That's right. Sean McVay routinely makes the presnap adjustments for Jared Goff through his headset. The Rams like to get to the line of scrimmage very quickly because the QB headsets cut off with 15 seconds on the play clock. Before I provide the articles which state this, I want to show the difference in Goff's numbers at home in comparison to his numbers on the road.
Normally I would simply copy & paste such information but the format of the page that I will link below, isn't easy to copy & paste. With that said, it shows the a major discrepancy in how Goff fares at home vs on the road. Since McVay is the one who is making presnap adjustments for Goff, which would explain the difference between his numbers at home vs his numbers on the road. When you factor in crowd noise, it becomes much more difficult for McVay to make those adjustments over the headsets.
Sometimes numbers do lie but I don't believe that is the case here. I know some will point to Goff's numbers vs us in the first matchup but for one, Cooper Kupp isn't walking through that door. Kupp abused PJ Williams in the slot & since Kupp's injury, Goff has been a pretty predestination QB. Secondly, when the Rams made their comeback, the Dome had quieted down somewhat which made it easier for McVay to communicate his reads through the headset to Goff. I have a feeling that won't be the case Sunday. Last but not least, it's going to be up to Dennis Allen to come up with a few wrinkles to where he can fool McVay presnap especially on a few big 3rd downs. If Allen can do just that, I believe Goff will make a few mistakes & turn the ball over to us. The key is stopping the run on early downs & forcing the Rams into several 3rd & longs. Now to the main subject of this thread.
Jared Goff is going to get paid a lot of money in the very near future. If it’s the Rams who pay him that money, then the team’s Super Bowl window may be closing sooner rather than later.
Goff will be headed into the final year of his rookie deal after this season. The Rams will pick up his fifth-year option for the 2020 season, which will pay him north of $21 million for that season. From there, the front office will face one of the more difficult quarterback decisions in recent memory.
About three weeks ago, Goff was considered one of the leaders in the MVP race. After two dreadful performances in primetime losses, Goff has fallen out of the MVP discussion and right into the “Are we sure this guy is even good?” discussion.
As Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith points out, no quarterback has been worse than Goff over the last three weeks. At least statistically speaking. He ranks dead last in passer rating over that time and has thrown just one touchdown to seven interceptions. And these haven’t been bad luck interceptions, either. They’ve been genuinely awful, with the worst coming in the 30-23 loss to the Eagles on Sunday night.
That play forced Sean McVay to do something we’ve never really seen him do as a head coach: Criticize his quarterback.
“He’s got to make better decisions,” McVay said. “Especially when we end up falling out underneath the center on third-and-1. You know, sometimes the only play is to just eat it and take that sack.”
Sometimes, good quarterbacks go through tough stretches. I believe that’s what’s going on here. Goff is a good quarterback. But when it comes to paying quarterbacks in the modern NFL, good isn’t good enough.
In today’s market, good quarterbacks are paid as if they are great quarterbacks, and the result can be crippling for a team. We’ve seen this play out in Oakland, Detroit and, most recently, Minnesota, where the Vikings are quickly realizing why the Redskins weren’t thrilled to give Kirk Cousins a long-term deal. If the NFL has taught us anything over the last decade, it’s that the quickest way to fall out of contention is to hand a “Tier 2” quarterback “Tier 1” money.
Goff’s second contract will be a big one. It will probably break records, as every new quarterback deal seems to do now. The Rams have a key question to ask themselves: Would it be easier to build a supporting cast good enough to win a Super Bowl with Goff making all that money OR to start over at the quarterback position, use that money to keep this great supporting cast together and deal Goff for draft picks that will make that process much easier. They can’t have it both ways.
The Rams aren’t built like most teams, which will make it even more difficult for L.A. to pay Goff and keep the roster in good shape. They’ve invested big money in positions that don’t typically get paid. Aaron Donald is making quarterback money at defensive tackle. Todd Gurley is one of the few running backs who didn’t have to hold out to get his money. If Los Angeles pays its quarterback, it will have three players taking up about a third of the cap. That’s not a lot of money left over for the other 50 players on the roster.
While the Rams have had the extra money to spend, McVay and GM Les Snead have done a fantastic job of making things easy on their young quarterback.
It starts with McVay’s scheme, which is built around a handful of simple concepts that work off each other and look so much alike that defenses can never really lock onto what the Rams are doing offensively. Here’s a slide from a coaching clinic McVay put on last offseason about the importance of marrying plays to create an identity…
Goff isn’t required to make complex reads from the pocket. More often than not, he’s catching the snap, faking a handoff and throwing to a wide-open receiver in the vacant areas of the field. This is backed up by the numbers: Only four full-time starters have thrown fewer passes into tight windows (a defender within a yard of the intended receiver), per Next Gen Stats.
Making things even easier on Goff, McVay makes a point to get the Rams lined up quickly so he can get a look at the defensive alignment and call an audible based on that look. We wrote about this tactic last season, and McVay is still doing it in Goff’s third year. Here’s a clear example of the Rams head coach calling an audible for Goff from Sunday night…
Goff is essentially an avatar out on the field for McVay at times.
The Rams have also provided Goff with tremendous pass protection. On average, Goff has held the ball longer (2.94 seconds) than all but five quarterbacks in 2018. Despite spending so much time in the pocket, he’s been pressured on 32.1% of his dropbacks, which ranks 13th in the league according to Pro Football Focus. He also owns the fourth-highest “time to sack” average (3.63 seconds) in the NFL. When Goff faces pressure or takes a sack, it’s not typically the offensive line’s fault.
That offensive line is an expensive one. Los Angeles currently pays three of its linemen — LT Andrew Whitworth, LG Rodger Saffold and C John Sullivan — double the NFL average for offensive linemen. RT Rob Havenstein will join them when the offseason extension he signed in August kicks in next season. Maintaining the line and keeping Goff clean will be costly.
Goff has everything a quarterback could ask for — a great scheme, good receivers, a consistently productive running game and a tremendous offensive line — and we still aren’t quite sure if he’s good enough to lead this Rams team to a Super Bowl. That’s with him accounting for about 4% of the team’s cap. What’s going to happen when that number jumps up to 15%? His line won’t be nearly as good, the defense will give up a few more points and his receiving corps will take a hit, which has already seems to be having an effect on Goff.
The Rams offense has struggled as a whole during this skid, but Goff has been the unit’s biggest problem. He’s left a number of throws on the field, including two would-be touchdown passes against the Eagles that could have turned the result.
And there were numerous times during the Bears loss where Goff had options open but couldn’t read Chicago’s coverage and figure out where to go with the ball.
Quarterbacks who get elite money are paid to win their team games and make plays that aren’t necessarily there to make. Right now, Goff isn’t doing either. He is the reason the Rams are losing, and, even at his best, he’s never consistently been THE reason they’ve won games.
With Goff still on his rookie deal, that’s fine. The Rams can survive with average-to-good play from their quarterback for the time being. But that won’t be the case when Goff is getting paid. If he doesn’t eventually develop into an elite-level passer — which is no small feat — the Rams’ Super Bowl window will slam shut as soon as he puts pen to paper.
The most amazing development in the Rams’ historic offensive turnaround has been the evolution of Jared Goff. The second-year pro, whom many wrote off after a tough rookie season, not only looks like a different guy in the pocket, but he’s also taken command of the offense before the snap after not being very active in the pre-snap phase last season.
Here’s what Tony Romo had to say about Goff during the broadcast of the Rams-Saints game…
“Goff is doing a ton at the line of scrimmage. More than anybody I’ve seen in their second year in a long time — probably since Peyton Manning.”
Did Goff really transform into Peyton Manning over the offseason? Of course not. It’s Sean McVay who’s calling the shots before the snap. Credit goes to the Washington Post’s Mark Bullock for noticing this strategy during a
McVay gets the Rams lined up quickly, leaving him enough time to assess the defense and call an audible (if necessary) before the play clock hits the 15-second mark. That’s when the headset communication between the coach and quarterback cuts off.
We saw a couple of examples of McVay working his pre-snap magic from the sideline against the Saints. Notice how McVay is still making calls with Goff at the line of scrimmage…
Goff relays McVay’s call to his teammates, and Todd Gurley finds himself wide open over the middle thanks to a great check by the coach.
McVay does it again on the next drive. This time for a touchdown…
You can see McVay making his initial call, eyeing the defense for a bit then calling in the audible. Goff makes the change at the line before throwing a touchdown pass.
Old NFL coaches, like Bruce Arians for instance, complain that college coaches are doing all the work for quarterbacks when it comes to play-calling, leaving them ill-prepared when they get to the NFL.
“Seeing the guys coming out of the systems now where the coach holds a card up, the players line up, he kicks his foot and they play football,” Arians said, via Pro Football Talk. “The hardest thing for them is to get into a huddle and call a play. They’re stuttering, they’re stammering, the guys around them don’t believe in them. That’s that leadership thing. That’s the hardest thing for these young quarterbacks who play in these systems…they have to learn how to play quarterback at this level and sometimes that’s overwhelming.”
God forbid NFL coaches actually try to make a quarterback’s job easier. Instead of complaining about the college set-up, the Rams’ 31-year-old head coach found a way to bring it to the NFL and make life for his quarterback so much easier. That’s what good coaches do.
And McVay’s team is scoring more than 30 points a game with this strategy. It will only be a matter of time before other coaches follow suit.