The Los Angeles Rams coming off yet another losing season have quickly shifted things into high gear in hopes of turning around the direction of the franchise.
Much of this increased charge laid with the upheaval of head coach Jeff Fisher after nearly five seasons and replacing him with former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay which has made it abundantly clear that their eyes are solely fixated on bringing forth major change heading into the second year back in Los Angeles.
A large chunk of this new sense of direction will lie on the shoulders of quarterback Jared Goff, who was the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Goff is coming off a sub-par rookie campaign that saw him finally make his first start in Week 11 against the Miami Dolphins.
All of this amounted to him accumulating just 1,089 passing yards on a 54.6 completion percentage with five touchdown passes and seven interceptions, and holding a 22.2 quarterback rating. This includes recording at least one interception on four occasions while passing for fewer than 200 yards five times. He also ranked last in the league in yards per completion (5.31), second-worst total quarterback rating, and the fourth-lowest completion percentage.
Despite his personal struggles, Goff voiced during a recent conducted a Q&A interview with SI.com that he has much confidence that the hiring of McVay could provide a major step toward the right path.
"I think we first met when he was still interviewing for the job," Goff said. "I thought that if he was the guy they chose, I’d be very excited to work with him. Then they wound up choosing him. I’m ready to get this thing going."
There is much reason for excitement on Goff's behalf given that McVay had experienced much success over the last few years with the Redskins. He helped conduct one of the league's most productive offenses in the 2016 season that finished third in yards per game (403.4), second in yards per play (6.40) and were the second-best statistical passing offense (297.4).
The bulk of this came from the strong play of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who had his most productive campaign throwing for nearly 5,000 passing yards while holding a 97.2 quarterback rating and 67.0 completion percentage. Meanwhile, the Rams were quite the opposite ranking last in the league in points per game (14.0) and total offensive yards (262.7), and 31st in passing yards per game (184.4) last season.
Even with all that in mind, Goff is most looking forward to building on another aspect of the team.
"I think it kinda goes back to what you were saying about stability," Goff said. "Stability’s going to be huge. I think last year there was so much instability with all the moving around, going to London and Coach Fisher getting let go and our whole coaching staff getting let go throughout the year. And now we kinda understand where the facility is—everything in between. I think that’s undervalued. Now there’s a fresh energy and a fresh culture. We needed it."
With the coaching staff just about completed, the organization's focus will now lie on constructing a roster that can vie for their first playoff spot in over a decade. A large portion of this will depend on how things transpire in free agency with several key players such as cornerback Trumaine Johnson, safety T.J. McDonald, and wide receiver Kenny Britt. Los Angeles is expected to have just over $40 million in salary cap space to use through the offseason.