Early in his nearly 27-minute, end-of-season video conference, Rams head coach Sean McVay was reminded by a reporter of the positives the team had accomplished, namely exceeding expectations with a 10-6 record, second-place finish in the NFC West and making the playoffs.
"There was a lot of positives," McVay said Sunday. "I thought we saw a lot of young players step up. I thought we saw the rise of a really special defense, and I'm excited about the opportunity to evaluate and move forward. I am very appreciative of this team, I'm proud of a lot of the things (we accomplished), but I think you'll get more appreciative and look back on it with a better feeling of it the further you get away. But because of the confidence I had in this group, I am disappointed that we're still not playing, and that's a compliment to the confidence I had in the team and the group of men we were all working with.
McVay is taking a similar patient approach to the upcoming offseason and any potential decisions that come with it. "All things are up for evaluation," he said, including the quarterback position.
"What I'm evaluating is everything we do. That includes the quarterback position, but that includes everything," McVay said. "I think it's important, like I was kind of saying, to be able to take a step back, catch our breath, be able to look at everything the season encompassed and be able to create the most competitive situations at all spots and what we can continue to do to take steps in the right direction.That's not exclusive to the quarterback, but it's all-encompassing to our entire roster."
Several of the questions were specific to that position after McVay, when was asked following Saturday's divisional round loss to the Packers if Jared Goff was his quarterback, responded with "he's the quarterback right now."
McVay emphasized that he wants to create more competition at every position on the roster and did not want to make "blanket statements" about the starter at any position while everything is "all so fresh."
Goff completed 370 of 552 pass attempts this season for 3,952 yards with 20 touchdowns against 13 interceptions in 15 games in the regular season, missing the finale with a right thumb injury that required surgery.
John Wolford was named the starter for the Rams' wild card playoff game against the Seahawks as a result of that injury, but Goff – healthy enough to be an emergency backup for that game – ended up being called into action after Wolford left the game in the first quarter with a neck injury and helped lead Los Angeles to a win. Wolford's neck injury prevented him from playing on Saturday against the Packers, leading to Goff getting the start. Across both playoff games, Goff was 30 of 46 for 329 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
"For me to fully answer that, I think those are conversations that you have between (you and) your players first," McVay said, when asked what he needs to see Goff do this offseason that would give him confidence in Goff coming back. "To be able to have the right plan of attack, I think you've got to be able to take a step back, evaluate the entirety of it. What I will say that you certainly can't take away, that I mentioned to you guys each the last couple of weeks, (is that) for him to come back from a thumb surgery, do what he did in Seattle, do what he did yesterday, it's a real credit to him, his competitiveness, his resilience. I think there's a lot of positives from that."
Still, it will be evaluated just like the other positions on the Rams' roster.
"I'd say, I think as you grow, as you continue to learn, that's just where we're at," McVay said, when asked what changed to include competition at the quarterback position this offseason. "I'm not saying anything other than we're evaluating that right now. I think it's important that you do that at every single spot and no position is excluded from that conversation."