The restrictions placed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have presented its own set of challenges for teams like the Los Angeles Rams that have ushered in some major changes to both their roster and coaching staff.
All eyes will be on Kevin O’Connell’s ability to help get quarterback Jared Goff back on track after taking over the newly re-opened offensive coordinator position this offseason. Unfortunately, the pair have been limited to virtual meetings leading up to the start of training camp.
Goff was able to avoid any setbacks with the 72-hour screening process for COVID-19. As a result, he has finally been able to get properly acquainted with the new offensive mind in the building.
It appears O’Connell was able to make a solid first impression on Goff, via Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk:
“He’s been great. He’s been really good. We’ve, obviously, pretty much all communicated through Zoom up until today,” Goff said. “Just getting a feel of his demeanor, the way he talks, the way he communicates. He’s played the position. He understands the little intricacies that go along with playing it and I’m super excited. I couldn’t be more excited. I mean, I was excited when they hired him. I’ve always heard his name. I know a lot of people that have played for him, a lot of people that know him. When we hired him it was exciting, and it’s been exciting today that you kind of get to communicate with him and everyday it makes my job a lot easier.”
Although it is imperative that Goff and O’Connell get on the same page, he seems to understand that Sean McVay will still be calling all the shots as head coach and the primary offensive guru:
“I mean we have our wrinkles just like we do every year. The core values remain the same. Sean is still calling the plays. It’s still all his offense. So, there will be some new things definitely, but the core of it will remain the same,” Goff said.
While there certainly are not any changes to the hierarchy in McVay’s offense, the Rams are hoping that bringing in an outside mind like O’Connell’s could be just what they need to spark a potential resurgence on this side of the ball.
Parting ways with running back Todd Gurley and wide receiver Brandin Cooks this offseason hardly seemed like a step in the right direction in providing assistance for Goff. The onus will fall on McVay and O’Connell to alleviate this by getting back to a well-balanced approach that takes the pressure off under center.