A lot has changed for Jared Goff over the last 12 months. Which is why it makes sense when the quarterback said Saturday the beginning of his second training camp feels "night and day" from his first.
"I feel good. I feel comfortable," Goff said after Saturday's practice. "Obviously, I have a really good idea of what we're trying to do this year and I felt good today."
Among those significant changes: the coaches, the offensive scheme, some of the players around him. But perhaps the most important is that Goff has entered this camp as the Rams' starting quarterback. And that makes a difference.
"Yeah, that's a big deal. Just knowing I'm the guy that they're going to look to, it is my team to lead and my team to direct and control and command — I don't take that lightly," Goff said. "I'm trying to put a lot of pride into that and try to do my best."
Wide receiver Tavon Austin said he's noticed a difference in the quarterback both on and off the field.
"He took more control of how we were working," Austin said. "Even when we're in the huddle, he's pulling it together. He's talking to us, he's pointing towards us on certain concepts when he's telling us on certain [plays] to be ready. I like how he's taking control of the huddle."
As for Goff's performance on the first day, both the quarterback and head coach Sean McVay described the practice as "up and down." McVay said Los Angeles' defense had plenty to do with that, as the unit created backfield pressure.
"I think the ultimate goal for the quarterback is we've got to find completions," McVay said. "I think the defense did a nice job make of making things tough on him today. We'll look at it. We'll get it cleaned up, but it was some good and some bad."
"I felt OK — like I said, there were no mental errors. I had some good throws, I had some bad throws," Goff said. "There was a little adrenaline — I led some of those guys for a couple of yards. Besides that it was good. Like I said, the timing was probably off on a couple of things, but I thought it was a good first day."
That adrenaline stemmed from it being the first day of camp.
"Yeah of course," Goff said. "However many fans we had, it was awesome. I think I speak for a lot of guys — everyone was a little bit anxious, everybody's going a little bit fast."
One of the other elements Goff has to get used to during this camp is his head coach calling plays. Of course, the quarterback already got a taste of that during OTAs and minicamp. But Goff said he thinks it should be a good thing for him as a quarterback.
"I think all of the way through OTAs up until now he's done a tremendous job not only running the offense, but managing us on the field. He continues to do a good job with us," Goff said. "He's obviously the leader of the team and for him to be the guy calling the plays is very helpful for myself and the offense."
Check out photos from Day 1 of the Los Angeles Rams Training Camp presented by AT&T.
Since he was hired in January, McVay has harped on how important communication will be in order to build a winning team. Goff complimented McVay in that area for the way he's established a relationship between the two of them.
"I first met him in the interview and ever since it's been better and better," Goff said. "I have a really good relationship with him - very good open communication with him about how I'm feeling, how he's feeling, plays I like plays I don't like, same back with him, plays he likes. We communicate very well and that's my favorite part about him probably, is the way he's able to communicate with not only me, but everyone else on the team."
That's part of why Goff said he feels McVay has made him even more comfortable than he would otherwise be heading into the 2017 season.
"I think anyone going from year one to year two has that natural jump," Goff said. "I think he's done a great job so far of running the offense with myself and the rest of the team."
As for that year-to-year progress, Goff said he's feeling "like you should feel in that year two," while also mentioning he thinks he's more mature.
"I think you just grow, you get older, you have more experiences and you know how to carry yourself a little bit differently," Goff said. "I don't know if there's any examples. Just as you get older, I can tell that with myself and the way I'm able to communicate with my teammates a lot better."
With Goff manning arguably the most difficult position in sports, how he grows and communicates with his teammates could determine much of Los Angeles' success this year and beyond. But as for 2017 expectations, how much different does the quarterback believe this year's team will be?
"We'll have to wait and see," Goff said, adding he's excited to get the new season going. "We have a new team this year with new energy, new culture and a new perspective. Like I said, excited to make the past the past, and start a new future."