The former incumbent, a dropback signal-caller with a penchant to throwing the pass to the other team, has been traded to Detroit (along with a Olympiad’s worth of future draft choices) in exchange for Matthew Stafford.
So far, the switch has garnered cautious raves from almost everyone. Although he has never led a team to the Super Bowl, or even won a single playoff game, the line on him is that he’s a 32-year-old (mature, but with plenty of mileage left) near-star stuck with a below-average franchise in frigid Michigan.
His stats make for a very solid resume. He holds five NFL records – including most consecutive 350+ yard passing games (four) and most games with at least one touchdown pass in a season (16, in 2011).
He’s durable, having played all 16 regular season games starting in 2011. He’s thrown for 45,109 yards and 282 TDs. He did have a problem with interceptions earlier in his career, but has shown improvement in recent seasons.
Perhaps most important from a Rams’ offense perspective, he can run a bit, too. In 2016, for example, he rambled for 207 yards and averaged 5.6 yards a carry.
With luck, Stafford will make other players better, too. Cooper Kupp, the team’s top receiver, will benefit from a quarterback with better field vision, and Cam Akers, the team’s top rusher, will have more third and three situations to star in than third and 10.
He might make Coach Sean McVay better, too. As Kenneth Arthur of Turf Show Times wrote, “McVay must be losing sleep now because he’s up all night thinking about all the plays he can call now with Stafford at quarterback.”
To that way of thinking, Stafford might just be the dream quarterback the Rams have lacked.
FEWER GAMES, MORE DH? Major League Baseball is proposing to delay to opening of the 2021 season for a month, with “play ball” coming in May rather than April. Also proposed is shortening the season to 154 games – as it was before 1961 – and allowing the designated hitter for both leagues. Also, MLB wants to expand the playoff field to 14 teams. The coronavirus is the impetus for the proposed shorter and delayed season.
THE DANGERS OF PRACTICE: More college football players sustain concussions during practice sessions than in games, according to a medical study released Monday. According to The New York Times, 72 percent of concussions reviewed over five previous seasons occurred during practices.
ONE THING TO CHEER ABOUT: The CIF-SS announced Monday that it would allow the resumption of cross country competition at Southern California high schools, but was cancelling the Traditional Competitive Cheer Championships set for April 3, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Sports Monday” is written by Pete Zarustica.