All week long, former Cal quarterback Jared Goff has been asked how he feels about Sunday's game against the Rams, the team that traded him to the Lions shortly after last season ended. And it's clear he has some feelings about the Rams and the way he was pushed out, even though he is trying not to make it headline material.
Goff now leads a Detroit team that is 0-6 against a Rams team that is 5-1 and is led by the quarterback for whom he was traded, Matthew Stafford.
Stafford is getting similar questions about facing his former team, but his answers are not as significant as those from Goff, who was basically shipped out of town by Los Angeles, which gave Goff as well as two first-round draft choices to Detroit to get Stafford. Rams coach Sean McVay essentially gave up on Goff, who said in June that he was given no hint that the trade was coming.
Now Goff is going back to Los Angeles and SoFi Stadium, where he started seven games for the Rams last season and won five of them.
"It'll be fun to see all those people and fun to be there," Goff said near the end of his Wednesday press conference in the video below. "Of, course, you're motivated. Of course, you've got a chip on your shoulder. I've spoken about that. There was some disrespect felt toward the end. There was some sourness there toward the end and you still feel that. You still feel that chip on your shoulder.
"But at the same time, when the game starts, if I let any of that come into how I'm going to play the game, it would be selfish. I'm going to play the game just like I would any other game. And to be honest, I'm not worried about feeling some type of way once the game starts."
McVay admitted on Monday that the trade was not handled well in terms of the Rams' communication with Goff.
"Yes, I wish there was better, clearer communication," McVay said Monday according to ESPN's Lindsey Thiry. "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."
Goff said he appreciated McVay's explanation, but . . .
Goff's struggles late last season tend to overshadow the fact that he led the Rams to the Super Bowl in the 2018 season and that he was a strong contender for the MVP Award halfway through that season.
Even with his 0-6 record this season, Goff has a 44-36 career record as an NFL starter in regular-season and postseason games. That's better than Stafford's career record of 79-92-1.
And this week Stafford will be equipped with a roster loaded with talent, while Goff is handling a team that is rebuilding and has limited receiving weapons. The Rams are 15-point favorites.
It's difficult to have any thoughts of revenge in that situation.
Below is Goff June interview with Rich Eisen in which Goff notes in the beginning of the video that he was given no indication that the trade was coming.
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