LA Rams will pit Goff in fierce QB competition this season

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 4
LA Rams Jared Goff
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Rams have not effectively addressed the quarterback role since 2016

Since the 2016 NFL Draft, the LA Rams have shut down any attempt to strengthen the quarterback position on the team. Shut down as the team never sought any viable alternative to Jared Goff under center. Yes, the Rams have signed guys to join the quarterback room. But they had added a devalued quarterback from the Jacksonville Jaguars in Blake Bortles on a one-year deal in 2019. They added undrafted quarterback John Wolford that same year. They added Jaguars Brandon Allen in 2017, and cut him in 2019.

Goff had understudies his entire time with the Rams under head coach Sean McVay. Understudies. Not veteran mentors. Not competition. And certainly not veteran leadership. Jared Goff joined the LA Rams under former head coach Jeff Fisher, who had a bad streak of hiring the wrong guy as his offensive coordinator. That created a streak of bad coaching for Goff’s rookie season and a revolving door of coaches that he answered to ever since.

For his quarterback coaches? The Rams had  QB coach Chris Weinke in 2016, Greg Olsen in 2017, and Zac Taylor in 2018. In 2019, the quarterback coach mantel fell upon TE coach Shane Waldron.  Finally, Goff now answers to offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and assistant quarterbacks coach Liam Coen.

NFL Rumors: ESPN Smith claims Rams working to deal Goff for Watson. light. Hot

Coaching carousel for five years

Goff’s offensive coordinators have seen equal turnover.  Rob Boras was the Rams OC in 2016. Matt LeFleur was the offensive coordinator for 2017. The Rams abandoned an offensive coordinator role in 2018 after Matt LeFleur left. The Rams promoted OL coach Aaron Kromer to run game coordinator, and TE coach Shane Waldron to pass game coordinator in 2018. Two years later, they restored the offensive coordinator role under O’Connell

That turmoil and turnover have been anything but positive for Goff, who has had 10 voices directing him over the past five years. At no time did Goff have two consecutive seasons with the same coaching support. If you want to diagnose what NOT to do with a franchise quarterback, this is a good case study of how to ruin quarterback talent. Never the same coach in two consecutive years?  Wow, that’s… horrific. And it’s never mentioned in the analysis of Goff. Young players need guidance. The Rams basically took a young quarterback out for a drive in the country, kicked him out of the car, and are now scolding him for not being able to find his way home.

So what can the Rams do if their constant stream of different coaches has waylaid his development? After all, with so many persons directing him in new ways, and perhaps some conflicting priorities, have the mixed messaging over the past five NFL seasons tampered with a good development of a good quarterback? Let’s face it. The damage, if any, is done. The only hope for the Rams now is to hope Goff finds the path to greatness. How can the team help? Well, they can set up the position for greater competition, that’s what.