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Dan Campbell: Jared Goff is a better QB now than he was with the Rams

Chris Simms tells Mike Florio how Jared Goff earned his highest spot on the Top 40 QB Countdown at No. 17 and why next season will be the ultimate test for him in Detroit.

When the Lions acquired Jared Goff from the Rams back in 2021, the prevailing thought was that he’d be a bridge quarterback to a younger, drafted player.

But now, Goff has played his way into making the Lions consider giving him a contract extension. And if Detroit plays up to expectations and makes the postseason, it’s hard to see the club letting Goff go.

On Tuesday, head coach Dan Campbell was asked what he’s seen from Goff in the offseason entering his third year with the Lions. Campbell noted that Goff has gotten “very comfortable with what we want to do” after arriving at an organization with a new regime a couple of years ago.

“I think what you’re seeing is a guy who just put his head down and went back to work, worked on what he could, tried to improve on what he could. And now his confidence has really grown. And along the way, he’s really matured as a quarterback,” Campbell said in his press conference. “He’s a better quarterback than he was there [in Los Angeles], in my opinion — because he can do more things. He’s mentally on it.

“I mean, we’ve come light-years from where he was two years ago when he walked in and just started teaching him protections and really dove into that. And he’s got a real good grasp of what we’re doing, where the issues are, where the problems are. And that’s something that we really wanted him to get good at — and he wanted to get good at. And he’s worked at it and he’s improved. So, that helps you.”

As a follow-up, a reporter noted that Campbell had made a significant statement in saying that Goff is a better quarterback now than he was with the Rams, since he helped L.A. make it to Super Bowl LIII.

“I just — we ask him to do a lot more, in my opinion, than what they were actually doing out there,” Campbell said. “They had a lot of pretty good pieces out there as well, as we know, damn good defense all those things. But I just feel like I know from speaking with him, and then a lot of the things — and watching him, really, over the last two years, I just feel like we ask him to… We put a lot of things on him where I’m not so sure that’s ultimately what they were doing.”

Goff’s best two seasons with the Rams were the first two years he played under head coach Sean McVay. In 2017, he completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. In 2018 — when the Rams went to the Super Bowl — he completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 4,688 yards with a career-high 32 TDs and 12 picks.

Last year, though, Goff got through the season with a 65.1 percent completion rate with 4,438 yards, 29 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

Campbell said he feels like the coach-quarterback relationship he has with Goff is strong, alluding to the way Goff’s tenure ended in Los Angeles.

“Certainly, the quarterback-head coach have got to be tied to one another,” Campbell said. “But you want to get off on the right foot, you want to make sure there’s a trust there, there’s a bond. It’s got to be earned — you can’t just say it, it’s going to take time. And I think here we are in Year Three and I very much believe he trusts me. He knows what we’re doing. And I trust him, you know? And that’s a big part of it.

“The whys, the why did this happen, why was the decision — I’ve got nothing to do with that. But I know it all worked out for us and I’m happy that it worked out for us.”