After an up and down rookie season, quarterback Jared Goff is back as the incumbent starter to begin the 2017 offseason program.
Plenty has changed over the last year for the 22-year-old quarterback, including the Rams' coaching staff. And while Goff was involved in the search, league rules prohibit coaches from distributing a playbook prior to the start of the offseason program. Still, Goff worked over the last few months to get a feel for how head coach Sean McVay's offense will operate in Los Angeles.
"From what I know, and from what I've seen, it's obviously a great offense," Goff said on Monday. "And from what I've heard, I've talked to quarterbacks around the league and coaches and what not, and I haven't heard a bad word about it. So, I'm excited for it."
But with a new system comes some significant adjustments for the players involved, particularly at quarterback. That's why McVay has talked of utilizing all the time available in the offseason program to incrementally install his schemes.
"I think for our quarterbacks as a whole, there's a lot of work. It's just making sure we have that one-day approach," McVay said. "If you look at it where you want to go from A to Z, then you end up getting overwhelmed with the amount of information. But I think as long as you just take little steps at a time, that continuous improvement one day at a time, then I feel like that will lead to the things that we want."
"There's going to be, obviously, some time to put in for everyone. That's part of a new staff," Goff said. "I think the league sets it up to where you get to start earlier, and get a chance to get in there and get a head start on it a little bit, which does help. The next few weeks, we'll dig into it, and pick it up as fast as we can until we get on the field."
Goff spent time with noted private quarterback instructors Tom House and Adam Dedeaux over the offseason in order to improve his overall game. House and Dedeaux have demonstrated an ability to better a number of NFL signal-callers, including 2016 MVP Matt Ryan.
"It was great. I had a lot of people recommend it, coaches included, and I went down there and did a lot of work for them," Goff said. "I felt like I came away a lot better player. I'm excited to continue to work with them."
"There's just so much that goes on in a throw that you really didn't know until you go down there and can experience it, and can go through it," Goff explained of what he learned. "Now you know when you do make a bad throw, you want to limit them. But when you do, you know why. It's not just, 'Oh, that was a bad one,' and move on. You know why and how to fix it."
And so now Goff enters the offseason program as the Rams' No. 1 quarterback — a far cry from where he was at this time in 2016, when he was still visiting teams before the NFL Draft.
"Obviously, I'm much more comfortable with the guys," Goff said. "I've been here for a year. I know everyone's name. They all know my name. I can talk to, basically, anyone. I have a really good feel for everyone. That'll obviously help. As well as just being comfortable around the facility. Knowing where everything is, comfortability — you can't overstate it. It's really important, as for the quarterback position, and leadership overall."
It's likely that comfort led Goff to make a fairly confident statement about his expectations for the Rams' 2017 season.
"I think I speak for the whole team — I think we're a lot closer to where we want to be than people may think," Goff said. "We've got the players, we've got the talent, we've got all the pieces we need, really. It's just about putting it together now. The coaches and the system we're going to run is going to be the glue for everything we need."