It was only one pass, one late-practice throw.
And it seemed, for an instant, to momentarily freeze the Rams' practice on Tuesday at UC Irvine.
Rookie quarterback Jared Goff had dropped back, stepped up to avoid the rush and zipped a spiral deep through the defense and into the hands of receiver Nelson Spruce.
It marked the first time the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft truly showed the arm and release that caused the Rams' brain trust to trade numerous draft picks for the opportunity to select the former California standout.
Goff had displayed flashes during rookie camp workouts after the draft and during off-season and organized team activities in Oxnard.
But Tuesday was the first time that the Rams were in pads.
So when Goff stepped up and delivered, the crowd in the nearby bleachers roared. And though the play came with the second-team offense operating against the second-team defense, players and coaches appeared to sense the moment.
"He made some really good throws," Coach Jeff Fisher said of Goff, adding, "We added a little bit of noise so they had to focus in the huddle and I thought he took charge of it.
"He's progressing well."
Goff is attempting to supplant Case Keenum at the top of the depth chart. He will need to make plays like he did Tuesday against the first-team defense and against exhibition opponents to convince Fisher that he is capable of starting the Sept. 12 season opener against the
Whether it happens at the outset or during the season remains to be seen, but it is only a matter of time before Goff ascends to become the starter.
Keenum, for his part, has looked comfortable in the role for now.
On Tuesday, he made several impressive plays, including a touchdown pass in a tight window to Brian Quick and a touchdown pass to Tavon Austin in the left corner of the end zone.
"I'm doing my job," Keenum said. "When I'm at quarterback, I'm running the show. … It's my huddle, my squad, my offense and I'm taking ownership of it."
Defensive end Robert Quinn took part in the team drills as he attempts to return to full strength after back surgery.
Quinn, 25, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2013 and 2014 before he was injured last season.
"I'm feeling more and more like my normal self," he said. "They're taking their time, making sure I'm healing properly and building my strength back up without trying to overwork me."
Quinn, William Hayes, Eugene Sims and
"By Game 1, I should be full-go," Quinn said.
Fisher said there was no rush.
"We're going to watch him," he said. "His reps probably aren't up to where they normally would be. He'll get there."
Cornering the market
E.J. Gaines and Lamarcus Joyner are competing to replace Janoris Jenkins at the cornerback spot opposite
Both have made plays during team drills. Joyner intercepted a Keenum pass on Tuesday.
Gaines started 15 games in 2014 but suffered a foot injury during training camp last August and was sidelined for the season after surgery. He said after the first workout on Saturday that his goal was to prove himself and "show that I haven't lost a step."
Rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper was held out because of a quadriceps issue, Fisher said. … Rookie receiver Duke Williams and Tyler Higbee followed impressive performances during Monday's special teams workout with more good plays Tuesday. … Rookie receiver Michael Thomas made several difficult catches during red-zone passing drills. … With tackle Rob Havenstein still sidelined, Rodger Saffold is playing right tackle, Cody Wichmann left guard.