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The Gut Check No. 422: Jared Goff

Matt Waldman dives into Jared Goff's tape and the 2017 fantasy implications therein. 

Why context rules...

Jared Goff is the No. 10 fantasy quarterback after Week 3. We know there's a lot more football on the schedule so this ranking is not a big deal. However, if we went by the knee-jerk analysis on Goff in 2016, Sean Mannion would have been the starter by the third quarter of Week 1. 

This is the nature of studying the trees without trying to understand the forest. Even so, a lot of those analysts could still wind up right for the wrong reasons. Many of them are okay with that, but that's not a satisfying path for me. 

The odds were against Goff after 2016 for several reasons. Rams ownership has a bad track record when it comes personnel decisions on general managers and coaches. Those personnel managers have had a bad track record with its choices of offensive linemen and wide receivers—the two most important areas to support a passing game. They've also had bad luck with injuries to good prospects that set back the opportunity for linemen, quarterback, and receivers to develop rapport when it comes to route options and protection calls. 

If that wasn't enough, the Rams have been a coaching turnstile, which means that even veterans were learning new schemes and never developing a deep enough understanding to execute on a higher level of football. Teams that are consistently good over the long haul have stability with coaching and scheme. Those players know the scheme so well that they can begin to work on advanced ways of interacting with each other as well as reacting to the defense. 

Whether you're a performer or an office worker, you know that the longer your team is together and the processes remain the same, you develop a shorthand for layers of information that you don't even have to think about. All of you react quicker without the need for detailed communication. And if the processes are well constructed and your teammates aren't dysfunctional idiots on the job, you also handle unexpected situations efficiently and productively. 

The Rams haven't had these benefits since the Dick Vermeil era. Worse yet, fans had to seriously entertain Eric Dickerson's criticism of the offense and staff. When a retired player takes aim at the team, the organization is a mess.


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