Sean McVay: Jared Goff deserved better than the way I handled his departure

Lions quarterback Jared Goff says he has a chip on his shoulder toward his former team, the Rams, as he prepares to face them in Sunday night's playoff game. Rams coach Sean McVay says Goff is justified in feeling that way.

McVay said that he wishes he had conveyed to Goff the gratitude he had for the four years they spent together before trading Goff to Detroit.

"Could it have been handled better on my end? Absolutely," McVay said. "I'll never run away from that. But the further you get away from it the more you try to grow as a person, as a man, as a leader. He deserved better than the way that it all went down. I'll acknowledge that. And I think he knows that too. And I'm not afraid to admit to those things, but I think we're all better being able to look back on those things. And I do have more appreciation for him as time goes on."

McVay said he is impressed with how Goff has grown as a quarterback since going to Detroit.

"He's done a great job for them. They're one of the top offenses the last couple years," McVay said.

The trade of Goff and two first-round picks to the Lions for Matthew Stafford already looks like a win-win: The Rams won a Super Bowl with Stafford, and this year Goff led the Lions to a better season than Stafford ever had in Detroit. It would be overly simplistic to declare the winner of Sunday's game the real winner of the trade, but everyone involved may feel some extra motivation because of their personal history.