victory is imminent.
I might come off as nitpicky and hypocritical with my communicational analysis (since several others and I commonly use the words “I think” when we speak publicly) but if we are truly confident in ourselves and our peers, we should learn to instill confidence by “knowing” rather than simply “thinking”.
Now, let’s take a look at Jared Goff’s answer:
"“…if they select me they’re making the right decision; they’re making the best decision they’ve made. You know, I can be the franchise quarterback, I can be the guy that’s the face of the franchise, I can be the guy that can lead them to where they want to be. And you know, go to the playoffs, win Super Bowls, be very successful, and I truly believe that of myself and believe that I can bring that to a team…” – QB Jared Goff, California"
Now this is the answer I wanted. Not only is Jared Goff absolutely confident in the abilities of the team and himself, but he has the boldness to proclaim that he can be “the guy” for the Los Angeles Rams. He “knows” that he can be the quarterback that can lead the franchise back to the Super Bowl.
Many coaches, analysts, and fans will throw around the word “swagger” a lot when they describe players that are not only confident, but are letting the world know that they’re “the man”. Aaron Rodgers has swagger. Cam Newton has swagger. Tom Brady has swagger.
Jared Goff has that swagger as well.
“I turned around Cal Football…I’m just really confident in myself and my abilities…”
Luckily, Jared Goff doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of this “swagger”. When your “swagger” reaches the point to where you lack humility and a “team-first” mentality, your probability of success in the NFL takes a severe shot (e.g. Johnny Manziel). In fact, both Goff’s teammates and peers at school respect and love him greatly. Although they’ve labeled him as “Mr. Perfect”, he realizes that he has “a million things to work on, by no means [is he] perfect”.
But enough with interview semantics; you’re reading this because you want to read about football. Allow me to appease you:
After analyzing these two interviews, I decided to drop my Carson Wentz-bias and objectively watch game films of the two quarterbacks playing at their respective universities.
Next: Team Wentz to Team Goff