For a quarterback who just threw for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns while leading his team to the Super Bowl, Jared Goff certainly catches a lot of flak, as some questioned this offseason whether or not he is the Los Angeles Rams’ quarterback of the future.

Still, even though people may be a bit hard on Goff given how productive he has been so early in his NFL career, there are areas in which he can improve.

So, what just what does Goff need to do in order to take the next step in 2019?

Jared Goff, Rams

Well, the main thing Goff has to do better is read defenses at the line of scrimmage.

This is the one area in which he has been most heavily criticized since entering the league, and it’s also an area in which he has not improved all that much since his rookie campaign in 2016.

As a matter of fact, it’s head coach Sean McVay who had to do most of the reading and then relays that information to Goff via headset before the snap.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with a coach helping his quarterback out. All NFL coaches do. When it becomes a problem is when the quarterback becomes too reliant on his coach and can’t read defenses independently, which is where Goff has struggled.

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And even though the Rams made it all the way to the Super Bowl this past season, it wasn’t really because of Goff, who threw for 712 yards, a touchdown and a couple of interceptions while completing just 55.7 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 71.7 in three playoff games.

Now, you can argue that that is a small sample size, and that’s true, but Goff also did not play all that well during the second half of the season, and quarterbacks build their legend in the playoffs, small sample size or not.

Maybe Goff was just in a slump, but it’s also possible that his less-than-stellar ability to identify different defensive formations at the line of scrimmage and his questionable decision-making ability, in general, is becoming more pronounced as defenses learn him more.

Jared Goff, Rams

As a matter of fact, half of Goff’s 12 picks on the season came between Weeks 12 and 14, an indication of just how poorly Goff had played down the stretch. In addition, between Weeks 12 and 16, Goff threw just six touchdown passes.

It’s entirely possible that Goff simply lost some of his confidence and needed a full offseason to right himself, but there is no denying that there is at least a slight cause for concern based on how the 24-year-old looked during the latter half of 2018 and how brutally lost he looked against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl when he completed just 19 of his 38 passes for 229 yards and a pick.

This isn’t to say that Goff can’t still become a great quarterback. After all, the kid already has a couple of Pro Bowl appearances under his belt, and he took Los Angeles to the Super Bowl in his second full season as the starter.

But there is also no question that Goff has to improve at reading defenses and making adjustments.