ALLEN PARK, Michigan – Despite being more than 2,000 miles from California, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff couldn’t hide his “bitterness” over how his trade with the Los Angeles Rams unfolded, without communication.
However, as the former Rams star prepares to return to SoFi Stadium, on the opposite side, he will not let the reunion spoil his focus, which is to help the 0-6 Lions try to get their first win. Sunday.
“Long story short, it will be fun to see all those people and it will be fun to be there. Of course you are motivated. Of course you have the chip on your shoulder. I’ve already talked about that,” Goff said after Wednesday’s practice. “There was some disrespect towards the end, there was some bitterness towards the end and you still feel that, you still have that chip on your shoulder, but at the same time when the game starts, if I let any of that go into how am I going to playing the game, it will be selfish.
“And I’m going to play the game like I would any other game, and to be honest, I’m not worried about feeling myself somehow, once the game starts,” he added. “I really don’t.”
The Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams in March for Goff, a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick. Stafford has the Rams off to a 5-1 start. while the Lions are the only winless team in the league.
“When you’re the quarterback for an organization, actually, both for a period of time, there are some emotions that come with that, but I don’t care who you are,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. . “When you’ve played for a team for several years and then come back to play for them, there’s an element of … there’s mixed emotions, man.
“You want to win, but also, there are so many people you remember who were good to you and you will never forget them.”
The trade was orchestrated by Lions first-year general manager Brad Holmes, who worked with the Rams from 2003-20, most recently as Director of College Scouting, but more oriented toward the future of the franchise.
On Monday, Rams coach Sean McVay lamented how the deal to send Goff to Detroit came to fruition. McVay said he wishes there was “better and clearer communication,” which Goff now admits was not the case. Goff was surprised by the move after not having contact with McVay or the Rams since the season ended until he got the call about the trade.
“Yeah, man. I appreciate it. It takes a man to say something like that,” Goff said of McVay. “So yeah, I appreciate it. It still happened the way it did, but I appreciate him saying that and I got all the respect in the world for him there.”
Goff says the public perception of his relationship with McVay in the end was different than what it may have seemed to outsiders.
“I don’t think it eroded the way people thought,” said Goff, who spent five seasons with the Rams. And I think that was part of the confusion in the end. I don’t feel like it really eroded that way. Again, I appreciate you saying that and it’s great of you, but at the same time, it was done the way it was. and it has been done. “
The Lions’ trip to Los Angeles for the first time since 1993 will also be a reunion for Detroit defensive end Michael Brockers and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant.
Goff still ranks second in Rams history in completion percentage (63.4 percent) and second in franchise history in passer rating (91.5). He was elected captain three times as the first overall pick in 2016.
“Thrill. Thrill. It’s another game,” Goff said. “Again, I think the easy answer and the reality is that we have to win and no matter who we’re playing against this week, no matter my story or the story of (Michael Brockers) Brock, or anyone who would have done it with this. team and with the Rams. It’s more of a reality that we have to win and we can’t really focus on that. “