The 22-year-old has the weight of expectations thrust on his shoulders as the first overall pick in this year's draft with the hope that he can not only become the team's franchise quarterback but also lead them to success. It's something that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer can draw many similarities from his own experience.
Palmer was the first overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals coming off a record-setting senior year at USC where he won the Heisman Trophy. Despite the Bengals already having a veteran quarterback in Jon Kitna in place, he was viewed as the future of the organization. Along those same lines, he has come to understand how to handle those lofty expectations that come with the territory.
In response to that, he has been able to put together a productive career that includes earning the AFC Player of the Year award (2005), NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2015), a Second-Team All-Pro selection, and three Pro Bowl nods while playing for the Bengals, Oakland Raiders, and Cardinals. He has thrown the seventh-highest amount of passing yards since entering the league, which ranks him 14th all-time in NFL history.
Although he is experiencing a sub-par 2016 season, Palmer is just a year removed from his best individual campaign where he set Cardinals' single-season records for passing yards (4,671), touchdowns (35), and passer rating (104.6). Ahead of the season finale, the 37-year-old offered some strong words of advice for the Rams' quarterback.
“I think when you go through struggles early and bad things happen early, I think it’s so important to learn from them and not bury them away and be disappointed by them," Palmer said. "Using all those experiences, every experience your first couple of years, re-watching that game film, even though it’s a loss and it’s hard to watch, watch it over and over and over again and take something from it – versus this coverage, I should have done this or versus this blitz, I should have done this.
"It’s so easy to sit there and fast forward through it, seeing yourself get sacked or whatever it is that happens. Making sure you file that away in your brain and notebooks and however it is that you study and you go about your business and your studying, using those as opportunities to learn from.”
Goff has already experienced much of that through his first six starts. He has posted 969 yards on a 53.5 completion percentage while throwing five touchdowns, seven interceptions, and holds a 25.0 quarterback rating. This includes recording at least one interception in four out of the six games played while passing for fewer than 200 yards four times.
With all that mind, Goff plans on taking Palmer's advice to heart moving forward in his own career.
“Definitely," Goff said. "I’ve learned from my mistakes since OTAs, I think all the way through summer, through training camp, up until this point, in-game experience and in practice – continuing to learn, continuing to get better. Understand that you’re going to make mistakes and try not to make them twice. That’s kind of what I’ve done. So, that does resonate a lot.”
Goff believes that Palmer has been a great source of inspiration given the manner that his career has unfolded earning numerous accolades for his success on the field throughout his 15 years in the league.
“Yeah. I think him and a lot of guys," Goff said. "You look around, a lot of guys ended up being really good, that as rookies weren’t very good. There’s prime examples in the league right now – teams that have turned it around. In reference to us, I kind of expect a similar thing to happen in the future. ”
On a similar note, he took the initiative vocally following last Saturday's loss to San Francisco 49ers vowing that he would do "everything in my heart and soul to get it all fixed."
This was something that he reiterated on Wednesday placing more emphasis on the confidence that he has that the Rams can follow through on his high aspirations.
“I want the people that truly support us and the people that are truly supportive to understand that its growing pains – it’s not easy for us and it’s certainly not easy for them," Goff said. "We’re going to come out of it. I’m positive it’s going to happen. It may not be overnight, but it will happen and it’s going to happen with the people in this building.”