Written by Gary Klein at Los Angeles Times.com
The Rams traded up 14 spots to select Jared Goff with the top pick in the NFL draft.
They gave him a $28-million contract and an $18.6-million signing bonus. Then they sat him on the bench for nine games as the offense bottomed out as the lowest-scoring unit in the league.
Finally, on Tuesday, Coach Jeff Fisher tabbed Goff as the starting quarterback, replacing Case Keenum.
“It’s time,” Fisher said. “It’s time to move on.”
Goff, 22, will make his regular-season debut Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Fisher said it was not a short-term decision.
“I don’t want to say it’s a new era, a new start,” Fisher said, “but in a lot of ways it is.”
On day when singer Britney Spears attended practice, Goff took first-team snaps as the No. 1 quarterback for the first time. He said he was excited about the opportunity to start and had been ready for a while.
“I’m glad it’s finally come,” he said, “glad they’ve given me that vote of confidence and the nod.
“I’m ready to go and prove them right.”
Goff has been the franchise’s future since the Rams brain trust chose the former California star over North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz in the April draft. But while Wentz (Philadelphia) and other rookie quarterbacks such as Dak Prescott (Dallas) flourished, Goff languished behind Keenum.
Keenum has passed for nine touchdowns, with 11 interceptions. His 76.7 passer rating ranks 30th in the NFL.
During the Rams’ loss to the Carolina Panthers at the Coliseum, fans booed the offense and chanted, “We want Goff!”
Fisher had been adamant that Keenum was not the problem for a team that had lost four games in a row and scored only two touchdowns in the last three games.
Even after Sunday’s 9-6 victory over the New York Jets — which featured no touchdowns by the Rams — Fisher said he was not considering a change at quarterback. On Monday, Fisher said Goff was No. 2.
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