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Case Keenum not yielding Rams' starting job to rookie Jared Goff

IRVINE, Calif. -- Case Keenum knows what you’re thinking. He knows what everyone is thinking.

That he’s the temporary stand-in as the Los Angeles Rams' quarterback before the starting spot is handed over to No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff. That he’s this adequate player who can hold down the position until the Golden Boy is ready to ascend the throne.

“I know what people are saying, but there are only a few opinions that really matter,” Keenum said. “Mine is one and the coaches' are one.”

Keenum has nothing against Goff. He likes him. He’s just not ready to hand over the starting position he only seized the last final five games of 2015. He is not ready to wave the white flag, but rather to compete.

“I’m putting up blinders, man,” he said. “I’m not worried about anything. I’m in a great spot for myself. Whatever happens is going to happen. I understand other people have to do their jobs, but I’m going to go and do my job.”

Keenum has done nothing in camp to surrender his starting spot. He continues to take all reps with the starting offense. He clearly acts like the man in charge. His passing has been sharp and his experience obvious.

If Goff’s ascension seems inevitable, Keenum is not ready to hand it over. Goff is going to have to grasp it. And 10 days into camp, Keenum’s play is making that difficult.

“He’s very athletic,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “He can run around and make plays. He knows what to do. He knows where to go with it.

“And he’s great in the huddle. If there’s a negative play, he’s put it behind him before he calls the next play in the huddle. He’s a very positive influence on the offense.”

Keenum, 28, has looked and practiced like a starting quarterback. His play has appeared right on point.

“I don’t know if I’m ever going to tell you I’m right on point,” he said. “There’s always a little bit better I can be, more accurate I can be, better decisions to be made.

“Today I didn’t feel great about how we operated on offense, specifically myself. But I feel like camp has been really good. I feel like offensively we’ve really done some good things and we’ve learned and we’ve grown, which is exciting to see.”

Still, the fans chant Goff’s name, respond to his every completion, anoint him before he’s taken a single NFL snap.

Keenum keeps the blinders on tightly and takes comfort that so much of the media scrutiny falls on Goff and not himself.

“This is the first time all camp I’ve talked to you guys,” he said. “It’s great. I get to go in and take care of my arm and some other things. I mean, Jared has people all over him.

“That’s fine, it is what it is. I understand. I’m not sensitive. I have thick skin. I’m going to be who I am no matter what.”

And right now, that’s the Rams’ starting quarterback.