Jared Goff started six career playoff games during his five seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, helping his former club to a Super Bowl in 2018. With a new start in Detroit, following the blockbuster trade that shipped Matthew Stafford to L.A., Goff is excited about a new beginning but doesn't view the Lions as a team tanking for a restart.
"I don't see it as a rebuild at all," Goff said Friday in his introductory press conference.
The Lions have spent the offseason stripping down the roster, jettisoning many mistakes made by the previous administration.
Goff, who started his career on a bad Jeff Fisher Rams team, knows how quickly clubs can turn it around in the NFL. A lot of the Lions' success or failure this season will depend on the quarterback's play. Can Goff become a signal-caller who can raise all the talent around him, or is he the struggling QB who Sean McVay protected from sticky situations?
The Goff-Stafford trade, which included two first-rounders going from L.A. to Detroit, was widely viewed as the Rams acknowledging that Goff couldn't take them to the next level. They paid a steep price to get out from under the hefty contract.
Goff said he holds no ill-will towards the Rams and is ready for a fresh start "in a place that's having a fresh start."
It is notable that new Lions general manager Brad Holmes was part of the Rams front office who drafted Goff. Holmes noted Friday he expects Goff to be the club's starter in 2021.
"I was disappointed for two minutes," Goff said of the trade. "Then I spoke to these guys here, and it was a breath of fresh air."
Goff added that while he isn't peeved at being traded, it does give him some motivation.
"It builds a chip on your shoulder a little bit," he said. I won't lie, you do feel that a little bit of 'OK, let's see what we can do.'"
Goff now gets a chance to prove exactly what he can do in a team working from the ground up.
Of course, no Lions presser would be complete without an eyebrow-raising quote from new coach Dan Campbell. This one is about another former Ram, Michael Brockers.