Jared Goff‘s return to Los Angeles was always going to be awkward, but remembering how he left the Rams last off season adds an extra tinge of drama.
Following his trade to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford, Goff claimed the Rams had essentially blindsided him with the move, with no advance warning from head coach Sean McVay or general manager Les Snead. There had been speculation the Rams could make a change at quarterback, but little concrete news.
McVay didn’t have much to say about Goff at the time, but the coach conceded to reporters this weekend that his team could have handled the situation with Goff better.
From ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry:
“Yes, I wish there was better, clearer communication,” McVay said Monday. “To say that it was perfectly handled on my end, I wouldn’t be totally accurate in that. I’ll never claim to be perfect, but I will try to learn from some things that I can do better, and I think that was one of them without a doubt.”
“You don’t want to catch guys off guard … It came together a lot faster than anybody anticipated, but yeah, of course I think that any time that tough decisions and things like that where people are affected, you always want to be as understanding, as empathetic as possible, think about it through the other person’s lens and there’s certainly things that I know I would do it a little bit differently if — when those situations arise in the future.”
The Rams might have mishandled telling Goff, but there is probably little regret about the move itself so far.
Snead and McVay paid up big for Stafford, sending Goff (and his large contract) plus two first-round picks and a third rounder, and have been rewarded with a 5-1 record through Week 6. Stafford has so far thrown for 1,838 passing yards, a 69.5 completion percentage, 9.2 yards per attempt and 16 touchdowns against four interceptions.
Meanwhile, Goff and the Lions are now the only winless team in football, and head coach Dan Campbell is openly calling for Goff to improve his play. His 6.3 yards per attempt ranks lowest among NFL QBs with at least 160 pass attempts.
Goff might not have been the answer for the Rams in the end, but he did play for the team for five years and helped get them to a Super Bowl. McVay seemed to hope that will mean a warm reception for Goff:
“I think he’ll be received well,” McVay said. “I think the L.A. fans and I think the Rams fans know what a great job he had done and how much — I think how much he meant to the Rams organization both as a football player and also the community.”
Sunday’s Lions-Rams game is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT.