Los Angeles Rams
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Rams QB Goff still WIP as minicamp ends
As the Los Angeles Rams concluded their offseason workouts - a day early, no less, after earning the day off Thursday as reward for a job well done through OTAs and minicamp - they focused on taking some time off and then regathering in late July for training camp.
At which point they will pick up exactly where they left off at the end of minicamp: Continuing the process of developing second-year quarterback Jared Goff and, simultaneously, getting a handle on new head coach Sean McVay's offense.
The two go hand in hand in many ways, with McVay completing revamping the offense upon taking over from Jeff Fisher and adding a bevy of new players to support the change and Goff along the offensive line and at the skill positions.
The goal is twofold: Give Goff all the help he needs to develop into the quarterback the Rams believed they were getting upon drafting him first overall in 2016.
Goff looked like a much more confident player at this point compared to last year. To be expected, of course, as he approaches his second season. But the comfort level he's shown throughout offseason workouts is just as much about the improved level of talent around him - and the new offense under McVay - as it does his natural progression.
"I think a lot of that has to do with the guys around me. I think we've done a good job offensively going from the install to on the field and being effective with it," Goff said. "I think that goes back to the coaches as well. Their ability to install and their ability to teach and coach us has been tremendous. It's been a lot of fun learning with them and continuing to improve myself and the team as a whole."
McVay is pleased with the progress, but says it's just the beginning.
"I think he's done a nice job," McVay said. "Like we'll continue to talk about, really with any of our players, it's kind of a one day at a time process. We're always focusing on improving every single day. The quarterback position entails a lot, especially above the neck, we're getting in and out of the huddle, communicating a play call, then how that dictates and determines where you're going to go with the football. Some of the audibles that we ask him to do in the run-game. I think he has done a good job, but looking forward to seeing how he's able to carry that over, making sure that he's conscientious enough to improve over this break so that we can hit it running in training camp."
The improved talent begins with new left tackle Andrew Whitworth, a two-time All-Pro who, in spite of his 35-year age - is playing the best football of his career. His presence solidifies the left side of the Rams offensive line, and allows them to reshuffle players across the line to find the best possible fit.
At the skills positions, the Rams brought in veteran Robert Woods but also drafted Eastern Washington star Cooper Kupp, Texas A&M home run threat Josh Reynolds and South Alabama tight end Gerald Everett.
Along with young holdovers in tight end Tyler Higbee and wide receivers Mike Thomas and Pharoh Cooper, the Rams have a completely different look from last year.
The key now is putting it all together, and that takes time.
"I don't know if there's an exact point you put on it. I think you just continue to get better every day," Goff said. "You can't take a day off. I thought there were some plays today where I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be and you can't really allow that. You need to be sharp on every play or at least mentally sharp and know what you're doing on every play. Sometimes daily, you don't have that. I think if you get to the season and every single play is boom, boom, boom, boom all the way across, play-in and play-out, is when you kind of feel comfortable. I think we're on our way there. I don't think we're there yet, but we're on our way."