Rams' McVay evaluating 'everything,' QB included

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Sean McVay’s words trailed off, but not before the Los Angeles Rams coach answered a pointed question about Jared Goff’s status as the Rams’ quarterback.

“Yeah, he’s our quarterback,” McVay said during a Zoom session with reporters, “right now.”

That was Saturday, in the immediate aftermath of a 32-18 divisional-round playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers that ended the Rams’ season.

On Sunday, during a final videoconference with reporters before breaking for the offseason, McVay was asked for clarification about his statement.

“Everything’s being evaluated,” McVay said. “I’m not ready to make any sort of statements with regards to anybody — starting position or not, we’re going to have a level of competition at everything that we do.”

McVay has emphasized roster competition throughout his four seasons as coach, but this is the first time the theme has pointedly included quarterback.

Four seasons remain on Goff’s $110 million guaranteed contract, but on Sunday McVay would not guarantee Goff’s place on the roster moving forward.

“We’re in a situation that we’re in evaluation mode,” McVay said when asked if there was a scenario where Goff would not be on the roster in 2021. “We’re moving forward, we’re looking forward, and I can’t answer any of those questions until I take a step back and evaluate everything that is in the best interest of the Rams.”

The Rams’ offense performed inconsistently throughout a 10-6 season, and frustration between McVay and Goff grew apparent as the season wore on. Goff passed for 3,962 yards and 20 touchdowns with 17 turnovers and drew public criticism from McVay for the first time in their four seasons together following a Week 12 loss to the division rival San Francisco 49ers, when he had multiple turnovers in a 23-20 defeat.

“Our quarterback has got to take better care of the football,” McVay said after the game.

With a division title at stake in Week 16 20-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Goff passed for 234 yards with an interception that he said was among the worst plays of his five-year career, but he also deservedly earned credit for completing the game after breaking his thumb late in the third quarter.

Goff underwent surgery a day later with the hope of returning in time for the playoffs.

Backup John Wolford, a former undrafted free agent, made his first NFL appearance in a Week 17 start and helped the Rams to an 18-7 win.

As the Rams prepared for a rematch against the Seahawks the following week in a wild-card playoff, Goff told McVay that he was capable of playing, however McVay opted early in the week to name Wolford starter as Goff continued to recover.

However, Wolford was forced to exit in the first quarter against the Seahawks in the wild-card round because of a neck injury, and Goff entered to pass for 155 yards and a touchdown, leading the Rams to a 30-20 win.

After the game, Goff said it was difficult when McVay told him early in the week that Wolford would start.

“As a competitor, of course I wanted to be out there and I wanted to play and felt like I could make a difference,” Goff said. “He’s the coach, he had to make a decision that he needed to make early in the week to get out in front of some stuff. I get it. But as a competitor, of course I wanted to play and I was ready to play.”

With Wolford ruled out ahead of the divisional-round matchup against the Packers, Goff — less than three weeks removed from thumb surgery — started and completed 21 of 27 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown.

“My job is to win the game,” Goff said when asked after the game if he felt any sense of personal accomplishment with his performance. “There’s absolutely no moral victories, especially in the playoffs.”

“You really saw a guy that stepped in. He did what he could, I thought he made some plays, thought he saw the field well,” McVay said after the game. “He did a good job today.”



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