‘A taste of John Wolford’ ruined Goff-McVay relationship

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Matthew Stafford wasn’t the only quarterback responsible for Jared Goff being exiled from the Rams.

An undrafted former Jet who gave up a chance to work on Wall Street and made his first pro starts in the Alliance of American Football also played a part, according to an ESPN report detailing how the union between Goff and Rams coach Sean McVay slowly dissolved over the two seasons since reaching the Super Bowl and the quarterback signing a four-year, $134 million contract.

After the Rams lost to the winless Jets in Week 15 and then to the Seahawks a week later last season, Goff sat for John Wolford to play with a playoff spot up for grabs. The Rams won with Wolford, who started the playoff game but was replaced by Goff after suffering a neck injury.

In January, the Rams traded Goff and multiple draft picks for Stafford, who is expected to be their starter moving forward.

“The worst thing for Jared,” a team source told ESPN, “is that [McVay] got a taste of John Wolford.”

The hyper-vigilant McVay saw a kindred spirit in the first-to-arrive, last-to-leave Wolford, the 25-year-old who appeared in a 2018 preseason game for the Jets before being cut.

“He’s addicted like McVay,” a team source said in the report.

Jared Goff, Sean McVay and John Wolford.
Jared Goff, Sean McVay and John Wolford.
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ESPN reported that McVay, fed up with Goff’s inconsistency and turnovers, wanted to change quarterbacks sooner but didn’t have the guts to do it because of Goff’s contract.

Goff had four quarterback coaches in four seasons and ultimately struggled under the head coach’s tough approach. It is similar to what happened with the Eagles and Carson Wentz, another highly drafted franchise quarterback, who was benched for poor play this past season and eventually was traded to the Colts in February.

Goff’s California cool mentality also led to some blow-ups with the stern McVay behind the scenes, the report said. McVay is considered an offensive innovator, but the Rams were being led by their defense and losing games for not scoring enough points.

“Sean lost touch with how much he was breaking Jared down, but there’s got to be the build back up,” a league source  said in the report. “[McVay] was either unaware or disinterested in protecting Jared’s confidence.”

The Rams started Goff in a playoff loss to the Packers because Wolford was still recovering from his neck injury.

“When we found out John couldn’t go,” a team source said in the report, “we felt defeated.”

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