The Los Angeles Rams are heading into week two on the 2016-17 campaign and are in need of a quarterback that can lead their team to their first playoff berth in over ten years.
Case Keenum is the Rams QB for now but, that could very well change. He was impressive in preseason, the offense seemed to flow under his wing and it looked like he and the Rams were in for a good season. However, the reaction after the debacle on Monday Night Football would probably be to bench Keenum and start the number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Jared Goff.
Let me just say this right now, Keenum is not the answer. The answer may not be on the team this season and that’s a nightmare scenario for a team that won’t even have a draft pick in 2017. With that being said I think the Rams need to start their third-round pick from last season, Sean Mannion. This is starting to get ridiculous for the Rams who seem to constantly have QB problems under Head coach Jeff Fisher. Mannion has looked good in preseason and in a small sample size he has completed six of seven passes for 31 yards. Not really much can be taken away good or bad if he’s only thrown the ball seven times.
If you are the L.A. Rams coming off a blowout loss in San Francisco (who is a team some including myself expected to blow out). You need to make a big time adjustment. Clearly fans don’t want to see number 17 under center in the opening game in Los Angeles. Now, obviously the tempting factor of starting the California boy Jared Goff is there but, the Rams need to first see what they have in Mannion.
If you want an honest opinion I think the Rams should follow exactly what the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos are doing. They traded up and drafted a first-round quarterback in Paxton Lynch, signed a veteran QB in Mark Sanchez and drafted a QB last year in the same class as Mannion named Trevor Siemian. The Broncos have since pushed the veteran to the curb, have their first-round pick on the bench and are starting Siemian who was picked four rounds after Mannion. It’s officially time for Mannion to play.
There were rumors during the training camp period that Mannion looked the best and could push Goff and Keenum for the job. Well the Rams gave him zero opportunity to win the job by playing him with third-string offensive lineman, never letting him start a preseason or regular season game and letting guys play over him that have already shown what they can do. Keenum is a priority backup QB that’s all we know right now.
This isn’t like a Brett Hundley or Aaron Rodgers type of situation when Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre and learned from a Hall of Fame QB and Hundley is ironically sitting behind Rodgers. No, this is a career backup QB that has little to no potential left starting over a QB we have no idea what he is capable of. Maybe the Rams are worried that Mannion plays really well and pushes them to start him over Goff and thus complicates their future.
Well first off, that’s a good problem to have. Two scenarios that would happen if Mannion came out and played great football would be this: Mannion becomes franchise QB and the Rams recoop picks for Jared Goff via trade or Jared Goff becomes franchise quarterback and Rams turn a third-round pick into maybe a second or multiple picks. So why not take that chance? If Mannion looks awful then you know and you can go back to Keenum until Goff is ready or better yet start Goff.
Bottom line is this, Fisher is on the hot seat after that horrible performance in front of the entire nation on Monday. His contract extension is out the window for now and he is coaching for his job. If he thinks Keenum is the best chance to win football games then he is wrong. L.A. fans didn’t wait 22 years to see Keenum under center and even though many may want Goff, it’s not like Shaun Hill is the one who is wearing number 14. With Mannion, you really just have no clue what you are getting and it could make for a Hollywood storybook ending or Hollywood nightmare but regardless Mannion needs to play sooner than later.