If you believe Keyshawn Johnson, then Rams head coach Jeff Fisher was forced to take Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. If you believe NFL analyst Mike Silver, however, that claim is entirely untrue.
“My source – in February, in March, in April, now – is the same source on this. The source is Jeff Fisher,” Silver said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Jeff Fisher really, really, really wanted to draft Jared Goff. That was his guy. So let’s put that one to rest first of all. Secondly, I think the larger point is that there’s this hysteria going on because Jared Goff is not in uniform and did not play in the first game. I take issue with that whole premise as well. We’re living in a time – beginning with ’08 and Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco – where things have changed dramatically from prior NFL history and now you are seeing a lot of top quarterback picks playing right away. Some, including the two I mentioned, have had surprising success, and others have not. And yet, we certainly have guys in the league – Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer – who sat and watched as top picks and it turned out to be a great pick for them.
“So I reject the premise that if you draft a guy high, it’s the best thing long-term for that quarterback and for your franchise to play them right away,” Silver continued. “I know Jeff Fisher and have known him for more than a quarter century, and I know what his philosophy is. He believes – and this is the philosophy founded on the experience with Steve McNair, who was brought along slowly and had an awesome career, and others – he believes it’s better to have these guys absorb it, take a look, get thrown in in practice a little bit and then eventually be worked into the lineup. He’s doing what he believes is best for Jared Goff and for the long-term interest of the franchise, even as it possibly quarrels with what would be best for Jeff Fisher right now – because he certainly is under pressure to produce in his first year in L.A.”
Fisher, who hasn’t finished with a winning record since 2008, desperately needs to do so in 2016. Finishing 7-9 – which he has done in three of the last four years – isn’t going to cut it.
Gottlieb wondered how long Goff will sit – especially after what happened Monday night, when the Rams were shut out by the 49ers, 28-0, with Case Keenum under center.
“I think ideally (Goff) might not play all year, if Jeff Fisher were doing what he philosophically believes is best,” Silver said. “Now we all saw that atrocity on Monday night. If it keeps looking like that for much longer, I don’t know that they’re going to have a choice.”
The Rams (0-1) host the Seahawks (1-0) this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.