The Los Angeles Rams waited months to hand over the keys of the offense to Jared Goff. The team insists it won’t add a restrictor plate to an already low-gear offense when the rookie gets behind the wheel.
“It’s the same amount of plays, the same package,” offensive coordinator Rob Boras said, via ESPN.com. “We trust with where he is mentally.”
Added quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke: “We’re not scaling back. This kid understands what we’re trying to do on offense, he’s able to execute it. He had a good day of practice [on Wednesday], we expect him to have another good day on Friday. In terms of our approach as a staff, putting a game plan together, we’re obviously smart enough to say, ‘Hey, listen, we know what this kid does well, and we’re going to lean on those things.’ But we’re not going to scale back for him. We don’t need to.”
Goff takes over an offense ranked last in points (15.4 per game) that has gone three-and-out on 29.4 percent of drives (highest rate in NFL).
For months the Rams insisted the rookie wasn’t ready to start. In the preseason, Goff struggled with pre-snap play calling and post-snap reads, often looking overwhelmed by the situation.
Los Angeles will likely employ more shotgun snaps because that’s where the rookie is most comfortable. The plan Sunday versus a stout Dolphins front seven will include a heavy dose of Todd Gurley. As we’ve seen this season, however, the Rams‘ running game is anemic against the stacked boxes Gurley is sure to see with a rookie quarterback at the helm.
The coaching staff knows there could be struggles for the rookie but are prepared to highlight his strength and not limit the playbook.
“Like any other rookie quarterback, we have to accept that there’s going to be some bumps in the road,” Weinke said. “There’s bumps in the road for veteran quarterbacks, and I think it’s important that we all understand that. But his skill set is off the charts, and I think it’s going to be fun to watch him grow and develop, and here’s his first opportunity. I say it all the time — there’s no substitute for experience. And the only way we know what this kid can do is to watch him play. And I’m excited to do that.”