What of LA Rams backup quarterback John Wolford?

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams roster John Wolford
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Clap for the Wolfman

To develop that image, we need to go back to the LA Rams’ final game of the 2020 season. The LA Rams faced a motivated Arizona Cardinals team in a game where only the victor was assured of competing in the postseason. The Rams entered the game with backup John Wolford under center. The Cardinals entered the game with a badly banged up Kyler Murray under center.

Wolford did not light up the skies that afternoon. He didn’t complete 60 percent of his passes. He failed to throw a touchdown but did throw a critically poorly timed interception. And yet he set the wheels in motion for the LA Rams organization to move on from Goff. So what did Wolford do?

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Well, the first and most obvious element of Wolford’s game was his ability to operate in an unclean pocket. He moved, spun, scrambled, shook, evaded, scrambled, eluded, and outran defenders. Many times he eventually pulled the football down and just ran for a first down.

Improvisation. That’s the key. As soon as Rams head coach Sean McVay saw what it meant on the football field, a light bulb flashed above his head. He understood that he had created an offense so rigid and airtight that it nixed any chance for starting quarterback Jared Goff to learn how to improvise. But there was Wolford, making things happen off-script.