The Los Angeles Rams training camp is well underway and although second-year quarterback Jared Goff is the designated starter, his backup Sean Mannion has impressed the team.
ESPN analytics seems to think the Rams will have the league’s worst offense under Jared Goff. Despite that, Goff has embraced his leadership role as a starter for L.A. and is taking strides to disprove his doubters.
The analytics think then, a Rams offense with Sean Mannion under center has a better chance at success than one led by Goff. Although Goff may have something to say about that, if weight is to be put on the reports of Mannion impressing in training camp, Goff may have some competition for the starting job if he doesn’t progress down the line.
Mannion was the 89th overall pick in the 2015 draft. So far his work ethic and execution have garnered praise from Rams Head Coach Sean McVay. McVay reportedly said Mannion was doing an “excellent” job and when he spoke to reporters Sunday.
“He was really working on some of the little things from the offseason program and he was able to translate it to where he built on what he did in the offseason as opposed to starting over.”
Although Mannion is being recognized for his work, he’s not letting the compliments get to his head. Mannion also spoke to reporters Sunday.
“All I can do is come out here, focus on my play and play my best football,” Mannion said. “I feel like, through these first two practices, I put my best foot forward and have done a lot of nice things, but like I said too, those aren’t my decisions to make.”
— NIMA (@nimasports) August 1, 2017
Mannion and Goff throw at training camp
Mannion’s play may be turning some heads and making believers out of others, but Goff will be the Rams starting quarterback come Week 1 in the NFL. In fact, even if Goff struggles early, chances are McVay and his staff will work with him and continue forward with Goff under center. The point in L.A. drafting Goff No.1 overall in 2016 was because he was considered the Rams’ QB of the future. Sitting him in favor of Mannion would only hinder his growth and the team knows that. The only way Mannion becomes a starter in Goff’s place will be due to injury, or Goff stinking it up for several weeks and making no progress at all.
While injuries are common and can happen anytime, Goff will improve as the season plays out. Even if L.A. isn’t winning, if Goff gets better each week the starting job will remain his. What performing well in camp and as a backup can do for Mannion, however, is help him secure a potential starting job in the future on another team.