Rams’ Jared Goff on opening day of training camp: ‘It was fun and it was a good day’
During an early-evening videoconference with reporters Monday, Rams quarterback Jared Goff paused while answering a question and apologized for the timbre of his voice.
“I’ve been talking all day and my throat’s a little scratchy from yelling all day,” he said. “I haven’t yelled in a few months.”
Goff had just completed the first day of team activity during training camp at the Rams’ facility in Thousand Oaks. The schedule included a full team meeting in an open-air tent and a walkthrough on the field.
During the spring, the COVID-19 pandemic forced NFL teams to conduct virtual offseason programs. So Monday marked the first time in more than seven months that coach Sean McVay met in person with all of his players and coaches.
Other than the fact that the Rams were meeting outside their facility’s modular buildings, and that they wore masks and socially distanced, it “wasn’t drastically different,” Goff said.
The Rams, like all NFL teams, are going through two weeks of an acclimation period that prohibits practices but allows walkthroughs.
Because of the pandemic, Rams have not had much opportunity to test replacement players so, without preseason games, training camp will be critical this season.
“It was kind of like all this built-up energy up until this point and finally we were able to let it go,” Goff said, “And I saw a lot of guys out there in our walkthrough that were going a little bit faster than walkthrough tempo and understandably so — everyone was.
“It was fun and it was a good day.”
Goff, the first pick in the 2016 draft, is entering his fifth NFL season. In 2019, after Goff received a $134-million extension, the Rams finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs for the first time under McVay.
Goff, 25, passed for 22 touchdowns, with a career-worst 16 interceptions. He said he spent the offseason improving footwork, his posture in the pocket and core strength among other things.
He also apparently added a bit of weight.
“I may have put on a couple pounds,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s muscle or a couple cheeseburgers, but I feel good.”
While Goff is under contract through the 2024 season, the Rams have several key players entering the final year of their contracts, including cornerback Jalen Ramsey, receivers Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds, tight end Gerald Everett and safety John Johnson.
Rams coach Sean McVay has changed his tune since expressing skepticism in June about whether the NFL could play amid strict coronavirus guidelines.
When asked about negotiations with Ramsey, general manager Les Snead on Monday declined to provide specifics.
“Not going to get into the intimacy of the details,” Snead told reporters during a videoconference.
Ramsey, selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the fifth pick in the 2016 draft, will earn $13.7 million this season playing under a fifth-year option. Kupp, Reynolds, Everett and Johnson were drafted by the Rams in 2017.
“It’s always really good to be in a position where you’re not concerned that you have players you want to pay,” Snead said. “That’s the good thing. But you definitely have to work through the scenarios.”
Since returning to Los Angeles in 2016, the Rams have typically announced extensions on the eve of season openers. That was the case for Goff, defensive lineman Aaron Donald and tight end Tyler Higbee.
Ramsey said in June that the absence of a new deal would not preclude him from reporting for training camp. He arrived as scheduled last week for COVID-19 testing.
Snead sounded optimistic that they would reach agreement with Ramsey, who is represented by agent David Mulugheta.
“We have that healthy relationship,” Snead said. “We’ve had dialogue with him, obviously, since the middle of the 2019 season when we made the trade.”
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