Don’t Buy into Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s QB Statement

Jul 31, 2016; Irvine, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) at training camp at UC Irvine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2016; Irvine, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) at training camp at UC Irvine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite hinting Case Keenum is the starter, nobody should buy into what Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher is saying about the team’s quarterback situation.

Jeff Fisher shook up Los Angeles Rams nation on Wednesday when he stated that incumbent quarterback Case Keenum was making the necessary throws representative of a starting passer. From there, fans and NFL analysts alike assumed Keenum would remain the starter for the entire season.

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Now, the one thing I’m certainly not saying is Fisher is wrong to roll with Keenum at this point. The coaches have substantially more knowledge regarding the quarterback situation than I do and being the first overall player is far from an automatic starting bid.

Fisher has already stated they will play Jared Goff when the time is right. If they feel Goff has room to grow both mentally and physically, they will undoubtedly let him do so for the time being.

Keenum has also made it abundantly clear that he’s “running the show” and “taking ownership” as a positive leadership focus you hope to see–should he remain the starter.

As for the title, it’s wise to take Fisher’s rather vague statement lightly. We’ve already seen Fisher stand behind former Rams quarterback Sam Bradford in the early part of 2015–only to trade him for the disaster formerly known as Nick Foles.

Goff has yet to take an NFL snap, but a strong preseason performance will serve as an indication of his increased mental capacity and ability to decipher the playbook. The most vital catalyst for rookie success is decreasing the speed of the game, which is where the mental capacity and fortitude come into play.

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Keenum isn’t one to stretch the defense vertically or beat teams with his arm as their passing game will only go as far as Todd Gurley can take them. A run-based offense creates a passing game predicated on dropback play-action and down field shots.

The Rams are also virtually guaranteed to see eight and nine man boxes with Keenum or Goff at the helm. Teams don’t fear Keenum’s arm talent and defenses will be eager to stunt and blitz a rookie passer.

Regardless, Goff flashed a big arm at California, albeit spotty downfield accuracy, that can get the ball into the hands of Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt. Offensive coordinator Rob Boras should maximize their offensive potential by putting the ball in Austin’s hands more often via screens and split zone reveres, allowing fakes off such calls to out-leverage the defense.

It’s evident that Goff, coupled with the utilization of their other weapons, is a better schematic fit. Upon further film review, they also utilize bunch and stack out of trips that allow stack-release concepts and create defined reads for the quarterback while eliminating the defense’s ability to disguise coverage.

Plus, athletic rookie tight end Tyler Higbee would serve as a sufficient option in this roll. While Keenum currently has the upper hand, there’s little reason to believe Goff won’t see a single snap this season.