DANNY ONEIL

Seahawks’ Person of Interest: Rams QB Case Keenum

Sep 15, 2016, 9:12 AM
Case Keenum went 3-2 as the Rams' starter last year, including a win over the Seahawks in Seattle. ...
Case Keenum went 3-2 as the Rams' starter last year, including a win over the Seahawks in Seattle. (AP)
(AP)

Vitals

Position: Quarterback spaceholder, Week 1 whipping boy
Height: 6-1
Weight: 205
Age: 28
Experience: Fifth season

The storyline

He was unspeakably awful in the Rams’ season-opening loss at San Francisco. It wasn’t just that he was 17-for-35 passing for the second-lowest completion percentage for any NFL quarterback in Week 1. It wasn’t just the pair of Keenum’s passes that were picked off.

It was how absolutely and utterly neutered the Rams’ passing offense was. The Rams averaged 3.7 yards per attempt. They had only two completions of more than 20 yards, and one of those was a 22-yard gain that included 11 yards after the catch.

It was such a poor showing that it was impossible not to wonder what in the world the Rams were thinking. Could Jared Goff – the No. 1 overall pick who was inactive for the game – really be worse? And if he would be worse, why in the world did the Rams not only choose him first in the draft, but trade up for the right to do so?

But let’s pause for a little bit of perspective.

Keenum does have a bit of experience. He was 3-2 as the Rams’ starter last season, including a victory in Seattle in December.

“He did a lot of good things last year,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We saw him be very successful against us in particular and other teams, too. They just had a really hard start the other night. That didn’t look at all like the kind of play that we played against, and we don’t expect that to be what we see. We think he’s really an experienced guy that knows what he’s doing, knows where to go with the football.”

The statement

For all the success that Keenum did have against the Seahawks last year, it’s worth pointing out he did pass for only 103 yards in Seattle. There was only one completion of more than 20 yards, and the Rams’ third-longest play from scrimmage that game was a 19-yard scramble by Keenum.

A buttoned-down offensive approach like that makes it even more important for Seattle’s defense to stay true to its design, said cornerback Richard Sherman.

“We’ve just got to stay disciplined,” Sherman said. “We’ve got to do our jobs. We’ve got to execute. It doesn’t matter what they do offensively. If we execute our game plan and we stay disciplined, we should be fine. If we get out of our gaps, and we don’t play a sound football game, then we struggle.”

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