Rams QBs have their moments in preseason opener
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) Sean Mannion became the answer to an obscure trivia question for Rams on Saturday.
Case Keenum started the preseason game, Jared Goff represents the future of the franchise, but it was the second-year quarterback from Oregon State who threw three touchdowns in the second half to rally the Rams for their first win back in Los Angeles.
''It was just fun being out there,'' Mannion said Monday. ''It was a credit really to the whole team.''
Coach Jeff Fisher was happy to see all three quarterbacks have their moments after the Rams ranked last in the NFL in yards passing per game, yards per attempt, and touchdown passes last season.
''I know all your attention is on Jared, but Case played good and so did Sean,'' Fisher said.
''That room has gotten better. I'm happy with that right now, and now it's just a matter of Case leading this football team, Sean positioning himself to come in and backup if need be, and then Jared just pushing himself to where he eventually becomes that guy for us.''
Mannion was 18 of 25 for 147 yards, finding running back Aaron Green for a 9-yard touchdown with 1:54 left in the fourth quarter.
Apart from an interception on the first play of the fourth quarter, Mannion was pleased with his performance against the Cowboys.
''You can always play faster,'' Mannion said. ''Everyone always talks about the speed of the game and I definitely felt much more comfortable in this preseason than I did as a rookie last year.''
Goff learned that lesson on his first series, as the rookie took too much time and allowed a pass rusher to get into the backfield. Goff was hit as he threw, resulting in an easy interception.
Though he responded with a nice drive on his subsequent possession, that learning curve is what could make Mannion's continued development a valuable asset for the Rams.
If Mannion can become a reliable No. 2 quarterback behind Keenum, that would free up Goff to learn from the bench this season without the pressure of being one play away from entering the game.
That is exactly why there is no formal timeline to push Goff into action, Fisher said.
''We have a plan, and that plan is basically all around being patient,'' Fisher said. ''It's unfair to Jared and to Case and to Sean to say, `OK, here's the date.' They are having fun, they are learning when you take the pressure off `em and be patient. I think after Week 1 we can basically say that all three of them have gotten better. Now we just want to see them improve.''
Goff is expected to see some reps with the starters against the Chiefs this week, Fisher said Sunday.
After leaving the game against the Cowboys at halftime with a sore non-throwing shoulder, the No. 1 overall draft pick practiced on Monday.
Goff will have to speed up again against the Chiefs, as Fisher's early scouting identified a powerful pass rush that will test the California alum.
''They are coming,'' Fisher said. ''Ball's got to come out.''
The focus is already back on Goff after Mannion led the rally, which doesn't bother him at all.
''I just want to come out here and play my best football,'' Mannion said. ''I don't worry about anything else.''
NOTES: The Rams placed safety Brian Randolph on the waived/injured list Monday and signed safety Michael Caputo, an undrafted free agent from Wisconsin. An undrafted free agent from Tennessee, Randolph tore his ACL against the Cowboys. ... Wide receiver Nelson Spruce is expected to miss 1 to 2 weeks with a sprained knee. Spruce, an undrafted free agent from Colorado, led the Rams with six receptions for 51 yards and caught a touchdown Saturday.
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