NFC Notes: Jared Goff, David Bakhtiari, Lions, Packers, Vikings

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Lions

Lions QB Jared Goff said he’s not feeling any added pressure on him going into 2023 and thinks every quarterback should carry a “make-or-break” mentality. 

“Not any more than I’ve experienced in my past,” Goff said, via Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN. “People have been like, ‘Oh, it’s a make-or-break year for you’ for it seems like half of my career at this point. I don’t know what that means, make or break. But why wouldn’t every quarterback be in a make-or-break year? It seems like every guy should have that mentality. That’s why I think it’s a good thing for me. It keeps me on my toes.”

Goff thinks being traded from the Rams to Detroit “flipped the switch” for him mentally. 

“I’m trying to word this without saying anything bad about anyone,” Goff said. “I think anytime you’re traded, a team is basically telling you, ‘We don’t believe in you; we’re done with you.’ You’re no longer 16 years old playing this game anymore. These people are making business decisions based on you. And I think that flipped the switch for me to say, ‘OK, I can do the same thing, and I don’t need 32 teams to believe in me. I need one, and the other 31 can kick rocks.”

Goff admits he had a difficult time after being traded from Los Angeles in 2021. 

“It was hard, and I didn’t tell anyone how hard it was,” Goff said. “I think it took me until now, this offseason, to realize how hard that was because it was just like I put my head down and worked, blocked everything out and just tried to get better every day. I was fine in the moment, and then you look back and you’re, man, that was a tough time, that was tough work because now you’re on the other side of it in some ways.”

Packers

  • Packers OT David Bakhtiari said he’d still be able to play without a lot of practice time: “Practice is important, but not everybody needs practice. That’s about as clean as I can give it. Still probably gonna get fined for that,” per Matt Schneidman. 
  • Packers RB AJ Dillon isn’t concerned about the team’s prior interest in acquiring Colts RB Jonathan Taylor: “I don’t know necessarily what the truth to that is…but all that outside stuff, that doesn’t bother me. I’m here right now. I’m suiting up. I’m wearing 28 for the Green Bay Packers, so I’m fired up to get it going Week 1.” (Matt Schneidman)

Vikings

  • Vikings DC Brian Flores expects LB Brian Asamoah to get the majority of time alongside Jordan Hicks but also wants to get rookie LB Ivan Pace Jr. “some snaps” in Week 1, per Andrew Krammer. 
  • Vikings WR Justin Jefferson, who has two years left on his contract, said he’s hopeful to get a deal done but isn’t sure when it will be finalized and is letter his agent handle the situation, via Kevin Seifert. 
  • As for being voted the Vikings’ team captain, Jefferson said he must continue being a professional and prevent distractions from taking hold: “Really just being a more professional player, knowing how to manage my time, manage the deals… Being here for my teammates, not letting contract talks get in the way.” (Krammer)

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