Rams coach Sean McVay doesn’t mind throwing blame Jared Goff’s way
The Rams offense and quarterback Jared Goff are performing inconsistently, but coach Sean McVay demonstrated Monday that he could stand by a message two days in row.
McVay made no apologies for calling out Goff for his turnover-plagued performance in the Rams’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
“I wouldn’t say things if I didn’t know there was broad shoulders to be able to handle it,” McVay said during a videoconference with reporters. “I know he can handle it, and I know he can acknowledge it, and we can all be honest about the expectations.
“And I’m not going to apologize for the high expectations that I have in him.”
The loss to the 49ers dropped the Rams to 7-4 heading into Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals (6-5) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
The Rams are in second place behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. The Seahawks (8-3) defeated the Philadelphia Eagles (3-7-1) on “Monday Night Football.”
The Ravens-Steelers game is pushed again, this time to Wednesday, as NFL begins to run out of options to play all the games amid pandemic.
After their game against the Cardinals, the Rams play home games against the New England Patriots (5-6) and the New York Jets (0-11), a road game against the Seahawks and a finale at home against the Cardinals.
“We’re not naive to where we are — and that was not obviously the result we were looking for,” McVay said of the 23-20 loss to the 49ers. “But based on the schedule we do have left, it really doesn’t change in terms of having control of your destiny specific to the division.”
While the defense has been solid, the Rams need improved play from Goff and the offense to contend for the division title.
“The overall level of expectation in production, I don’t think has been consistently where we expect it to be,” McVay said of the offense. “It has not been up to our standards.”
Goff has passed for 16 touchdowns, with 10 interceptions. He has fumbled seven times.
In the last four games — a loss to the Miami Dolphins, victories over the Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the loss to the 49ers — he has passed for four touchdowns, with six interceptions and five fumbles.
Against the 49ers, Goff lost a fumble and had two passes intercepted, including one that was returned for a touchdown.
After the game, McVay uncharacteristically did not put the blame on himself. “Our quarterback’s got to take better care of the football,” he said.
Asked if he considered replacing Goff during the losses to the Dolphins or 49ers, McVay said he did not.
“Jared knows that I support him,” McVay said. “Jared knows that our staff, our players, our coaches are going to work as hard as we can to be able to respond, and I think we all know he’s wired the right way to be able to handle it and move on as well.”
With the Chargers’ record at 3-8 and coaching appearing suspect during games, Anthony Lynn’s coaching job is very much in jeopardy.
Eliminating turnovers, offensive lineman Austin Corbett said, starts with the line’s ability to open holes for running backs and protect Goff.
“He’s able to see things and he’s one of the best in the world at dicing up defenses when he has that time,” Corbett said during a videoconference with reporters.
Corbett said “you can see the hurt” in every competitor when mistakes are made.
“You’re not a robot,” Corbett said. “You know you messed up. ... When he’s on the sideline, he’s always coming over to the offensive line, ‘Hey boys, that’s on me. We can do this. We’re going to be fine.’
“It’s the same thing [for linemen], it’s ‘Hey Jared, don’t worry about that. We’re going to move on. You’re going to make plays. That’s what you do. That’s who you are. We’re going to do our jobs so you can do yours.’”
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey played only 50 of 72 defensive snaps because of a “little bit of hip thing that was bothering him,” McVay said. McVay said Ramsey met with trainers after the game and is expected to be fine. ... Kicker Matt Gay made 48- and 41-yard field-goal attempts and all five kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. “He was automatic,” McVay said. “We’ve found a guy that we feel really good about as we move forward.” … If the Rams were faced with the quarterback predicament the Denver Broncos faced last Sunday, McVay said receiver Cooper Kupp, running back Cam Akers and punter Johnny Hekker would be candidates to play the position. “We’ve got a lot of guys that I think would probably say they should be first in line,” McVay said. “Let’s hopefully keep our masks on and have that be a problem that we don’t have to worry about.”
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