Few players in the NFC West have done more preparation for Rams QB Jared Goff than Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner, which means Wagner can speak better than most within the division to Goff's development.
As Wagner gets set to face Goff for the ninth time in his NFL career, he sees notable progress.
"Just his reads, the way he picks up reads," Wagner told Seattle reporters this week. "He's really, really good at play action. He's able to get outside the pocket, get the ball to his targets really, really fast. He makes really good reads at the line, good checks at the line. That's probably what stands out to me."
Goff is coming off a career passing performance against the Buccaneers, completing 45 of 68 attempts for 517 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His completions tied for most in a single game in NFL history, while his attempts tied for third-most in NFL history. His passing yards were eighth-most in a single game in NFL history. The completions, attempts and yards were all new career highs.
The former Cal standout and No. 1 overall pick had been averaging 245.7 yards per game through the first three weeks of the season.
"His numbers haven't been as big until this last week and then he just went crazy," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said on a conference call with Rams beat writers.
Last season, Goff set career-bests across the boards, including passing yards (4,688), touchdowns (32), completion percentage (64.9) and passer rating. That included completing 71.8 percent of his passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns in the most recent meeting with the Seahawks. He also became the first No. 1 overall pick to lead his team to a Super Bowl in his first three seasons when the Rams reached Super Bowl LIII.
It's not just the Seahawks' defense that Goff has earned the respect of, either.
"I think he's had a great career so far," Seahawks QB Russell Wilson said. "He's been able to win a lot of football games, he's been a special player in tough games. Jared, he's one of the top players in the league."
Now in his fourth season with the Rams, Goff also appears to have more ownership of the offense, according to Wagner.
"Over the years he's taken more control of the offense, taken more control of where everybody is going," Wagner said. "When he was a rookie, he was still trying to learn his way, and as he's gotten older and as he's matured, you can see him understanding the offense and understanding what's expected of him.