VIDEO ANALYSIS: Goff Earns the Nod
On Monday morning, after an inconsistent and mistake-marred 10th practice by redshirt freshman quarterback Zach Kline, California head coach Sonny Dykes named true freshman – and early enrollee -- Jared Goff the starting quarterback for the 2013 season.
Why is Goff such a good fit for the Bear Raid? For one, he ran a very similar offense in high school, whereas Kline was mostly under-center, and recruited as a strictly pro-style quarterback. While Kline's arm is stronger that Goff's, Goff makes up for that with far superior mobility.
Ever since he arrived in Berkeley, Dykes has said that the Bear Raid system operates best when it has a mobile quarterback, and Goff is certainly that. While he doesn't have the explosive, big-play potential of Kline, Goff doesn't take the risks Kline does. He also has the unflappability of a young man who's father was a Major Leaguer. He is mature beyond his years, makes sound decisions and doesn't force the ball. Instead of trying to fit balls into double coverage, he'll pull the ball down and run. When he does take to the ground, he's a heady and quick-footed runner. He won't blow you away with his speed, but he's very savvy on the move and doesn't take many square hits.
Beyond the skills he came in with, though, Goff has shown the ability to adapt. His arm strength was not spectacular coming in, and the biggest concern around him was the fact that he couldn't make the quick sideline passes that depended on velocity and timing. He's since answered that criticism, adding noticeable velocity to all of his throws during the summer.
Goff has shown exceptional touch down field, deeper range than he had in high school and good instincts in his reads and check downs during fall camp.
Goff can hit every throw on the field and has a quick, effortless motion. When he signed, Brandon Huffman said he would be the one to take this offense to new heights, and it's hard to disagree, but as a true freshman, it's tough to think the leash will be very long, particularly with how close the competition has been through spring and the first 10 practices of the fall. That said, Goff is a very calm, cool and steady presence back of center, and considering the paucity of mistakes and turnovers he's made, he may be just what a young team needs.
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