Rams OC Kevin O'Connell wants to give QB Jared Goff "some ownership" of offense

When it comes to helping Rams quarterback Jared Goff improve on his 2019 performance, offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell sees a couple layers to the process.

It could be as simple as reviewing the fundamentals of playing the position, such as the first step on a drop-back from under center, the base at the top of a drop, or where Goff's eyes are going off a play-action fake. Another possibility: Allowing Goff to have more control of the unit.

"There's a layer going into his fifth year, his fourth year in the offense, of ownership, where you feel strongly about presenting him with a plan where he could truly have some ownership, while also understanding at the end of the day, it's just about being great with the details of doing his job," O'Connell said during a video conference last month.

This concept isn't a completely new approach. After Goff signed a lucrative four-year contract extension with the club in early September, Rams head coach Sean McVay said the time he and Goff had spent together so far offered Goff that ability.

While McVay and Goff likely didn't envision him proceeding to throw 22 touchdowns against 16 interceptions, Goff doesn't bear the responsibility of those stats alone, given he was playing behind a retooled offensive line that was going to need time to develop stability and chemistry. And when given a clean pocket and the chance to work with a dedicated offensive coordinator, Goff has shown why McVay and O'Connell have the confidence to give him that level of responsibility.

In the month of December alone, Goff threw 11 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while completing 66.2 percent of his pass attempts. This coincided with the Rams' reconfigured offensive line finishing the regular season allowing a league-low 22 sacks.

Across the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Goff threw a combined 60 touchdowns and 19 interceptions while playing behind offensive lines that ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in fewest sacks allowed each of those years.

The 2017 season was the last time the former Cal standout had the chance to work with a full-time offensive coordinator on the Rams' coaching staff, and he threw 28 touchdowns against just 7 interceptions under the tutelage of Matt LaFleur, now the Packers head coach.

Earlier this month, Goff explained the importance of that collaboration between him, a dedicated offensive coordinator and McVay.

"I think that's the biggest thing that will be great this year, myself, Sean and Kevin being able to have that fluid conversation throughout the year," Goff said during a June 10 video conference. "What we see, what we like, what we don't like, and just continue to work on it."

What exactly that ownership looks like won't become clear until games are played. However, greater collaboration and a more experienced offensive line suggests there's reason to trust Goff with it.

"I think he's got a chance to have a great season, and I'm really excited for him," O'Connell said.

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