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Waldner: Rams QB Jared Goff has talent, work ethic to succeed

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  • Waldner: Rams QB Jared Goff has talent, work ethic to succeed

    By Mike Waldner, Columnist

    Bobby Beathard was recognized as one of the best talent evaluators as he worked his way up the food chain from scout to very-successful-belongs-in-the-Hall of Fame NFL general manager.
    When gathering information, the old El Segundo High and El Camino College quarterback made it a habit to talk to someone behind the scenes.
    In the case of Jared Goff, he who was selected at the top of the draft Thursday by the Rams, let’s use the Beathard playbook and turn to a Cal teammate.
    Our guy is Cole Webb, the former Mary Star High and El Camino College quarterback who observed closely for two years as a non-scholarship fourth QB, unofficial assistant during games and roadtrip roommate of Goff.

    Granted, this is a buddy.
    “I’m more than a little biased,” Webb said on the phone from Berkeley.
    He also is a keen observer, a bright young man with such a high football IQ that John Featherstone, his El Camino coach, urged him to consider coaching.
    Webb provides intel demonstrating that Goff is not a robo QB.
    During the UCLA game last season, Goff huddled on the bench with Webb when the Cal defense was on the field.
    “Jared would ask me if I saw anything,” Webb said. “He would ask, ‘Where did the pressure come from? What do you think we ought to do?’ If his read was the linebacker, he would ask me to watch the safety and tell him what the guy was doing.

    “He would talk to the other quarterbacks. He would talk to the receivers. He knew when to pick guys up and when to be fired up. I’ve watched him grow and improve as a leader in two years (Goff’s sophomore and junior seasons).”
    Some young athletes are so full of themselves, a trait especially widespread in the NBA, they are deaf to constructive criticism.
    Goff does not fall into this trap.
    “I was free at any time to let him know what I saw and what I thought,” Webb said. “He wanted to make sure he had the best solution.”

    While short of playing time — he was limited to two mop-up series in his two years, one each against Sacramento State and Oregon State — Webb got a head start in coaching during a season he had to sit out at El Camino due to knee surgery.
    “The experience at El Camino certainly helped me help Jared,” he said. “A lot of what I did for him is what I did holding the clipboard for Coach (Dan) Speltz (ECC’s quarterback coach-co-offensive coordinator).”
    A summary of Webb’s scouting report tells you Goff is a sponge who works hard, has a strong arm, arrives early, stays late, listens, absorbs, lives in the film room (“a film junkie”), brings instinct to knowledge and, as a bonus, even when tired willingly signs autographs for adoring children as well as breathless 40-something fans.

    He definitely knows how, when and where to deliver the football.
    “I’ve seen him make some throws where you ask, ‘How did he know the receiver would be open?’” Webb said. “He reminds me of Kellen Moore (the former Boise State star). He saw the field a different way than anyone.
    “Jared has the talent to make it work. I can compare him to Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers makes throws when his body is in crazy positions. Jared is the same way.”
    Concern has been expressed because Goff must switch from Cal’s spread offense to taking snaps directly from the center.

    This ignores the fact that, like Pro Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, Goff is not a runner who played quarterback in the spread, he’s a quarterback with good feet in the pocket who played in the spread.
    Why bring up Kelly?
    Because he made the switch with Buffalo in 1990 from standard T-formation quarterback to the no-huddle-one-running back shotgun, which is a version of the spread, without any apparent hiccups.
    “We did some under-center work with our short yardage offense,” Webb said. “I never saw Jared have trouble with the snap. It’s not a matter of how he will adjust to playing under center, it’s how quickly.”

    An additional topic begging to be discussed was Carson Wentz, the North Dakota State quarterback the Rams passed on to take Goff.
    “Jared is more ready to go sooner and, I think, will be better in the long run,” Webb said.
    A biased opinion? Yes.
    An educated opinion? Definitely.
    Always a Rams Fan............

    Rex Allen Markel

  • #2
    That was an awesome assessment thanks for sharing I enjoyed it emensely!


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