Sean McVay Responds To Dan Campbell’s Comments That Jared Goff Is Better With Lions Than Rams
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams made the difficult decision prior to the 2021 season to part ways with their former No. 1 overall pick in Jared Goff. Sean McVay and the Rams agreed to send Goff to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford, who helped win them a Super Bowl in his first season with the team.

But in the meantime, Goff has been stellar with the Lions under head coach Dan Campbell. Goff’s 2022 season in Detroit was easily his best season since his Pro Bowl 2018 campaign, when the Rams lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

He had 29 touchdown passes, 4,438 yards and once again made the Pro Bowl while bringing the Lions to within one game of a surprise postseason appearance. The Lions now have renewed hope as a franchise thanks to the work of Goff.

Campbell asserted that Goff with the Lions is a better player than he was with the Rams, and that’s largely due to his mentality as a player, according to Eric Woodyard of ESPN:

“He hung in there, and I think what you’re seeing is a guy who just put his head down and worked on what he could, tried to improve on what he could, and now his confidence is really, it has grown, and along the way, he’s matured as a quarterback,” Campbell said. “I mean, he’s a better quarterback than he was there, in my opinion, because he can do more things. He’s mentally on it.

“We’ve come light-years ahead of where he was two years ago. He’s got a real good grasp of what we’re doing, where the issues are, where the problems are, and that’s something that we really wanted him to get good at and he wanted to get good at, and he’s worked at it, and he’s improved.”

“We ask him to do a lot more in my opinion than what [the Rams] were actually doing out there,” Campbell said. “They had a lot of pretty good pieces out there as well, as we know. Damn good defense. All those things, but I just feel like, I know from speaking with him and watching him really over the last two years, I just feel like … we put a lot of things on him where I’m not so sure that was ultimately what they were doing.”

Goff has certainly taken his game and his leadership to another level since joining the Lions. And McVay certainly agreed with Campbell’s take when asked about it.

“I think Jared’s played at a really high level,” McVay said. “I’ll tell you what though, when you watch what he did last year, he played great. And I think because he’s so conscientious, repetition is the mother of learning. The more you play, the more you learn. You can really see he’s able to get through progressions quickly. They were asking a lot of him. He got a lot of different guys involved, took great care of the football, and so I think he’s only gotten better.

“He played really good football here for us, really grateful for those things. But I was really impressed with just the way that he led and the way that he ended up demonstrating a lot of the things that we want to embody, that mental toughness. I think he was like 29-7 in terms of touchdowns, interceptions, one of the better ratios, and threw for a bunch of yards and they were one of the top offenses. I was really happy to see how well he did. I think that’s probably a fair assessment because he’s only getting better.”

Goff is undoubtedly a high-character player that can raise the floor of any franchise he plays for. He’s proving that by being a steady presence in Detroit after they took a chance on him in the Stafford deal when his value was at its lowest.

Now, the Lions are a legitimate postseason contender in 2023, and Goff figures to be at the helm for that next step.

Mike LaFleur enjoying working with Stafford

Meanwhile in L.A., Stafford is beginning work with the tam’s new offensive coordinator, Mike LaFleur. He spoke about the type of player Stafford is and how it’s been working with him thus far.

“Oh, it’s been awesome. He’s a great professional. You knew about him, not working with him, but obviously, talking with (Head Coach) Sean (McVay), knowing guys that worked with him in Detroit, you knew what kind of guy he was. He was almost undersold how good of a guy he is and how great of a teammate he is. Wants to be coached still at this age. He has so much knowledge. I always say these vets that have had so much experience and so much good work in this league, we can learn as much from them as they can learn from us. So it’s been a pleasure working with him and we’re just getting started with this thing.”