Don't make too much of early OTA struggles for Jared Goff

Lions quarterback Jared Goff walks off the field after OTAs on Thursday, May 25, 2023, in Allen
Lions quarterback Jared Goff walks off the field after OTAs on Thursday, May 25, 2023, in Allen / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

It's easy to get concerned over anything that goes on during OTAs, but any early struggles Jared Goff has had should not be overblown.

The Detroit Lions started their full-team voluntary offseason work last week, and it will continue with three more days of work this week (May 31-June 2). Since the NFL calendar is not exactly full right now, it can be easy to overreact (positively or negatively) to any and everything that's said and reported coming out of a team's OTA sessions.

Now is the time to work out any kinks without consequence, so that even by the start of training camp things look better as the season nears. Learning a new system, getting on the same page with new players, etc. are things a quarterback might deal with during OTAs.

Lions quarterback Jared Goff is obviously not learning a new offense, but there are some new players to build rapport with. And in the case of Jameson Williams, Goff has his first significant opportunity to build chemistry with the young receiver.

Jared Goff's apparent struggles early in OTAs should not be overblown

The media was allowed to watch the Lions work during last Thursday's OTA practice. John Maakaron of made a list of "studs" and "duds" off of being present, with six studs and Goff as the lone dud.

Here's Maakaron's assessment of what he saw from Goff.

"The accuracy the veteran has become synonymous for was not on display. His passes, in fact, were routinely overthrown to receivers during both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

There were opportunities for deep plays to running back Jahmyr Gibbs and wideouts Jameson Williams and Josh Reynolds. But, the passes were overthrown, and did not have enough air underneath them to give the receiver an opportunity to pull down the reception. "

Yes, it's not ideal to see or hear about players struggling in OTAs, especially offensive players when there's no pads on and no hitting is allowed. Success in that casual setting should be easy, right?

But alas, Goff struggled when the media was able to watch and the residual evaluations followed. And in kind, it's then easy for fans to overreact to the reports. But even for those who are not firmly on the Goff bandwagon, perspective is important to maintain right now.

During OTAs, pure physical talent has a chance to really stand out. And even those who are big fans of Goff's can acknowledge he's not an outstanding physical talent (arm strength, etc.). So his struggles, while easy to be concerned over based on one day of close "on the ground" observations in the first week of OTAs, are simply not very consequential right now.

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