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Bonsignore: The ‘perfect throw’ that showed how much progress Jared Goff has made

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  • Bonsignore: The ‘perfect throw’ that showed how much progress Jared Goff has made

    The ‘perfect throw’ that showed how much progress Jared Goff has made
    By Vincent Bonsignore Aug 7, 2019 5

    NAPA, Calif. — On a day when Jared Goff shredded the Oakland Raiders in the first of two joint practices, the Rams quarterback’s very best play wasn’t scripted, programmed or relayed to him. And it wasn’t part of Sean McVay’s deep and creative play call sheet.

    In fact, the situation called for Goff to go off script and tap into his footwork, vision and improvisational skills to create a big play when it appeared there was no play available.

    That area of Goff’s game has been knocked by critics over his first three seasons. It’s the source of the backhanded compliment often paid to him as a “system quarterback” who is capable of carrying out orders when the pocket is clean and everything is perfectly flowing on schedule. However, the unsaid implication of that label is that Goff is much more compromised the second things go awry and he has to become a playmaker.

    It’s not an entirely unfounded complaint; it’s just a bit overplayed. In a league in which quarterbacking under duress is a way of life, Goff has stacked up the necessary numbers and victories to undisputedly solidify his place among the elite quarterbacks in the game.

    He will never be Patrick Mahomes when it comes to using athletic ability and one of the great throwing arms in all of football to make Houdini-like plays. But Goff’s precise footwork, feel for a pocket and ability to keep his eyes focused downfield — even on the move — allow him to make things happen when he has to make a play.

    Three years into his partnership with McVay, Goff’s command of the offense is fueling the rising confidence in that part of his game. So far in training camp, he is taking more chances. And instead of simply throwing the ball away or taking a sack when under pressure, Goff has been a bit more daring in being a playmaker.

    “It just continues to keep growing like I always talk about,” he said. “I can’t specifically say anything in particular, but just me and Sean continue to get on the same page, I think it’s continuing to grow. And then, just my understanding of everything will always continue to grow with Sean as well.”

    Which brings us back to the play Goff made in Wednesday’s practice with the Raiders that quickly turned into a highlight reel for the 24-year-old.

    Maybe it was the fact that his parents were in attendance. Or perhaps it was the comfort of being home in the Bay Area. Whatever the reason, the former Cal star had his strongest day of training camp.

    In a spectacular 11-on-11 red zone period, Goff came up with multiple scoring throws, the best of which was the laser beam that split two Raiders defensive backs for a touchdown pass to tight end Gerald Everett in the back of the end zone. With so much going into the play, not the least of which was the mutual intuition between Goff and Everett, the Rams gave themselves a second or two to celebrate the touchdown.

    “No doubt,” Goff said. “Especially an off-schedule play like that where it is just so much chemistry and so much trying to feel each other out. For us to make a play like that — we’ve been making plays for a couple years now but continuing to make more and hopefully do some this year.”

    The throw and catch drew ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ throughout the Raiders’ training camp site, but it wasn’t even the best part of the play. The real highlight moment was how Goff manipulated the pocket, after the Oakland defense threw everything off rhythm with a big pass rush, and then used his eyes to guide Everett off his original pattern to cut back across the end zone.

    Goff not only showed that he had the nerve and arm strength to attempt a throw against such tight coverage, but he also accurately delivered it on time.

    “There was a lot of traffic in there,” McVay marveled afterward. “Had to be a perfect throw.”

    It was an absolute strike. But just as importantly, Goff excelled as a playmaker rather than just a tactician. For him to take another bold step forward, he needs to showcase more of that improvisation. And it looks like he’s heading in that direction.

    “We talk about it all the time — the ownership that we want and the extension of the coaching staff,” McVay said. “He certainly has demonstrated that where he’s able to really command a lot, where he’s kind of just taking it, running with it. He understands the intent, what we want to get done, and then I think the natural off-schedule plays — those are just a guy being a great playmaker. Certainly, as coaches, you try to stay within the timing and rhythm, but it’s an imperfect game with 22 moving parts on every single snap.

    “I think the guys that really separate themselves are the guys that have the ability to create outside the timing and rhythm of sometimes what it’s drawn up to do. I think that’s naturally happened. He’s been a guy that’s always done that. I thought he made a handful of plays last year and if the opportunity presents itself, whether it be creating with your legs, buying time, big eyes down the field.

    “That’s a collaborative effort, but certainly, Jared made some big-time plays (on Wednesday). First play of the team period, really when he found Robert (Woods), he got flushed from the pocket on a play-action. There’s a handful that felt like they were great plays by him and guys working off-schedule.”

    It provided more proof that Goff continues to move forward.

    Said Goff: “Today was a good day.”


  • #2
    EXCELLENT read about Goff. Like music to my ears next to the horns! (^_^)
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    Last edited by RealRam; -08-09-2019, 05:18 AM. Reason: Image

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    • MauiRam
      Jared Goff's father: 'He's going to be great. He's never not been'
      by MauiRam
      Los Angeles Rams Blog

      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."
      ...
      -08-02-2017, 12:36 AM
    • Nick
      Bonsignore: Here’s why Year 2 should look much better for Rams quarterback Jared Goff
      by Nick
      Bonsignore: Here’s why Year 2 should look much better for Rams quarterback Jared Goff
      By VINCENT BONSIGNORE | [email protected] | Daily News
      May 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      As observations go, it probably falls more into the can’t-be-seen-without-a-microscope category. But the most astute scientists will tell you items unable to be detected by the human eye are sometimes the most critical, so the relatively casual critique Robert Woods made about Jared Goff might foretell something more significant.

      Woods, the Rams’ free agent wide receiver pickup, and Goff, the second-year quarterback on whom so much of their future success depends, have been consistent workout partners almost since the moment Woods signed last March. Woods might be only 25, but the four NFL seasons he has accrued involved five starting quarterbacks. And that’s four too many, given the timing, chemistry and comfort level required for quarterbacks and wide receivers to prosper together.

      The former USC star would like nothing better than to develop a long, monogamous working relationship with Goff over the next few years, although that is largely dependent on Goff fulfilling the promise and potential the Rams envisioned upon drafting him first overall in 2016.

      And as the early stage of their partnership evolves, Woods is on the lookout for evidence to support that conclusion.

      A small sample of which was recently presented

      A week ago, playing against a certain defensive look in practice, Goff misfired on a throw to Woods. The two hashed it out in conversation and conferred about it in the classroom. And when faced with the same defensive package against the same play this week during a Rams’ Organized Team Activity practice, the result was decidedly different.

      “This time he threw a perfect pass,” said Woods, who seemed hardly surprised by the manner in which Goff made the adjustment or the pristine throw he delivered.

      These are traits Woods has already recognized in Goff during their short time together.

      “Work ethic, arm and accuracy,” Woods said, describing Goff. “You see him coming out here, always working, first to answer the question in the meeting rooms. He’s always listening. Always asking questions.”

      That isn’t to suggest Goff will make the leap from the struggling rookie we saw in 2016 to All-Pro in 2017. Or that long-term success is guaranteed for the former Cal star. But given the natural progression from Year 1 to Year 2, the rebuilt infrastructure and support system the Rams have supplied Goff with this offseason and the more certain and confident demeanor he has presented so far during OTAs, there’s compelling reason to believe the 22-year-old will take a positive step forward this year.

      “I think he’s done a nice job just getting better every single day,” said Sean McVay, the young coach with whom the Rams have entrusted...
      -05-25-2017, 05:19 PM
    • Nick
      How good, or bad, will Jared Goff be in Year 2? It's anybody's guess
      by Nick
      How good, or bad, will Jared Goff be in Year 2? It's anybody's guess
      2:09 PM ET
      Alden Gonzalez
      ESPN Staff Writer

      THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano witnessed the proverbial "Year 2 Leap" firsthand with Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. The game started to slow down; third-down blitz packages and safety rotations became easier to pick up.

      By the end of it, Luck had cut his interceptions in half over the course of his second NFL season, his quarterback rating jumping from 76.5 to 87.0 from 2012 to 2013.

      And that brings us to Jared Goff, a downright mystery in the build-up to the 2017 regular season.

      Goff should be better as a second-year player, but by how much?

      The Los Angeles Rams knew he needed work when they made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, but they probably didn't anticipate him needing that much. Goff wasn't named the starter until Week 11, then lost all seven of his starts and finished with a Total QBR of 22.2, the lowest among quarterbacks who played in at least five games.

      But that was under dire circumstances. His offensive line was bad, his running game nonexistent, his receivers inferior and his coaching staff generally lacking in experience with his position. Now Goff is in a system that has proven to get the most out of quarterbacks, while operating behind an improved offensive line and throwing to a deeper, more talented group of receivers. And it's hard to really know what to expect.

      Asked in what ways he believes he is better since the end of his rookie season, Goff said: "I think just understanding the intent of stuff that we do and understanding what the defense is trying to do and what the intent of their calls are, and different ways to attack it. With that, the game just begins to slow down a little bit. I think that's what you ultimately feel. I felt it from Year 1 to Year 2. At every level you're at, you get that slowdown effect a little bit from those two years. And I think it continues to slow down as time goes on."

      The Rams have done their best not to put too much pressure on Goff, at least publicly. First-year head coach Sean McVay, who worked wonders with Kirk Cousins in Washington, has talked mostly about the need for Goff to limit turnovers and distribute the ball in an effort to open holes for his star running back, Todd Gurley, who didn't see many holes last season.

      The expectations remain basic.

      "We expect him to make good decisions, throw with accuracy and rhythm," McVay said. "If he does that, then I think he'll give himself a chance to play good football for us."

      Goff is at a point in his career where he will frequently flash his potential and also make critical mistakes, reminding you that he is still only 22 years old. He threw six interceptions during a three-day...
      -09-07-2017, 02:31 PM
    • MauiRam
      Rams QB coach likes Goff's growth, but 'he's far from a finished product'
      by MauiRam
      Aug 24, 2017
      Alden Gonzalez
      ESPN Staff Writer

      THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- There was never really one specific thing that Jared Goff needed to improve on as he entered 2017. He was -- and still is -- only 22 years old, a second-year quarterback in his first year under a new system, coming off a rookie season that was substandard by every measure. Greg Olson, the Los Angeles Rams' new quarterbacks coach, couldn't specify.

      "We felt, as a staff, when we put all our eyes on him, that there were a number of things that he could get better at," Olson said. "From footwork to progressions to timing in the passing game, there were a lot of things there that we felt like he needed to work on."

      The list remains daunting, even in the midst of his most encouraging performance to date.

      Goff went 16-of-20 for 160 yards while playing almost the entire first half against the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night. He led the Rams to two touchdowns and a field goal in four drives, the first of which ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Cooper Kupp. It was the type of stretch that made one believe that the former No. 1 overall pick may actually thrive one day; that this offense, rebuilt over the last five months, may finally be good again.

      Goff acknowledged the confidence boost a night like that can trigger, "But it wasn't like it was shocking," he added. "It's something that we expected to do."

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      Olson's excitement was tempered.

      "Believe me," Olson said of Goff, "he's far from a finished product. He would tell you that. And we know that; we understand that. But we're happy with the growth so far and the way he's approached the process here of getting better. There's a lot of positive things here that have come out, and he's just gotta continue that constant, daily improvement."

      Olson was the Rams' offensive coordinator from 2006 to 2007, when the team operated out of St. Louis. He worked with an in-his-prime Marc Bulger then, one of numerous quarterbacks who have been under his tutelage. Prior to rejoining the Rams, Olson spent 15 years as either a quarterbacks coach or an offensive coordinator -- sometimes both -- with seven different organizations. He instructed veterans like Jeff Garcia, Kordell Stewart and Brian Griese, young players like Rex Grossman, Blaine Gabbert and Blake Bortles.

      In Goff, Olson sees someone who "wants to get better" and "wants to realize his potential." He sees someone who has "tried to wipe the slate clean from his rookie season," but also "took it as a learning experience." He sees someone with a "good attitude" and a "strong work ethic." And he sees someone who...
      -08-25-2017, 10:40 AM
    • Nick
      An elite QB is tough to define, but Rams’ Jared Goff has a chance to join that group
      by Nick
      An elite quarterback is tough to define, but Rams’ Jared Goff has a chance to join that group
      By RICH HAMMOND | [email protected] | Orange County Register
      PUBLISHED: December 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm | UPDATED: December 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      THOUSAND OAKS — The narrative and the questions about Jared Goff have shifted like weather patterns since 2016. Is he a bust? Is he a legitimate starting quarterback? Is he a star? Could he be a superstar?

      The current barometer reading is somewhere between the latter two, but stay tuned. Goff receives the most scrutiny of any Rams player, and that comes with the position. After a couple wobbly games, Goff improved last week, but the truest test of his season is about to come, and questions will be answered.

      The playoffs are on the horizon, and at the end of a season that has seen him skyrocket to MVP candidacy, then fall under heavy criticism, it’s time for Goff to reveal what class of quarterback he deserves to be in.

      “Winning the championship is always the goal,” Rams coach Sean McVay said before Wednesday’s walk-through practice at Cal Lutheran. “In a lot of instances, that does end up being a good measuring stick, but that’s always a team result and they only have so much control. The great ones, they consistently perform, year in and year out, and that’s really the truest measurement of performance.”

      That’s why getting a read on Goff’s season – and even his three-year NFL career – is tough.

      How to judge a quarterback? Is it a Super Bowl championship? Guys such as Jeff Hostetler, Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer have rings. Is it a couple of All-Pro selections? Then add Rich Gannon to the list. Is it a guy who has led the league in passing? Matt Schaub did that nine years ago. It’s an inexact science.

      “I think it’s consistency,” McVay said. “The great ones consistently perform, year in and year out.”

      At first hearing, that might sound like cop-out coach-speak, but it is probably the fairest measure, and particularly for Goff, whose has been in search of level ground since the Rams drafted him in 2016.

      Write off Goff’s rookie season, because the team was awful and the coaching quite suspect. In 2017, Goff led the Rams to a division title and made the Pro Bowl, but fizzled in a playoff loss – as did most of his teammates – as he completed only 24 of 45 attempts for 259 yards against the Atlanta Falcons.

      This season, Goff had an amazing early-season run, with four consecutive games of at least 320 yards. By the end of November, Goff had 26 touchdowns and six interceptions and was considered a potential MVP. In his next three games, though, Goff threw one touchdown pass and six interceptions.

      Goff enjoyed what, for the most part, could be considered a bounce-back game last week at Arizona, when he completed 19 of 24 attempts for 216 yards. Goff was efficient but still...
      -12-27-2018, 12:27 PM
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