Former Rams QBs impressed with Goff's progress

The list reads as a roll call of Super Bowl quarterbacks.

Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Eli Manning emerged from Sunday’s Week 3 games as the NFL’s top five in season passing yardage.

And in sixth place . . .

The RamsJared Goff.

Few would have predicted this after watching the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft mostly struggle in seven late-season starts (all losses) as a rookie.

But with new coach Sean McVay calling plays, a rebuilt offensive line providing better protection and a deeper and more talented receiving corps, Goff has helped lead the Rams to a 2-1 record and first place in the NFC West.

Former Rams quarterbacks are impressed.

“I like Goff, and I think he’s going to get much better,” said Roman Gabriel, the 1969 NFL most valuable player. “A lot of it has to do with talent, but this season it’s also having better protection. And having McVay, from what I see, is as much a part of it as anything.”

Said Jim Everett, a Pro Bowl selection in 1990: “He’s got new guys, a new system and a new coach that’s smart and just off the charts with creativity. You see the growth in his game from a guy who was deer-in-the-headlights to a guy grasping the system.”

Goff has completed 70.4% of his passes for 817 yards and five touchdowns, with one interception.

Before Monday night’s game between Dallas and Arizona, he ranked among the NFL’s top quarterbacks in several categories.

Among quarterbacks who’ve played enough to qualify for the statistical rankings, Goff’s 118.2 rating was third, trailing only Kansas City’s Alex Smith and New England’s Brady. He was third in completion percentage, and first in yards per attempt (10.1).

Goff’s only major blemish was a late interception that sealed the Washington Redskins’ victory over the Rams in Week 2 at the Coliseum.

Last Thursday, Goff completed 22 of 28 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.

It was the second time in three games that the Rams, the NFL’s worst offense the previous two seasons, eclipsed 40 points.

“There’s a lot of things we can improve on as well,” Goff said, “but there’s no limits or expectations on ourselves. We’re just trying to continue to get better, continue to execute.”

Much of that responsibility falls on the 22-year-old Goff.

Vince Ferragamo, who led the Rams to the Super Bowl during the 1979 season, said Goff “was thrown in the fire last year with a really bad team.”

Goff benefited from the experience and an offseason of change.

“You can see that he’s more confident and more comfortable,” Ferragamo said.

McVay helped develop Kirk Cousins into an elite passer for the Redskins.

For Gabriel, 77, the arrival of McVay in Los Angeles was on par with his experience when Rams coach George Allen brought in assistant Ted Marchibroda as part of the 1966 staff.

“What I’d seen last year with Goff — I don’t like to demean any of the coaches — but [McVay] does just a super job like he did with Cousins in Washington,” Gabriel said. “I can see the difference. [Goff’s] footwork is much better.

“The only thing he needs to learn more now is to step up into the pocket rather than trying to get out of it.”

Everett said Goff’s growth has been evident in each successive game. His performance against the 49ers included several throws he had not demonstrated before.

“He wasn’t fading away, there was no hesitation,” Everett said. “He’d plant his foot and let it rip.”

McVay’s offense, Everett said, is keeping opponents guessing.

“Right now, there are no tendencies,” Everett said, adding, “No defensive coordinator can say, ‘Hey, this where they hang their hat right now,’ because they have NFL-caliber weapons and they don’t have to.”

Ferragamo noted that Goff has looked at ease throwing to receivers running post routes from the outset.

Now he is on the verge of perhaps taking the next step, of becoming “the general in charge,” Ferragamo said.

“Once he gets to that part, where you’re taking your team from behind, when you have to do that with a two-minute drill, that’s what I can’t wait to see,” Ferragamo said.

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein

Copyright © 2018, CT Now