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Cal coach Sonny Dykes: Rams 'very wise' to wait with Jared Goff

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  • Cal coach Sonny Dykes: Rams 'very wise' to wait with Jared Goff

    Cal coach Sonny Dykes: Rams 'very wise' to wait with Jared Goff

    Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer

    THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Cal coach Sonny Dykes learned everything he ever really needed to know about Jared Goff during Goff's freshman season as a teenage quarterback for a program that won only once in 12 tries.

    "He never blinked," Dykes said in a phone interview this week, days before Goff makes his long-awaited debut for the Los Angeles Rams. "I think we played Ohio State in Game 3 that year, and we weren’t very good, and we were playing with a ton of young players. Bunch of freshmen. Bunch of O-linemen that weren’t ready to be playing, I can promise you that. He got hit a bunch, and I learned that he was incredibly tough physically, incredibly tough mentally. He never complained one time. He just got up, dusted himself off, went back to the sideline and went back to work. And that’s the best thing about Jared Goff."

    This won't be easy for Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft.

    His own coaches have cautioned as much. Jeff Fisher, who warned against judging Goff solely on the merits of his first game Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins, said Goff is "going to have some moments, like all young quarterbacks do." Or offensive coordinator Rob Boras, who acknowledged that taking practice snaps is "different than actually playing." And quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, who talked about how the Rams "have to accept that there’s going to be some bumps in the road."

    Goff will be tested from Day 1 against a Dolphins team with a devastating front four and standing behind an offensive line that has not performed well this season.

    One thing that should help him, Dykes believes, is his footwork in the pocket and his willingness to absorb hits, a trait teammates have already picked up on.

    "When they sat down and looked at all the quarterbacks, I think that’s what made him stand out, made him unique and made him the first pick," Dykes said. "It was his toughness, ability to stand in there and throw the ball with somebody in his face. Also, his ability to shuffle around and create space is pretty unique. The NFL game is different than the college game. Everything has to happen much faster than it does in college, but I’m sure he’s made that adjustment. I think he’ll do a great job."

    The Rams waited to start Goff largely because he came from an offense in which he did not take a snap from under center and did not call plays from the huddle. Besides getting acclimated to NFL speed, those have been his two biggest adjustments. The system Goff ran at Cal was the pass-happy Air Raid offense that lends itself to gaudy collegiate statistics but traditionally has not produced successful NFL quarterbacks.

    Goff ran a lot of run-pass options that mostly required two simple reads, but Dykes doesn't believe his progressions were much different from what he will now face.

    "We asked him to full-field read all the drop-back passes, so he’s gone through a progression-reading system where he reads pre-snap one read, starts on one side of the field and progresses to the other side," Dykes explained. "Every one of our five-step passes he had a full-field read on. So he’s done a lot of that. I don’t know that the passing game stuff is going to be that much different. Maybe a little bit more play-action."

    Dykes has his own season to think about, so he hasn't watched any of the Rams' games and he doesn't know a whole lot about their overall situation. But he and Goff constantly exchanged text messages throughout the year, even though the two teams work on opposite schedules. Dykes figured the Rams would be patient with Goff. Heading into the year, he guessed that Goff would debut by Week 10.

    "This is Week 11," Dykes said, "so I wasn't too far off."

    Dykes says Rams fans are getting a quarterback who is "going to be prepared" and "put the time in" and "be very competitive" and "make all the throws." But he also believes it is going to take time and that a lot of it will hinge on Goff's supporting cast. Dykes is glad the Rams took their time, even though Goff has felt ready for a few weeks.

    "Jared just turned 22," Dykes said. "He’s a young guy. When you are the first pick in the NFL draft, there's a certain amount of pressure that goes with that. When you’re the face of the franchise that just moved from one city to the other, there’s a certain amount of pressure that goes along with that. And I think they were certainly aware of all that, and I think they wanted to make sure, before they threw him in the fire, that he was ready. And I think they were very wise to do that."



  • #2
    Here's what I hate about the media.

    The headline, of course, rather than focusing on all of Dykes' words, takes a small quote out of context in a way that could be interpreted as a criticism of Goff. Don't know if Gonzalez writes his own headlines, or if ESPN did that part, but its really not a fair representation of the overall article.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sports Illustrated... "Who IS This Guy?" -

      Best wishes to you Jared Goff / Rams.

      Comment


      • #4
        There is a LOT of negativity in this article...it really makes me wonder if Goff is ever going to find ANY success in the NFL. The way it's worded seems like the article was only written to prepare us for the failure of the #1 pick.
        temp_4394_1467243487543_20
        RAMS!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RamsFanSam View Post
          There is a LOT of negativity in this article...it really makes me wonder if Goff is ever going to find ANY success in the NFL. The way it's worded seems like the article was only written to prepare us for the failure of the #1 pick.
          It's quite possible that Goff doesn't find success in the NFL like many former highly drafted QBs. However, this writer for ESPN doesn't have any more insight into how Goff will turn out than you or I do. I think a better explanation is that it's more trendy to jump on the "Goff sucks because he's not playing" bandwagon. This is more Fisher's MO than it is indicative of whether Goff will bust or not. As we've seen over the last 5 seasons, Fisher simply doesn't care what the rest of the league does, he's going to do it his way, whether that results in wins or not.

          Remember that in 1995 Fisher drafted Steve McNair 3rd overall and he started 2 games at the end of the year (The Oilers record that year? 7-9). Under any other coach, Goff likely would have started much sooner than Week 10.

          Dykes had a lot of good things to day about Goff, and I really doubt he was going to say anything inflammatory about Fisher/Goff not starting and draw unnecessary media attention to himself or his college team mid-season.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm having a hard time seeing why the article is negative. It's mostly direct quotes, with a few statements about Goff probably having some hiccups to deal with. Isn't that the conventional wisdom?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
              I'm having a hard time seeing why the article is negative. It's mostly direct quotes, with a few statements about Goff probably having some hiccups to deal with. Isn't that the conventional wisdom?
              Here's why:

              Cal coach Sonny Dykes learned everything he ever really needed to know about Jared Goff during Goff's freshman season as a teenage quarterback for a program that won only once in 12 tries.
              Gee...this sounds like Dykes learned that Goff wasn't able to succeed. (I know, it DID get much better, but no mention was made of that).

              This won't be easy for Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft.
              Well, we have a ready-made excuse if Goff screws up.

              Jeff Fisher, who warned against judging Goff solely on the merits of his first game Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins, said Goff is "going to have some moments, like all young quarterbacks do." Or offensive coordinator Rob Boras, who acknowledged that taking practice snaps is "different than actually playing." And quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, who talked about how the Rams "have to accept that there’s going to be some bumps in the road."
              Nothing like statements from the coaches to instill confidence in a young player.

              The system Goff ran at Cal was the pass-happy Air Raid offense that lends itself to gaudy collegiate statistics but traditionally has not produced successful NFL quarterbacks.
              Yep, saying that very few "Air Raid" style QB's ever succeed is sure to encourage Goff...and the other players, not to mention the fans.

              I understand that the writer from ESPN isn't willing to go and risk saying Goff will be successful from day one - that would be an unrealistic expectation. However, as we all should know, saying that a QB is basically going to struggle from the first snap isn't a good thing for the QB to hear.

              Personally, I think the expectations the fans have are far too high, and there will be MANY disappointed people after today's game, win or lose. Our offensive line isn't exactly known for protecting the QB, and I'm sure Goff has this fact in mind, along with knowing our receivers seem to have the tendency to either completely miss the balls, or drop them when they shouldn't. I think this is going to contribute to him making some rushed passes, which will end up in some turnovers or blown chances.

              I really wish that the front office had worried more about our offensive line, and less about making a big splash by trading up for a quarterback that may not be ready for another season or two. There was much discussion about how our O-line contributed to Bulger's failure, while others said it was Bulger's fault.

              I really, seriously, sincerely hope we don't end up having a similar discussion in a few weeks about Goff. Very few things would make me happier than to see Goff light up the scoreboard like Warner did, or even just have similar success to Preston. Sadly, with our offensive woes, I don't see either happening.
              temp_4394_1467243487543_20
              RAMS!

              Comment


              • #8
                Dykes learned about Goffs toughness and tenacity from a bad season where he got roughed up. Aaaand you come away thinking that's negative? I think you might be projecting a bit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
                  Dykes learned about Goffs toughness and tenacity from a bad season where he got roughed up. Aaaand you come away thinking that's negative? I think you might be projecting a bit.
                  Exactly. People are just not getting it. Dykes was making the case FOR Goff, and that he knew he'd be a great player because of the way he handled himself through tough times. That's about as positive as it gets.

                  Comment

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                  • MauiRam
                    Jared Goff's father: 'He's going to be great. He's never not been'
                    by MauiRam
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                    Alden GonzalezESPN Staff Writer

                    7:52 AM PTIRVINE, Calif. -- Jared Goff has been here before. He's been young for the position, been counted on before he was ready, been under center for a team that hardly stood a chance. Goff was a teenager and a true freshman when he started every game for a Cal program that went 1-11 in 2013, losing 10 times by at least a couple of touchdowns.

                    "I don’t think people understand how difficult that was for an 18-year-old kid," Goff's father, Jerry, said in a recent phone conversation. "Unless you’ve been through it, you don't know how hard that is."

                    Jerry brings it up to prove a point -- that his son knows what it's like to get his ass kicked.

                    More importantly, that he knows how to get up, dust himself off and keep going.

                    Goff was the No. 1 pick for a Los Angeles Rams team that moved up 14 spots to select him, but he never challenged for the starting quarterback job during training camp and ultimately never won a game. He went 0-7 over the final seven weeks of a 2016 season that finished with a 4-12 record, absorbing 26 sacks while putting up some of the NFL's worst passing numbers.

                    A week later, Goff was back at the Rams' facility, poring through film even though he didn't even have a head coach.

                    He already had moved on to the biggest offseason of his life.

                    "He was chosen in a spot where there's a lot of expectations, and he embraces that," Jerry said. "He really, adamantly wants to let everybody know, through his production, that he is the guy and worthy of all the Rams did to get him. I think people are going to see that moving forward."

                    The Rams are counting on new head coach Sean McVay (right) to tap into the potential of Jared Goff. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
                    The Rams have since done everything they can to tap into Goff's potential. They took a chance on a 31-year-old Sean McVay, now the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, in large part because his offense can be so quarterback friendly. They guaranteed $15 million to a 35-year-old left tackle, Andrew Whitworth, because he remains one of the game's best pass blockers. They signed Robert Woods, a 25-year-old receiver, to a five-year, $34 million contract. And they used three of their first four picks on pass-catchers, even though they drafted four the year before.

                    But it's what Goff himself has done that has people around him encouraged.

                    He basically spent the entire offseason at the Rams' facility, immersing himself in the new playbook, adding 10 pounds to his willowy frame and displaying a leadership and an ownership of this offense that he never did last season. He has been exceedingly eager.

                    "It's my team to lead and my team to direct and control and command," Goff said. "I don't take that lightly."
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                    -08-01-2017, 11:36 PM
                  • Nick
                    Rams' Jared Goff impressive in first pro practice with Rams
                    by Nick
                    Rams' Jared Goff impressive in first pro practice with Rams
                    By Rich Hammond, Orange County Register
                    POSTED: 05/06/2016 08:58:59 PM PDT | UPDATED: ABOUT 8 HOURS AGO

                    OXNARD -- On day one, Jared Goff appeared to conjugate all his quarterback verbs correctly.

                    "The way they say it, and it's absolutely right, it's almost like learning a different language," Goff said Friday, shortly after the Rams' recent No. 1 overall draft pick completed his first (and quite informal) pro practice. "I felt like I picked it up as I went along, and it got better."

                    The Rams started their two-day rookie minicamp for 27 players who either were drafted, signed or invited on tryouts. Most of the work is off the field, with introductory and informational meetings, but players also got on the field Friday for about two hours to show their wares.

                    Major analysis would be pointless. There was no tackling; players ran at half speed and spent much of their time working with coaches on positional drills. Coach Jeff Fisher roamed around and took a good look.

                    Mostly, the afternoon seemed to have symbolic significance. Players wore Rams uniforms on a field in Southern California for the first time since 1994, and the practice marked the start of the Goff era.

                    Goff, the former Cal star, presumed to be the Rams' quarterback of the future -- if not the present -- looked the part. A basic, meat-market evaluation indicated that Goff comes as advertised, with great footwork, a quick release, a good, accurate arm and plenty of confidence. He didn't seem overwhelmed by the moment.

                    "It's just a lot of fun to be able to get back out here with the guys and enjoy football again," Goff said, "and get out of the whole pre-draft process and be able to actually play again."

                    Goff took snaps out of the shotgun formation, as he did almost exclusively at Cal, but he also spent significant time working with coaches on under-center snaps.

                    If there's any question about Goff, this is it, whether his skills can translate to a pro-style system. But Goff looked fine in under-center snaps -- which basically is to say he didn't fumble or trip over his feet -- and said his acclimation to the Rams' playbook, which he has had for only a week, has been smooth.

                    "There is a lot that translates," Goff said. "Most of the (shotgun) stuff translates, almost all of it. Then there's under-center stuff that I'm picking up as I go along."

                    Goff's experience this weekend is markedly different than other mini-campers because he's essentially the only one guaranteed to be on the roster at the start of the season. For Goff, this is about learning and growing. For the other two dozen players, it's about making an impression.

                    Fourth-round picks Tyler Higbee (tight end) and Pharoh Cooper (receiver) and sixth-round...
                    -05-07-2016, 05:53 PM
                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Cal QB Jared Goff has skills, NFL-ready talent to warrant being Rams' No. 1 pick
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                    Cal QB Jared Goff has skills, NFL-ready talent to warrant being Rams' No. 1 pick

                    April 16, 2016


                    Updated April 17, 2016 10:43 a.m.


                    1 of 1
                    California quarterback Jared Goff looks for an open receiver against Air Force during the first half of the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 29. Goff's pocket presence is considered one of his strengths. RON JENKINS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS



                    As far as college quarterbacks go, Jared Goff is not among the most decorated.

                    He racked up gaudy numbers, but did so in an Air Raid-styled spread offense. He was never in serious discussion for any major national awards and had to share his All-Pac-12 first-team nod this past season. He finished with a career record of 14-23.

                    None of that, however, should prevent the Rams from drafting him No. 1 overall over North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz at the end of this month.

                    “I went into every game thinking I’m the best player on the field,” Goff said last summer. “Because I think you have to.”

                    He was reflecting on his 2013 debut at Cal, when he became the first true freshman quarterback in program history to start a season opener. That first campaign in Berkeley was miserable, with the Golden Bears winning just a single game under new coach Sonny Dykes.

                    But to those who would knock Goff for not being a “winner,” consider this: The 21-year-old is already mentally prepared for the hardships of an NFL transition. He is unlikely to see his confidence shaken by even the worst losses, unlikely to be fazed by the pressure of being anointed the savior of Los Angeles pro football.

                    He also checks off several other boxes, having improved his passer rating by double digits in every season. CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler and NBC Sports’ Josh Norris both rank the Bay Area product as the more attractive prospect, as does Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller said in a recent radio appearance that he would take Goff over Wentz “without a doubt.”

                    Even NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, who prefers Wentz for his tools and upside, has called Goff the “most ready-to-play quarterback in this draft.”

                    “You just don’t see very often college quarterbacks who have his ability both mentally and physically,” Brugler said. “His ability to throw guys open, that passing anticipating. You saw that a little bit with Jameis Winston, but he brings something different to the table – something that projects very well to the NFL level.”

                    Of course, it’s easy enough to find those on the other side of the aisle, too. Wentz is still the favorite to go No. 1 on a litany of mock drafts, including one from Cris Collinsworth that predicted the Rams’ blockbuster trade a month before it was finalized.

                    The case for Wentz is simple enough to understand. The Bismarck, N.D., native stands at 6-foot-5 and 235...
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                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Rams QB Jared Goff set to start vs. 49ers after clearing concussion protocol
                    by r8rh8rmike
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                    Goff, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick, entered concussion protocol after absorbing a vicious hit from Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman late in last Thursday's 24-3 loss in Seattle. But Goff practiced in full over the past two days and said he felt fine all along.

                    He never wanted to come out of the game in the first place.

                    "It was just a regular hit," Goff said. "I got up, went back to the huddle, and I hear the official blowing the whistle, 'You've got to get off the field.' I'm like, 'Why?' They said it was just the protocol. I don't want to go back too much to last Thursday, but I just think it's kind of tough.

                    "If that's a playoff game, or if that's a bigger situation, the game's close, you take the starting quarterback off the field, it's, in my opinion -- and I know they're trying to take care of us, but in my opinion -- not really a very good reason. I don't know how fair it is."

                    Goff nonetheless won't miss any time, despite absorbing way too many hits in his five-game NFL career.

                    The 22-year-old has taken 14 sacks in the past four weeks alone. In Week 14, he was sandwiched on a very late touchdown run in an eventual 42-14 blowout loss against the Atlanta Falcons. In Week 15, Sherman got the best of him. With nine minutes left, Goff avoided pressure and ran 15 yards up the sidelines, getting two yards away from the pylon before Sherman knocked him out of bounds.

                    "If I had seen him, I probably would've gone out of bounds," Goff said. "Didn't see him, kind of came out of nowhere. He made a hell of a play after watching it. He came from all the way on the other side of the field."

                    Goff will finally get a chance to play against his hometown team, after being inactive when the Rams opened their season against the 49ers in Santa Clara, California. Goff nonetheless called it "just another game to us," saying he is merely hopeful of getting his first win and continually improving.

                    Five games in, Goff sports a dreadful 24.6 Total QBR, completing 54.7 percent of his passes, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt and throwing four touchdowns to five interceptions.

                    A lot of the fault lies in receivers who have dropped too many passes and an offensive line that is allowing too much pressure, but Goff himself has also missed an assortment of throws he should make and is still adjusting to the speed...
                    -12-22-2016, 06:07 PM
                  • Rambos
                    Jared Goff will be Rams' franchise quarterback -- in time
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                    • Dan Graziano

                    IRVINE, Calif. -- After every play Jared Goff runs in Los Angeles Rams practice -- good or bad, pass or run -- someone goes up and talks to him. Sometimes it’s offensive coordinator Rob Boras. Sometimes it’s quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke. But after literally every single snap Goff took in practice Tuesday, a coach spoke with him.
                    “We want to make sure that he’s seeing what we’re seeing and make sure he’s looking at the right things,” Weinke said. “So yeah, after every single play, that’s part of the learning curve -- make sure you’re seeing what you’re supposed to see.”

                    Jared Goff is learning several new responsibilities in the Rams' offense. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsYou can’t watch Goff practice without being impressed. He looks great. His footwork, whether it’s dropping back from under center or from the shotgun sets he ran exclusively in college, is sound. His arm strength is unquestionable. He’s a stellar athlete built for the position at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. You can see why the Rams traded up to draft him No. 1 overall.
                    But after every single play, when you see how much teaching Goff’s coaches are doing, you also understand how far he has to go.
                    “I’m asked all the time, ‘Is he going to start the opener?’ I don’t know,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “We drafted him. We traded up to draft him. He’s going to be our franchise quarterback. When he gets under center full-time, I don’t know when that is. And I’m not going to rush him to do it.”

                    So what does Goff, who’s still taking second-team reps while incumbent Case Keenum takes the first-team reps, have to show the coaches to convince them he’s ready?
                    “We are looking for him to continue to command the huddle -- which he’s doing a hell of a job [at], so continue to command the huddle,” Weinke said. “Continue to make good decisions in the passing game and collectively understand all of our checks in the run game.”

                    Not as simple as it sounds. Goff is working to master the protection schemes for which he didn’t have responsibility in college at Cal but does with the Rams. He’s working to learn the terminology of an offense that’s trying to fuse what Adam Gase ran in Denver and Chicago (passing game coordinator Mike Groh worked under Gase in Chicago) with the West Coast principles in which Boras was trained.

                    “That’s going to be the biggest thing for him coming from his offense -- coming up to the line of scrimmage with multiple things he’s responsible for,” Weinke said. “He hasn’t called a play in the huddle for three years, because [Cal’s] offense is called from the sideline. The growth in his ability to be able to call a play with confidence from OTAs to now is huge. And now, it’s his ability to understand our protections, make the adjustments and then, with time, he’s going to have a better understanding of where to throw...
                    -08-03-2016, 11:24 AM
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