Jared Goff was handed a huge vote of confidence by the Los Angeles Rams heading into the first week of the 2019 season after receiving a large new contract.
The 24-year-old is set to receive $110 million in guaranteed money as part of his four-year extension, surpassing the most ever received by a quarterback which was set by Carson Wentz earlier this summer.
Yet, many still question whether Goff is anything more than a system quarterback, playing out the plans of his offensive genius coach.
Prior to Sean McVay’s arrival as Rams coach, Goff struggled to make an impact under Jeff Fisher and ran the risk of becoming a major dud as he faltered in his seven starts in his rookie year.
Having worked his way from there to a Super Bowl appearance in just a few short years, does his new deal, tying the Rams to him for the foreseeable future, really represent good business?
The McVay Transformation
As he prepared to take on the head coach’s job with the struggling Rams, Coach McVay carefully studied his potential new signal caller, keen to see if he really had what it took.
Just a year earlier, the franchise had jumped up to number one to take Jared Goff ahead of Wentz, who went to the Eagles and quickly shone.
Pouring over the tape, McVay saw more than enough to work with in his new quarterback, including an impressive display against the Saints in week 12, as he went 20 of 32 for 214 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Ever since he implemented his scheme, Goff has shone but he has continually been overshadowed by the accusation he is simply a system QB, something McVay is adamant is simply not the case.
In his time with McVay, Goff has thrown for more than 8,500 yards and 60 touchdowns, reaching the post-season both campaigns and the Super Bowl once.
Jared Goff’s Super Bowl Woes
Of course, it was plain for all to see that his Super Bowl 53 performance was far below what had come to be expected of him.
A major issue was the lack of crucial running back Todd Gurley, who had offered another threatening dimension to the offence until he was struck down with a mysterious injury.
Goff completed 19 of 38 pass attempts for 229 yards, and was picked off once by the New England Patriots. He managed to guide the Rams to just 14 first downs, was sacked four times and his side converted just three third down attempts.
The major flashpoint of Goff’s disappointing performance came when receiver Brandin Cooks broke free in the third quarter but his QB was unable get him the ball in time, allowing Pats corner Jason McCourty to make a stunning dash to prevent the completion in the end zone.
Despite McVay handing him opportunities, it seemed the occasion may have been too big for a dejected Goff.
Stand by your man
Off the back of such a disappointing season, it would have been easy for the Rams to start casting an eye over future prospects with a view to moving on from Goff.
And it looked like that may be the case when Wentz was handed a new deal by the Eagles in the summer, but the Rams did not follow suit with their passer, despite him being drafted higher.
But McVay and general manager Les Snead have rightly thrown their support behind Goff just days before the start of the season.
The signal caller proved he has what it takes to come through pressure situations a number of times last season.
This was most prevalent in the high-scoring affair with the Kansas City Chiefs, where Goff held his nerve time and again to outscore the league’s eventual MVP Patrick Mahomes and secure the win for the Rams.
While money will not change Goff as a person, a down-to-earth guy, his experiences in the Super Bowl and other pressure situations will have, and only for the better.
The Rams face a tough test to return to the Super Bowl this campaign, but if they are to do so it will be guided by Jared Goff, who has proven he has the capability to improve each off-season.