Over the weekend, CBS Sports reported part of the reasoning why Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell took over play-calling duties from Anthony Lynn was a rift between the offensive coordinator and quarterback Jared Goff.
“Lynn had a very difficult time connecting with starting quarterback Jared Goff, sources said, and that relationship never really clicked,” according to the CBS Sports report. “The overall structure of the passing game, and game-day tendencies with play-calling has quickly become an issue for the winless Lions as well.
“Lynn, a longtime running back assistant in the league and a head coach with the Chargers, was also having difficulty with elements of the run game as well, with differing opinions about blocking schemes and frustration over the usage of do-everything back D’Andre Swift, the sources said,” the CBS Sports report continued.
Campbell and Goff were each asked about the report Tuesday and both denied any friction in the relationship between Lynn and the QB.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Goff said. “We have a great relationship. Me and (Lynn) talk daily.”
Campbell called the relationship between the two, “Fine,” and said Lynn has handled the changes in his responsibilities well.
“It’s been good,” Campbell said. “No problem. Things flowed well.”
In Campbell’s first two games as play caller, the Lions have struggled with offensive balance, although there have been unexpected factors contributing to the team’s pass-game woes, including inclement conditions in both games, Goff’s oblique injury and backup Tim Boyle making his first career start after missing more than two months of practice time with a broken thumb.
The Lions’ ground game has vastly improved under Campbell’s play-calling direction.
The Lions ran for a season high 229 yards in a 16-16 tie with the Steelers and followed that up with 168 yards on 7.3 yards per carry against a stout Cleveland front this past Sunday.
Swift was particularly effective in both matchups, rushing for a new career-high in each game, including 136 yards on 14 carries against Cleveland.