Lions HC Dan Campbell explains the plan for former Vols QB Hendon Hooker after Jared Goff’s contract extension

Yardbarker

Earlier this offseason, the Detroit Lions signed quarterback Jared Goff to a four-year extension worth over $200 million. 

The deal means that former Tennessee Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker, a third round selection by the Lions in the 2023 NFL Draft, will likely serve in a backup role for the next three seasons (barring a trade or an injury to Goff) before hitting free agency at age 29. 

Not exactly ideal for Hooker. 

On Thursday, Detroit head coach Dan Campbell met with reporters and he detailed the plan for Hooker this summer. 

Campbell is hoping that Hooker can develop into the primary backup to Goff by the end of the summer. 

“Yeah, really he (Hooker) just needs to take a step up,” said Campbell (via SI.com). “We need to feel like, by the end of camp, this guy, he can run this offense. He can be somebody we know that, man, we can play the game a certain way with him, we know he’s gonna be able to process the information, he’s gonna get us in the right play and he’s gonna keep the ship afloat. That’s it. We don’t need him to come in and win a game, you just want to feel like, alright.”

“So obviously, he’s gonna need to take another step up,” added Campbell. “The good news, right now, is he’s getting a ton of reps.”

Hooker didn’t play as a rookie last season while recovering from the torn ACL he suffered at Tennessee in late 2022. 

It sounds like the former Vol is going to have to continue to stay ready and prepare as if he’s the starter while waiting on an opportunity. 

The good news for Hooker, though, is that an opportunity will likely present itself at some point (but who knows when). The North Carolina native just has to be ready to take full advantage of that opportunity when it comes around — you never know how many chances you’ll get to prove yourself in the NFL. 

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