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Countdown to Camp 2016 - Quarterbacks

Posted Jul 29, 2016

In our final installment of our Countdown to Camp series, team insider Myles Simmons breaks down Los Angeles' quarterbacks.

We’ve reached our final Countdown to Camp breakdown on the Rams’ quarterbacks. Thank you to all who have submitted questions for the series. Be sure to keep up with all the latest Rams news on Twitter and Facebook.

QUARTERBACKS

Newcomers: Jared Goff, Dylan Thompson

With this position group, the obvious place to start is with Los Angeles’ No. 1 overall pick, Jared Goff.

Since the draft, the Rams’ brass has maintained Goff will enter the starting lineup when he’s ready — which may or may not be Week 1. We’ll see how Los Angeles determines that readiness over the following weeks, but general manager Les Snead told the NFL Network this week the team will take the process day-by-day.

Snead also said he knows Goff was working hard in Southern California between the end of OTAs and camp check-in to become more familiar with the playbook and improve his craft.

In order to get under center, Goff will have to earn the starting role from Case Keenum, who enters camp as QB-1. Keenum enters camp as the first one up in large part because of how he stabilized the quarterback position late last year. Keenum finished 2015 completing 60.8 percent of his passes for 828 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

Keenum spoke with the media on Thursday during veterans’ camp check-in and seemed to go beyond the usual platitudes of teammates competing for the same role when asked about Goff.

“When it’s good people, it really makes it a lot easier. And he’s good people,” Keenum said, adding he’s willing to be a resource for the rookie and pass along any advice he requests. “The way I’ve always seen it is, I don’t want him to do bad. I want him to do good. When I’m competing with someone, I want my best to be better than his. And that’s just how I’ve been. I’m not wishing bad for anybody.”

“I’m excited to see where he’s going to grow and what he’s going to be able to accomplish in this league,” Keenum added. “He’ll play for a long time.”

A third-round pick out of Oregon State in 2015, Sean Mannion returns for his second season with the Rams. A quarterback with supreme arm strength, coaches praised Mannion for his growth from Year 1 to Year 2 throughout the offseason program. He could be in the mix for a larger role this season.

Los Angeles also signed second-year quarterback Dylan Thompson during OTAs. He played his college ball at South Carolina before signing with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent last year. The QB initially made San Francisco’s practice squad but was elevated to the active roster in November. The Niners released Thompson in May.

The Rams granted Nick Foles his release earlier this week as well.

“We have been in contact with Nick and his representation throughout the offseason and we feel that this is the best decision for all parties involved,” head coach Jeff Fisher said in a statement. “We appreciate the contributions that Nick has made to our organization in his time as a Ram and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Mannion is sort of the wild card when it comes to the Rams’ QBs in 2016. Given the club selected him in the third round last year, it’s clear they see him — at the very least — as someone with arm talent who can potentially play the position effectively at the highest level. But, Los Angeles also traded a number of draft picks to select Goff this year, signaling they think of the Cal product as a potential franchise quarterback.

So where does that leave Mannion? Well, Jon, you’re right in your assumption Keenum will open up camp as QB-1. And we all know Goff will get his share of time to run the first unit as well. But based on what we saw in OTAs, I think Mannion will get his chances to practice with the ones to give him an opportunity to compete. I can’t give you a specific percentage breakdown of how the Rams will distribute the quarterback reps, but I think it’s safe to say they’ll spread them out between the signal-callers in a way that maximizes what each individual gains from each play.

I am interested to see how Mannion’s footwork has improved over these next few weeks once pads come on and the preseason games begin, as that has been a point of emphasis for him.

Once we get through a week or so of camp, we’ll have a better idea not only of what the reps will be like, but also how the depth chart might shake out.

Thanks for your question, Jon. And thanks to all of you who have submitted questions over the past 10 days. At long last, training camp is back in Los Angeles when the Rams take the field tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. for their first practice of the 2016 season. Be sure to check out our training camp page for everything you need to know about Rams Camp 2016.

PREVIOUSLY ON COUNTDOWN TO CAMP

July 20 - Special Teams
July 21 - Linebackers
July 22 - Wide Receivers
July 23 - Cornerbacks
July 24 - Tight Ends
July 25 - Safeties
July 26 - Offensive Line
July 27 - Defensvie Line
July 28 - Running Backs