What are realistic expectations for Jared Goff in Year 2? Will Jared Goff improve? Is Jared Goff the answer at QB for the Rams?
If you have visited any sports media website in the last few months, chances are that you have read a variation of one of these headlines. Throughout the offseason, much of the attention has surrounded the development of the Rams' young quarterback who returned to training camp this week, kicking off his second year in the NFL.
General Manager Les Snead was met with those same questions on Thursday, ahead of Saturday's first official training camp practice.
"Right now, there are 32 quarterbacks penciled in at starter," Snead said. "He is the only one that is 22 years old. So I do think the experience he got last year coming in with a new offense, you get better with experience, so you expect progress."
Goff completed just 112 passes for 1,089 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie season in Los Angeles.
But the Rams made important changes throughout the offseason to surround Goff with a strong offensive line, signing veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth to protect his blindside. The staff also made a point to bring in new skill players and offensive weapons for Goff, including wide receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
"We did make some moves," Snead said, "some where you let players go, some where you bring them in. I do love the veteran presence of an Andrew Whitworth, even a Robert Woods, [who] is a younger guy. We still have a young team, but bringing in some guys that have been there and done that in the locker room helps."
Snead went on to discuss Goff's steady improvement over the offseason, translating his hard work in the classroom, studying the playbook, into better action on the field.
"He definitely didn't spend time trying to get better at golf if you look at the [American Century Celebrity Golf Championship] Tahoe scores," Snead said with a laugh. "He has spent a lot of time trying to improve his trade in football. I thought throughout the course of the offseason program he was kind of just getting comfortable with some of the core things that we want to embody as an offense," he continued, "and some of the things that will shape and establish our identity."
While the next three weeks here at UC Irvine will give Goff a chance to answer many of the questions surrounding his development himself, Snead made a strong point of looking at the quarterback's improvement not as an immediate goal, but as a continuous journey.
"Hey, he could have stayed another year in college and he didn't," Snead said. "He is still young, so when we made the decision with Jared, we knew it wasn't necessarily a short-term fix — it was going to be a long-term decision for the franchise. I think he's showing really encouraging things, it's just about doing it consistently down-in and down-out."