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Meet the veteran at center of Rams' high-scoring attack

Lindsey Thiry, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Football

LOS ANGELES--Jared Goff likes to run the up-tempo, no-huddle offense not only because it yields results, but also for the laughs it consistently provides the Los Angeles Rams' quarterback at center John Sullivan's expense.

"When he hears me going, 'Hey! We're going no-huddle, here we go!'" Goff says, "He'll ... "

Goff stops talking and makes a noise that sounds equal parts sigh and angry grunt.

"He's slow, he's a center, he's not supposed to be fast," Goff says, chuckling. "But there are probably a handful of plays when he does have to get out and run and those are always fun to watch."

Goff, 23, and the 32-year-old Sullivan are the starting points for one of the NFL's highest-scoring and most entertaining offenses. The Rams, under first-year coach Sean McVay, are averaging 30.1 points a game, tying them with the Philadelphia Eagles for first in the NFL.

The NFC West-leading Rams play host to the NFC East-leading Eagles on Sunday at the Coliseum.

 

Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, and Sullivan, a nine-year pro who was signed in April as a free agent, quickly developed a rapport and chemistry. "We get along really well," Sullivan says.

The Rams signed the 6-foot-4, 310-pound Sullivan to help protect Goff, who was sacked 26 times in seven games as a rookie.

Sullivan played at Notre Dame and developed into one of the NFL's most reliable players at his position during seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. During the 2015 preseason, he suffered a back injury that required two surgeries and sidelined him for the regular season. In 2016 he signed with Washington and played for McVay, who was the Redskins' offensive coordinator.

McVay, hired by the Rams in January, pursued Sullivan knowing he could assist in developing a young quarterback.

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