Detroit Lions have given Jared Goff ownership of offense. We’ll know soon if he’s ‘the guy’

Detroit Free Press

Jared Goff took the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl running Sean McVay’s offense, then crashed and burned badly enough that two years later he was shipped out of town.

Given a clean slate and the chance to resurrect his career with the Detroit Lions, Goff is saddling up a new offense this spring, one that theoretically should help him sustain success because it’s one he helped design.

Adam Dedeaux, Goff’s personal quarterback coach, first told me about Goff’s role in formulating the playbook in March, after the Lions acquired Goff in a mega trade for Matthew Stafford and three draft picks.

“They’ve already told him, ‘We want your input,'” Dedeaux said. “I think in Detroit he’s going to have an opportunity, like I said, to really take ownership, understand what he does well, have input and have a positive influence on everybody in that building.”

GOOD DAY FOR THE DEFENSE: Lions minicamp observations: Defense outshines Jared Goff, offense

In L.A., Goff ran an offense that relied heavily on the play-action passing game. He had his back turned to the defense as much as any quarterback in the NFL, and his success mirrored that of the Rams’ running game.

When Todd Gurley was healthy and punching holes in opposing defenses, the Rams had one of the best passing attacks in the league. When Gurley’s health deteriorated, so did Goff’s play.

Dedeaux said in March that Goff was “excited for the opportunity to get a little bit back into that drop-back pass game” that he played in, in college. The No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft, Goff ran a spread offense at Cal, where he played primarily out of the shotgun and was able to see defensive schemes develop before his eyes.

Early indications are that the Lions’ new offense under Anthony Lynn, while still incorporating plenty of play-action, is being built with Goff’s strengths in mind.

Goff did not get into details about the offense on Day 1 of minicamp Tuesday, but he couldn’t hide his excitement about the Lions’ playbook or the ownership stake he has in it.

“Dan (Campbell) and A-Lynn have really empowered me to kind of, what do I want? What do I like? How do I want to see it? How do we want to do things?” And are constantly bouncing things off me and I’m constantly bouncing things off them,” Goff said. “And I think that’s been a healthy relationship and something that’s been fun for me to experience and be a part of, guys that are really wanting to hear from me and wanting to hear what I like.”

Goff insisted his comments were not a thinly-veiled shot at McVay, though he twice declined to say how empowered he felt by his old coach and the Rams playbook.

“I don’t want this to turn into I’m saying this in regards to anything that’s happened in my past,” Goff said. “It’s just been — it’s been fun to be a part of that, I think, And there were times where it was like that in the past, and there were times where it wasn’t like that in the past. It’s a little bit of both, but for this to start off on that foot I think is the best thing I can say.”

The Lions are banking on their partnership with Goff paying dividends this fall, while leaving themselves enough flexibility to change course if it doesn’t.

They passed on two well thought of quarterback prospects with the No. 7 pick of the draft and invested minimally in their receiving corps this offseason, letting Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones walk in free agency, signing the oft-injured Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman as replacements, and waiting until the fourth round to address the position in the draft.

Goff has reciprocated by making the Lions’ offensive success in 2021 a personal endeavor. Already, he has had multiple throwing sessions with his receivers in California and he said he likely will have at least one more before the start of training camp.

On Tuesday, Goff spent time talking with tight end T.J. Hockenson between plays, and at one point, after a poor throw in a passing goal line passing drill, waved off backup quarterback David Blough so he could take extra reps with his receivers.

MOTOWN REBOUND: What went wrong with Jared Goff in L.A., and why new Lions QB can get right in Detroit

“I think as the quarterback you always kind of have to be that leader, but anytime it’s a new system it’s even more so,” Goff said. “These guys are going to have a lot of questions. The more times I can have the answers for them, the more they’re going to trust me and the better ownership I’ll have of everything and it just snowballs into each other.”

Campbell said he wants Goff to feel comfortable in the offense “because I think if you do that and you feel like he can handle it, he really does gain a lot more ownership into it and the guys will feel that.”

“I don’t want to just put him in a box and say, ‘No, no, no. This is who you are. You have to stay in this confinement and you cannot deviate out of this box whatsoever,'” Campbell said. “I want him to be able to come out of that box at times. You’ve got things that you feel like you can do, you can handle, we can handle as a team, then we’ll put on him whatever we feel like we can put on him because I think that will help him grow and become better as our field general.”

Whether Goff ever truly felt like that running McVay’s offense in L.A., only he knows.

Whether he can truly be that or not, the Lions and everyone else are about to find out.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

Articles You May Like

Under the Helmet Trailer | Season 4
Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Draft watch: Five prospects to watch for Week 5
Fantasy Football Week 4 preview: Lions-Seahawks bold player predictions
‘Sunday Night Football’ open thread: 49ers at Broncos
Report: Former Lions RB Godwin Igwebuike signing to Seahawks practice squad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.