Rams coach Jeff Fisher capped his Wednesday press conference explaining that Hard Knocks isn’t a distraction for his team.
“The players are out here to help win games and to improve, not to make a movie. They’re not actors, they’re players,” Fisher said. It’s still unknown whether Fisher, when it comes to his eventual quarterback depth chart, is acting and not coaching.
Earlier in the session, Fisher was asked to address the performance during practice of quarterback Case Keenum.
“He made some really good throws,” Fisher said. “I mean, some really good throws throughout practice. That’s what you expect out of your starter.”
Wait, what? Keenum is the starter? For when? The preseason? Week One of the regular season? Indefinitely?
Fisher wasn’t asked to explain whether this meant that the depth chart was settled into September. Still, it’s hard not to wonder whether the team that took full advantage of the two weeks of having the No. 1 overall pick in the draft by using it to build suspense regarding whether it would be taking Jared Goff or Carson Wentz giving NFL Films and Hard Knocks a story line where there otherwise isn’t one.
Surely, the Rams didn’t trade up to No. 1 to put Goff on the bench for all or a large part of his rookie season. In recent years, the pendulum has swung decisively toward throwing young quarterbacks into the fray. This year, however, all three of the first-round quarterbacks (Goff, Wentz, Paxton Lynch) may not be playing when the games that count begin.
Maybe Fisher isn’t acting. Last year, the top two picks in the draft, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, started from the get-go and passed the eyeball test and their head coaches have since been fired. Maybe it makes sense to keep that ace in the hole, if for no reason than to be able to use the player’s potential as the kind of hope that can get the folks who picked him another year beyond the year in which he was picked.
The logic surely doesn’t apply in Denver and probably doesn’t apply in Philadelphia. In L.A., however, maybe a potential plan to put Goff on ice is aimed at staving off a hot seat. Or it’s just contrived drama for the purposes of Hard Knocks. Either way, it’s too damn early for me to figure it out.