LOS ANGELES – Since he got on the NFL’s radar, Jared Goff has come off as a humble, hard-working quarterback and he brought that persona for his first in-person press conference with the Rams in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon.
Asked if he expects to be a starting quarterback, Goff reiterated what he said many different ways the day before, when he the Rams selected him using their No. 1 pick.
“Again, I’m just going to come in and work as hard as I can,” the product of Cal football said. “Let the coaches make that decision.”
Goff was introduced at the Courtyard Los Angeles L.A. LIVE hotel holding his new Rams jersey with his choice No. 16, the same number he wore at Cal and the same number his Bay Area football idol Joe Montana wore.
Sitting in between Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead, Goff already looked the part, dressed in a blue suit and tie.
“It feels like home,” Goff said. “I landed back in California, southern California.”
The new Rams player, a native of Novato in northern California, said being drafted by the Rams was “absolutely a huge dream come true.”
“It’s something you can’t really put in words,” he said. “The phone call last night is something I’ll remember forever.”
He admitted that he hadn’t had much sleep since he was drafted less than 24 hours earlier in Chicago.
“After today, I’m obviously going to fly back home, decompress a little. Get some sleep and start getting ready,” he said.
There are plenty of people who will be waiting for him when he comes back.
Goff said Rams running back Todd Gurley II texted to congratulate him and say he was happy they would be teammates.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig on Friday morning wrote on Twitter: “@JaredGoff16 Big hug, Welcome to LA, I show you around, be my guest to @Dodgers game #PuigYourFriend #PuigNotLate.”
It was a joke of sorts, a reply to a tweet that Goff, a known San Francisco Giants fan, tweeted on July 29, 2013: “I really hope Yasiel Puig gets a fastball in his ribs tomorrow.”
During the press conference, Goff said he would indeed take Puig up on the offer.
The men on either end of Goff again expressed their delight with their draft pick.
“A lot of times, you say, ‘We’d love to get that guy,’ but you can’t. It just happened that in 2016 Jared made himself eligible for the draft and the Tennessee Titans were picking No. 1,” and the Rams were able to trade, Snead said. “We had identified Jared as the one we wanted. And you know what? It worked out even if it took eight minutes. It worked out.”
Fisher said he doesn’t like to make quarterback comparisons because each candidate has a different skills set, but, “We did have Jared as our first.”
There will be orientation for the rookie, and the enthusiasm and excitement that comes with being in Los Angeles, but “our focus is football,” Fisher said. “That’s what we do, why we’re here.”
Goff passed for 4,714 yards and 43 touchdowns during his final season at Cal, and was selected over North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday.
The Rams and fans have high expectations for Goff, as he does for himself. But Goff hasn’t yet set an exact bar for what he would consider a successful rookie season.
“I’m just going to go in and work hard,” he said. “Just go in and make myself respected.”
Jessica is a Los Angeles native who grew up speaking Spanish, Cantonese, and English in that order. Journalism has taken her across Northern and Southern California, Texas and Latin America, to English and Spanish-language publications. She has spent most of her career as a news reporter at major daily newspapers in the U.S., and also worked as a sports writer and producer for Time Warner Cable Sports covering the Los Angeles Lakers. The 2015 NBA Finals, 2014 World Series, NHL playoffs, and the final NFL game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco are some of the big sports events she’s reported on. Jessica graduated from UC Berkeley with a double-major in Comparative Literature in English and Spanish, and Mass Communications. When she’s not working, she loves to travel.