The Associated PressTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay has a message for anyone who thinks Jared Goff’s turnaround following his disastrous rookie season is the product of the in-helmet communication system that allows the quarterback to receive information from the sideline.
It has nothing to do with the little green dot on the back of Goff’s helmet.
“To say that you’re in his ear — cause I’ve seen some of the things out there — I think it’s a discredit to what Jared’s done,” McVay said Wednesday.
The input Goff receives from McVay has become a topic of conversation in some circles after a recent NFL Films feature that showed the quarterback calling audibles at the line of scrimmage as they came over the headset during the Rams’ 33-7 win over the Houston Texans. Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms went as far as calling it cheating during his radio show.
McVay said his use of the communication equipment, which allows one player on offense or defense to receive play calls, personnel groupings or other instructions from the coaching staff and automatically cuts off with 15 seconds remaining on the play clock, is not much different than any other team around the NFL.
“Sometimes he talks all the way up until 15 seconds. Sometimes he talks for five seconds. Sometimes he talks for 10 seconds,” Goff said. “It all varies, and just like every other quarterback in the league it’s cut off at 15 seconds and you run the play. But, yeah, he’s great on the headset. He gives me as much or as little information as I need and does a great job.”
The proof that the headset is no magic cure-all, McVay said, was evident on Goff’s second touchdown in the 26-20 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
McVay called a play intended to beat man coverage, but that was immediately rendered useless when the Saints dropped eight defenders into coverage. That forced Goff to extend the play from the pocket and instruct rookie wide receiver Josh Reynolds where to go before delivering a 7-yard touchdown pass.
“That was all him. That was a bad call by me,” McVay said. “He did an excellent job being able to sit in there, remain a passer, great protection, and then he’s directing traffic. And that’s what special players do.”
McVay said Goff, who has thrown for 2,964 yards and 18 touchdowns against five interceptions, has full freedom to call audibles at the line.