Lions head coach Dan Campbell offered up an interesting statement during his press conference to open Detroit’s minicamp this week. Speaking about quarterback Jared Goff, Campbell said,
“I mean he is a better quarterback than he was (in Los Angeles), in my opinion. Because he can do more things. He is mentally on it.”
Goff took the Rams to a Super Bowl and experienced several successful seasons in Los Angeles before being unceremoniously traded to Detroit as part of the package for Matthew Stafford. After a rocky first season with the Lions at the beginning of a massive rebuild, Goff perked up in 2022 with an impressive year. He smartly avoided turnovers while effectively distributing the ball to several different weapons in Ben Johnson’s aggressive, complex offense.
After practice on Tuesday, Goff was asked if he agreed with his head coach. I he a better quarterback now than he was in Los Angeles?
“Yeah, I think so. I think as you get older and get more mature in the league that happens, and I’d certainly say so. I think I said that a handful of times last year that I thought I was playing the best football of my career and plan on continuing to do that.”
The statistics largely confirm that Goff was at least as good in Detroit in 2022 as he was in his Pro Bowl seasons with the Rams back in 2017 and 2018. He had the best TD-to-INT ratio of his career (29-7), authored three fourth-quarter comebacks and was the league’s No. 7 passer in QB Rating at 99.3.
But the stats don’t tell the full story. Goff has also emerged as a stronger leader, as well as more involved in calling out the offensive line protections.
“I like knowing what’s going on obviously on everything and being able to take control of that is super important,” Goff said of taking more ownership of the line calls. That’s not something he was tasked with in Los Angeles.
The key for Goff is to keep building upon his strong 2022. If he does, this talented Lions team around him could find similar postseason success to what he tasted in Los Angeles.