One of the many advantages of having a stable team at head coach and coordinator is a team’s ability to continue building on the success of previous seasons.
Heading into year three under head coach Sean McVay, that’s something the Rams have on offense, defense, and special teams.
But as valuable as that continuity can be, stability within personnel can be even more beneficial — particularly for a quarterback.
And that’s what the Rams have on offense, as Los Angeles begins the 2019 offseason program with nearly all of its skill players returning from 2018.
“It’s good, it’s really nice being able to pick up where we left off,” fourth-year signal-caller Jared Goff said on Monday. “I feel like there’s not as much of a learning curve — tight ends and running backs included — everyone is on the same page with the same verbiage and can speak in our language right away.”
Really, the Rams had a bit of a similar situation last year, but the club had just acquired starter Brandin Cooks from the Patriots. And as Goff put it, Los Angeles didn’t truly have a difficult time integrating him into the scheme. But even that one player having to learn can make some difference.
“[T]here is a little bit of a learning curve with teaching [Cooks] some things and having him pick up some things, but no — he is so dialed with everyone else and we are so far ahead of where we were last year that it’s nice going into this period to be able to feel like it’s just a little break and we are right back into it,” Goff said.
Where there really hasn’t been stability, though, is at Goff’s position coach. Greg Olson took the offensive coordinator job with the Raiders last offseason after spending 2017 as the Rams’ QBs coach. And Zac Taylor just became the Bengals head coach after the 2018 season in that role.
Now, Shane Waldron is overseeing the quarterbacks as Los Angeles’ passing game coordinator. And assistant QBs coach Zac Robinson is in the room on a day-to-day basis.
“I think having Shane evolve is definitely going to help make that transition a little bit easier because I’ve known Shan now — this will be my third year with him — so it definitely makes it easier,” Goff said. “But Zac’s been great and I’ve had just a few conversations with him and he’s been awesome and I’m excited to work with him. He’s got a great track record in my head at least, that he’s played the position, and from everything that I’ve heard from him, he’s been awesome. Excited to work with him.”
Check out photos of the Los Angeles Rams players back in action for the offseason program.
And heading into his fourth season, Goff pointed out two things he’d like to improve this spring: his completion percentage and his footwork.
“Personally, I think I talk about it all the time, I want to get the completion rate up, continue to drive that up. I think it went up from this year from last year, but I think if I can get that up it translates to getting the ball into guys’ hands and taking care of the football, and I think if you can do that it normally leads to good things and normally leads to wins,” Goff said. And he was right, as his completion percentage improved from 62 percent in 2017 to 65 percent in 2018. “And then I think my feet is something I’ve always been huge on — just keeping my feet right. When my feet are good, I’m usually in line and play well.”
If Goff continues his trajectory of improvement in 2019, the Rams should be in good shape to chase another NFC West title.