The work night was short, just eight plays total and all of one minute and 11 seconds of clock time.
But never let it be said Jared Goff doesn’t know how to put 71 seconds to near-perfect use. And in the process, maybe buy back a good chunk of the faith and confidence fans and pundits lost in him after watching his rookie season plunge down the drain faster than 45’s approval ratings.
It was always irrational writing off Goff after last year, especially considering everything he had working against him. The most obvious being he was 21-year-old rookie quarterback making the transition to a level of football that takes perverse satisfaction in turning hot shot college prospects into road kill.
It would be just as foolish, of course, to start fitting Goff for a gold jacket after he completed 3 of 4 passes for 34 yards and one should-have-been touchdown pass in his short stint against the Dallas Cowboys Saturday at the Coliseum.
Quarterbacks aren’t broken in one forgettable seven-game rookie season nor are they made in a brief – albeit productive – preseason opener to start Year 2.
But let’s just say step one in the next phase of the development of Goff revealed compelling evidence he’s on the right track.
And that the poised, confident looking quarterback who showed levity in rolling to his left and connecting with rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp for 19 yards and stood tall in the pocket on a 5-yard dart to Robert Woods at the Cowboys goal line looked remarkably more confident and effective than at any point last season.
All of which was set up shortly after the Goff and the Rams opened the game with a three-and-out drive but were granted a reprieve when Cowboys return man Lance Lenoir fumbled Johnny Hekker’s punt to set the Rams up at the Cowboys 33-yard-line.
“We went out and scored on our first drive – well, one-in-a-half after the punt,” Goff said. “My job is to take us down the field and we did that today on our second drive.”
If you take anything from the exercise in folly that is the first game of the NFL preseason, when starters retreat to the bench before the first quarter ends and soon-to-be insurance agents mop up before closing time, at least take that.
One exhibition game in the books, new Rams coach Sean McVay might be onto something in how he’s rebooting Goff in the slick new schematic offense he brought with him from Washington D.C., and the rebuilt offensive line and the retooled receiving corps the Rams…