Paul Oberjuerge header image 2

Goff Prompts Re-Evaluations by NFL Cognoscenti — and Me, Too

November 27th, 2017 · No Comments · Football, NFL, Rams

Let’s make this formal.

I apologize for suggesting that Jared Goff was a bust.

(This is Day 2 of the Empathy Tour; pretty sure I will get over it.)

I never directly wrote, on this blog, these words: “Goff is a bust.” But I did suggest here and here and here that he could be, or that someone else thought he was, or could be. The first of those, even before the season began, was fairly thorough in outlining all the ways he could not be up to snuff.

For one thing, seven games at the tail end of a collapsing club’s season is not enough evidence to give up on a guy.

We prefer to think Goff probably is mostly over the reviews from the Rams’ 0-7 performance in games he started as a rookie last season, now that he and the Rams are 8-3 this season.

What his turnaround demonstrates, as does as the sensational season so far by Case Keenum, who looked severely average with the Rams last season and is now 9-2 with the Vikings, is how intrinsically tied to the players around him is the performance of all but the greatest of quarterbacks — as promulgated in this ESPN story.

In short, the author, Bill Barnwell, suggests the following:

Coaching matters. For the Rams, that means the offense-savvy Sean McVay in as coach, the all-I-know-is-defense (and a record number of defeats) Jeff Fisher out, as coach.

Investing in infrastructure is probably better than throwing money at a prayer of a passer. For the Rams, that meant giving Goff competent offensive linemen, improved receivers. For the Vikings, it meant paying Case Keenum a $2 million pittance, allowing them to spend on help at other positions — allowing Keenum to be a star.

If you are going to take a flyer on a quarterback, don’t look for the same sort of prototype you’re chasing with the first overall pick. You take Peyton Manning with the top pick, sure, but when looking for a competent guy, don’t insist on the full skill set of the elite. Case Keenum is not as tall as most coaches would prefer, but he makes up for it with elusiveness and passing accuracy.

The idea that there aren’t 32 good NFL quarterbacks is overstated. The author suggests there are not 32 NFL environments suitable enough that a quarterback can succeed. Unless, perhaps, your quarterback is Aaron Rodgers.

Which brings us back to Jared Goff.

In retrospect, from the end of 2016 to the start of 2017, Goff was probably pretty much the same guy, in terms of football IQ and physical gifts. What changed were his linemen, his receivers and his coaching staff. Things outside his control.

That changed him from the jittery, waiting-to-get-hit pass-sprayer of his rookie season to the seemingly calm, collected, high-accuracy QB of today.

Added experience is likely to improve Goff further, but he may never be a Farve/Peyton/Brady/Wilson sort of quarterback, able to win with apparently mediocre teammates.

But if he has a bit of help, Goff can be good enough to take the Rams quite some distance this season, as he already has demonstrated.

That makes him a middling, headed-toward-quite-competent (or better) QB and certainly not a bust.

We stand corrected.




0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment