The Rams are practicing without defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Trumaine Johnson at their Organized Team Activities, which gave coach Sean McVay plenty of chances Tuesday to use variations on stock answers about OTAs being voluntary and focusing on the players who are at practice.
McVay may have been doing the same when asked about competition at the quarterback position. With 2016 first overall pick Jared Goff and Sean Mannion in the top two spots on the depth chart, there hasn’t been much talk about competition in Los Angeles because no one has imagined Goff won’t be starting come September.
McVay said Goff is the No. 1, but intimated that the door isn’t closed to things playing out differently.
“I think what we’ve tried to preach to our players is we’re going to let the best players play,” McVay said. “We’re trying to win football games and whoever we feel like gives us the best chance is who’s going to play behind center. Right now, we feel very good about what they’ve both done. Jared has done a nice job getting better, but you always want to make sure that you’re playing the guy that you feel like gives you the best ability to win football games, because we owe it to our coaches, to our players and to this organization to do that. I think what we’ve seen is good for those guys, but right now Jared’s the starter and he’s done a nice job commanding that role.”
That isn’t quite the optimistic, fully invested answer about Goff that you might expect to hear in May. That may just be because McVay chose to go with some well-honed coach speak about the merits of competition because the prospect of Goff as anything other than the team’s starter in 2017 is one that’s hard to fathom given how much they gave up to get him to L.A.