Dan Campbell says Jared Goff is a better quarterback in Detroit than he was with the Rams

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

During his press conference to kick off minicamp, Lions head coach Dan Campbell discussed Jared Goff's performance and improvement from two years ago.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell opened mandatory minicamp with a press conference on Tuesday. He talked about quarterback Jared Goff, especially his progress over the last couple years. Campbell even offered a headline-making comment.

"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," "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."

Dan Campbell

Campbell's reference to "there" of course means the Los Angeles Rams, where Goff spent his first five NFL seasons after being drafted No. 1 overalll in 2016. It's also clear he fell out of favor with Rams' head coach Sean McVay over time, leading to the trade with the Lions in 2021 that sent Matthew Stafford to L.A while bringing Goff (and draft picks) to Detroit.

Jared Goff has grown and matured over his time with the Lions

Goff had a rocky start in Detroit. In his 14 starts in 2021, the team went 3-10-1. He finished the season with 3,245 yards passing with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Last season Goff led Detroit to their first winning season since 2017, going 9-8 after starting 1-6. His stats improved to 4,438 passing yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. 

Goff has worked hard to improve his performance, and he has been allowed to take more ownership as the Lions quarterback. His progress is the result of a strongpartnership with offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, who has focused on using Goff's strengths in the team's strategy. It's fair to say McVay didn't ask for much of Goff's input into strategy and play-calling, albeit when both were younger and with fewer lessons learned from experience.

Goff and Johnson seem to communicate regularly, and both can be better in their jobs due to that. Goff's leadership will be crucial in 2023 as new skill position players are integrated into Johnson's system.

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