Quarterback Jared Goff has taken tremendous strides as a quarterback since the start of last season, when head coach Sean McVay arrived as the Rams' offensive playcaller.
That's prompted some analysts and rival fans to suggest that Goff is simply a "product of the system" — where if not for McVay, Goff wouldn't be successful.
As left tackle Andrew Whitworth put it this week, "every quarterback in their own right is a quarterback of his system." And that's true, since each signal-caller has his own offensive play caller who tries to put him in the best position possible in order to succeed.
But at the same time, those quarterbacks coaches, coordinators, and head coaches can't go out and execute the plays.
That's a significant factor in why McVay and Whitworth were emphatic in their comments at the suggestion that Goff is simply a "system QB."
"I think that's a total discredit to him and all the different things that he's doing," McVay said. "I mean he's making the throws, he's making the calls at the line of scrimmage, he's making the calls in the huddle. So, I think it's our job as a coaching staff to collaborate and try to put together plans on a weekly basis that give our players a chance to have success. But, ultimately I know this, you're a lot better coach when you're working with players like Jared Goff and I feel really fortunate to work with him."
"I think that 'a product of the system' thing people say about quarterbacks in the league in general is just absurd," Whitworth said. "I mean in NFL football, this isn't college. You can't spread people out and run a bunch of gimmick stuff. IN NFL football, you've got to deliver the football and be able to see what your doing. It's such a high level that there's only 32 guys who usually can do it in the world. Any time you go out and put on a performance that is successful in the league, you're a hell of a player."
Wide receiver Cooper Kupp had a similar assent.
"I think they're just trying to find an excuse — tag him with something," Kupp said. "You can't just be a good quarterback, you have to be something. Everyone's looking for labels and tags. And I think he's a football player, and you can trust a football player to go out and make plays that are available. And that's the best part about a quarterback like him — he's going to find the open guy. And no matter what system he's in, I think that would carry over."
And so while those around Goff came to his defense on the issue, the quarterback himself gave a team-oriented response to whether he takes issue with the label of "system QB."
"Yeah, I'll be a product of the system if we win games as much as I want. We just continue to go out there and keep playing, keep putting up 30 points and [you can] call me whatever you want," Goff said.
So, that designation doesn't make him feel any type of way.
"I feel like I'm just continuing to develop and continuing to get better," Goff added. "As time goes on, I hope to continue to get better and keep learning from Sean and keep trying to be the best leader and quarterback I can be."