John Wolford’s skill set was a factor in Rams moving on from Jared Goff

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Cameron DaSilva
·2 min read
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Late last season, the Los Angeles Rams were forced to make a change at quarterback after Jared Goff suffered a broken thumb. John Wolford stepped in as the Week 17 starter, leading the Rams to victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Wolford started again in the wild-card round despite Goff being healthy enough to play. Sean McVay said the Rams weren’t benching Goff, explaining that his thumb wasn’t healed enough for the team to feel comfortable starting him.

It wasn’t exactly a quarterback controversy, but Wolford’s brief stint as the starter did impact the Rams’ long-term plans at quarterback. Les Snead told reporters Friday that Wolford’s mobility did play a role in the team’s decision to move on from Goff and acquire Matthew Stafford.

It opened the playbook for McVay, allowing him to experiment more with concepts that didn’t fit Goff’s skill set. Wolford was also able to extend plays and use his legs, which is also an important part of Stafford’s game – not that the Rams are going to run read-options with their new QB1.

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No one is going to confuse Stafford with Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen from a mobility perspective, but he’s also not a statue in the pocket. He can escape when he feels pressure, and can also move well enough to evade defenders in tight areas within the pocket.

McVay mentioned Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes when discussing Stafford’s movement skills. They’re not the most athletic quarterbacks, but they find ways to buy time and allow receivers to get open by finding small throwing lanes.

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As good a play caller as McVay is, Stafford will make him look even better by extending plays – something Goff didn’t do nearly enough. Expect deep shots, a lot of play action and throws from outside the pocket when Stafford take the field for L.A.