QB Jared Goff has some weapons; it's up to him to make it work

From ESPN - August 13, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- Jared Goff's preseason debut lasted four passes. He went three-and-out, watched the Dallas Cowboys muff a punt, took over on the opposing 33-yard line and led a touchdown drive, then put on his headset, remaining on the sideline while his Los Angeles Rams navigated their way to a 13-10 win on Saturday night.

Standing nearby was Sammy Watkins, who could eventually make all the difference.

Watkins arrived at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum about three hours before kickoff and about 18 hours after the Rams officially acquired him from the Bills in a trade that sent cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick to Buffalo. Goff found out about it when he finished a meeting on Friday.

"I look at my phone, and I have like 50 text messages," Goff said. "'Sammy Watkins,' 'Sammy Watkins,' 'Sammy Watkins.' I am like, 'What? What happened?'"

Here's what happened: The Rams gave Goff that final piece, and now it's up to him to make it work.

This calendar year has represented a seismic shift for the Rams' offense, a unit that finished last in the NFL in yards each of the past two years and outside of the top 20 in defense-adjusted value over average for the past decade. It began with the hiring of 31-year-old head coach Sean McVay, one of the brightest young minds in the game. He brought in an up-and-coming quarterbacks coach to be his offensive coordinator (Matt LaFleur) and an accomplished offensive coordinator to be his quarterbacks coach (Greg Olson).

Then the Rams signed Andrew Whitworth, one of the game's best left tackles, and Robert Woods, a reliable possession receiver. They drafted an athletic tight end in Gerald Everett and a polished slot receiver in Cooper Kupp. And then, on the day before their first preseason game, they added Watkins, giving their offense the vertical threat that should open up space for everybody else.

"He obviously is a weapon," Goff said after Saturday's game. "His track record speaks for itself and what were trying to do. Hes a guy that can stretch the field. Thats something you take from him, obviously, right away. I also think hes not only a really good guy, but works hard, just from what Ive gathered so far. Im excited to get him here, excited to get to work, and just briefly talking with him over the phone and on the sideline really quickly, just getting a feel for him, he seems like a really friendly guy who's excited for a fresh start."


Continue reading at ESPN »