Much of the narrative surrounding the Detroit Lions this offseason has been focused on the quarterback position. And for good reason. After all, the new regime in Motown traded away longtime starter Matthew Stafford and received a bounty of future draft selections in exchange.
But Detroit acquired a replacement passer in that trade with the Los Angeles Rams as well. Now, fifth-year quarterback Jared Goff is under center for the Motor City and the team’s immediate chances of success appear to be riding on his shoulders.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Goff comes to Detroit with an impressive résumé. One that includes leading the Rams to four straight winning seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in 2018. Last year, despite posting his lowest touchdown total (20) since his rookie season, Goff and the Los Angeles were still able to secure a spot in the playoffs for the third time in four years with a 10-6 record.
Many of the storylines currently surrounding Goff question whether he can replicate those results in Detroit without playing in an offensive scheme designed by Rams head coach Sean McVay. And that the 26-year old passer may find it difficult to replace the more highly-regarded Stafford.
But some of the Lions’ players themselves are excited to play alongside Goff and hope the change in scenery revitalizes his career. Here’s what fullback/linebacker Jason Cabinda told FanSided’s National NFL Insider, Matt Lombardo, on a recent episode of The Matt Lombardo Show Podcast about what he’s seen from the Motor City’s newest passer …
"“I’m really excited bout Jared. Some guys in this league really just need a new setting. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get your career back going. The potential is obviously there, he was one of those first guys with a $100-plus million contract, he was a No. 1 pick, the talent’s there, he has all the tools, it’s just a matter of getting all the pieces together, getting to know this offense, and I can tell he’s starting to reach another level of leadership, taking control of that offense and doing those things. It’s really nice to see.”"
There are a lot of moving parts in Detroit following a complete regime swap this offseason. There’s a new front office, coaching staff, and several new faces on the roster. But Jared Goff will clearly be the most impactful change in 2021. If the Lions are going to find redemption this upcoming season, it all has to come together very quickly this summer. And it starts under center.