The Detroit Lions are running it back behind Jared Goff, and the coaching staff continues to say they are content with the backup quarterback situation.
To kickoff the offseason, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes had this to say about the team's backup quarterback situation.
"Going into this past year, yeah, we went down to the umpteenth hour trying to figure out what we were gonna do at number two,” Holmes said. “I’ve let it be known internally that we’re not gonna be in that position again heading into this year, so we have to get that settled. I thought Nate Sudfeld did a nice job with us, so we’ll figure that out. But, I am gonna make it a point of emphasis and make sure that, being that we’re finally in a position to address that quarterback room behind Jared, we have been in that position in the past. But, we’re gonna make that a point of emphasis this year.”"
The Lions reportedly made a "strong contract offer" to Teddy Bridgewater, and it's not their fault the journeyman signal caller overvalues himself. But it appears to have somewhat been "Bridgewater or bust" to upgrade behind Jared Goff, as Nate Sudfeld was re-signed in March and there have been no other rumors or reports naming anyone else they were interested in.
So much for "emphasis" on the No. 2 quarterback spot. A 2023 season with high expectations will go down in disappointing metaphorical flames if Goff misses noticeable time. Holmes seemed to promise that would not happen due to purely running it back with Sudfeld.
Detroit Lions coaches continue to talk themselves into being content with backup quarterback situation
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson recently said he's comfortable with the Lions' backup quarterback situation. As if he'd say anything else.
After being signed very late last preseason, Sudfeld has had the benefit of time to learn the Lions' offense. Earlier this week, via Ben Raven of MLive, quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell talked about Sudfeld's improvement.
"He has gotten better as the spring has gone on. He has made some very good throws, very good decisions with the ball,” Lions quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell said. “And that’s the thing I’ve been most pleased with, Nate, is just with the growth even in this offseason. He’s a smart kid. He’s a hard worker. He knows our system, and he’s done very well for us.
“A year makes all the difference in the world ... Another year in the system. But it was a tough situation for him. He worked really hard when we got him last year. "
Head coach Dan Campbell also noted Sudfeld as one of the Lions' players who has been most-improved during OTAs, saying the Lions' No. 2 signal caller has had "a good spring." Reporters on-site at OTAs have backed up that sentiment.
But Sudfeld has not thrown a pass in a regular season game since 2020. Since coming into the league in 2016, he has made six regular season appearances with 37 pass attempts. He probably wouldn't be as overmatched as Tim Boyle was in place of Goff in 2021, but that's not saying much.
Crossing your fingers Goff does not get significantly injured is not a plan for a season in which you're the favorites to win the NFC North. And no matter what the pertinent coaches say, that's where the Lions are and they appear to be good with that.