One would be hard-pressed to find any positives to take away from the Los Angeles Rams disastrous 2016 NFL season. Not only was the offense virtually nonexistent, but then-rookie quarterback Jared Goff showed little indication of being a franchise player thanks in part to a makeshift offensive line.
Fortunately, Los Angeles made some huge changes to the line this past offseason. Through the first two weeks of the 2017 NFL preseason, quarterback Jared Goff is already starting to see the difference, according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez:
“No doubt,” the second-year quarterback said. “I think just as a whole, they’ve really worked together. They’re starting to jell, and I think you saw that last Saturday. The Oakland defensive line is no slouch. They’ve got some dudes over there, and they did a great job keeping them away and giving me a good pocket. It wasn’t just throw it and get hit; it was clean the whole night. It was. No one really around me.”
Aside from hiring head coach Sean McVay, the Rams most important change came on the line. It began with the addition of one of the league’s top left tackles in Andrew Whitworth and veteran center John Sullivan, while the inevitable release of former left tackle Greg Robinson came soon thereafter.
No quarterback was sacked or pressured on third down more than Goff was over the final seven-game stretch last season. But if the line can continue to provide a clean pocket for him in the 2017 NFL regular season, it may only be a matter of time before Goff’s rookie year seems like a long-forgotten nightmare.