It’s hard to find the optimism in Jared Goff’s future after watching the 2016 season.
The Los Angeles Rams mortgaged their future to move up to the No. 1 spot in the draft to get a him. After failing to let him learn from the sideline, they placed their rookie quarterback into action. He went 0-7 as the starter, while throwing just over 1,000 yards in seven games. Goff had five touchdowns, but averaged an interception-a-game.
On the bright side, Peyton Manning had a terrible rookie season, too. The franchise and fans alike are hoping for Goff’s future following his rookie season is parallel to Manning’s.
Goff’s 2016 season was marred with unblocked or overwhelming pass rushes, defenses who practically knew what was coming every play or adapted quickly to pick up and stop what was thrown at them. But Goff’s made plenty of his own mistakes.
At Cal, he seemed unstoppable (outside the state of Utah). But the NFL does a great job of exposing weaknesses, and they had a field day with Goff.
Goff’s lack of vision, or at least the ability to scan the field, is his biggest weakness. Poor offensive line play aside, when Goff has the time to sit in the pocket and make a throw, he chooses the big gain over easy completion. Instead of making a solid gain towards a first down, he throws for it all down the sideline to a receiver who is practically getting mugged in coverage.
On this play, Goff has a small window to scan the field. But Kendricks gets open right in front of him. Instead, Goff makes the deep throw down the field to Britt, where the pass is almost intercepted.
Even when he makes completions, Goff tends to make throws in dangerous areas over the simpler throws. On this play, he has Bradley Marquez and Tyler Higbee on either side of him, running the same curl route. Marquez has multiple bodies around him, and a middle linebacker moving towards him thanks to Goff staring him down.
Goff doesn’t even see Higbee on the right, who is wide open.
Where was he throwing?
More often than not, that seemed to be the reaction whenever Goff had to throw the ball.
Goff completed a little more than 50 percent of his passes in 2016. Usually, incomplete passes can be chalked up to poorly ran or incorrect routes or dropped passes. But not Goff’s incompletions. More often than not, his passes were overthrown, underthrown, or a pass thrown directly into double-coverage.
Cian Fahey of PreSnapReads.com reviewed some of Goff’s 2016 work on Thursday. Judging by his Fahey’s reaction, he seemed less than impressed by his play.
Possible first paragraphs:
— Cian Fahey (@Cianaf) February 23, 2017
It can be argued that Goff’s passes were thrown under pressure, which is an argument that can be sympathized, but not embraced. Quarterbacks throw under pressure routinely. He threw under pressure, and on the run, at Cal and managed to make the good pass. With the Rams, it was hit or miss.
Even on the hits, you have to question his judgment.
There is hope for Goff yet as his new coaching staff has many years of combined experience coaching quarterbacks. It also helps that Jeff Fisher is no longer in charge of the Rams roster. Fisher didn’t address any of the glaring concerns facing his team, specifically his quarterback. Fisher also hasn’t coached a team that developed a talented quarterback since Steve McNair, and that may have been in spite of Fisher.
But with Fisher gone, it’s up to the Rams and Goff to own their progress or regress moving forward.