Don’t expect LA Rams QB Jared Goff to be back this season

Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

It started for the LA Rams with a cryptic comment by head coach Sean McVay at the post-game press conference after the  Rams lost to the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.  But the comment ‘Yes, he’s the quarterback, right now.‘ uttered by McVay may as well have been ‘I don’t ever want to see that guy in SoFi Stadium again.’

The results will likely prove to be the same.

For anyone who believes that the Rams are merely trying to ‘light a fire’ under starting quarterback Jared Goff, let me forewarn you. That is not what is taking place. This is not a motivational speech. This is not trying to get more of their quarterback. This is more of a ‘Let’s call the whole thing off’ approach.

What else could it be?

The team is linked to every NFL quarterback in NFL Rumors. The head coach says that he wants open competition at the quarterback positions. The general manager says that the team can move on without Jared Goff. Those are not comments out of Tony Robbins’ motivational speaker’s handbook. Those are phrases you might find in the song ‘Hit the Road, Jack‘.

This is no just about getting better on the offense. This is about getting Goff gone from the offense. And that is an entirely and far riskier road to travel. Why? Well, the Rams had better be correct on this one. After betting for five seasons that young quarterback Jared Goff was the franchise quarterback, suddenly he is not.

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What’s changed?

Sure, you can cite all the turnover statistics that you want. But Goff has been consistent each year in that department. You can cite the up and down nature over the past two seasons. But over that same time frame, the Rams have gone from balanced offense to pass-happy. You can cite his pass production, but his accuracy has gone up.

Perhaps Goff is not the answer. But he’s not the problem either.  For a problem that has accelerated over the past four seasons, ask yourself this question: Who controlled the outcome? If you think that the offensive plays were called by Jared Goff, Liam Coen, Shane Waldron, or Andy Dickerson, then you’ve missed the obvious. The LA Rams offense is failing, and everyone but the man who calls the plays and sends in the personnel packages is gone or soon will be.

Just so I don’t find myself being accused of speaking cryptically, Goff is be all accounts gone. He can’t come back from this. The Rams have started a ‘fix the offense’ purge of anyone they feel did not hold up their end of the bargain, and the last one to be shown the door is Goff.

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When Goff is gone, how much have the Rams really improved?

No matter which side of the Jared Goff fence you stand on, this is not a time to weep or smile, nor is it a time to blame or jump for joy. It’s a time for concern. We have talked about the LA Rams’ love of high-stakes gambling.  But perhaps they have never taken a bigger gamble. The Rams are purging their offense. But they have the same signal-caller. They have the same coach sending in the personnel packages. Change the carpet, repaint the walls, even upgrade the light fixtures. The value of the house doesn’t change.

Even as quarterback Jared Goff is about to enter his sixth NFL season, the Rams have all but shut the door on him. The trend of quarterbacks to leap to an elite level typically happens in their sixth-tenth season. Goff will likely not get that chance in a Rams uniform.

Had it ended at ‘Yes, he’s my quarterback, right now’, the Rams and Goff may have found common ground. But this one is over folks. Sure, NFL teams will talk to the Rams. And the offers will not be the top value or even fair market value. The offers will start at ‘How badly do you want me to take Goff’s contract off your hands?’.

How do I know this will end badly? Let’s just say that all signs point in that direction. And like it or not, we are all along for the ride. Changing the direction of the defense seemed to improve things in 2020, didn’t it?

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Well, McVay still rules that offense. So don’t expect miracles this time. After all the changes, nothing of significance has really changed at all.