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Dan Campbell Still Believes Lions Can Win with Quarterback Jared Goff

Jared Goff has faced increased scrutiny and criticism, after a poor performance against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell came to the defense of his quarterback, after heavy scrutiny and criticism from a wide variety of sources, including from ex-Lions players. 

Upon review, Jared Goff and the Lions' offense have struggled to consistently score points early in contests. And, with one of the youngest rosters in the league and battling numerous injuries, mistakes, penalties and missed assignments have started to pile up in recent weeks. 

Despite indicating that he did not even once think of benching Goff against the Bengals, Campbell did publicly state his desire for the 27-year-old quarterback to "step up" and perform at a higher level than he has demonstrated the last month of the season. 

At his latest media session, Campbell explained what he sees in Goff that shows he can still return to the form he demonstrated when he played for the Los Angeles Rams and performed at a Super Bowl-caliber level. 

"He's a pure passer, man. He can throw the football," Campbell said. "If you give him a minute and give him a little protection and let him see it, I think he can make some pinpoint throws. I've seen it from him. I've seen enough of him. I've said this over the last four years to know that he can just slice you up if he gets in a rhythm, because he did it to us every year (against the Saints) and we had a damn good defense." 

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Campbell added, "If we can stay in the normal flow of a game and we can function like we need to right now offensively, with what we are, I think we can win with him. I just do."

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Notes

  • Tight ends coach Ben Johnson acknowledged that third-year tight end T.J. Hockenson did not play his best game last week, but that his attitude has been appropriate for him to rebound and be more productive as the season moves forward. "I'll be honest with you. We are all a little bit frustrated," Johnson said. "He is handling it like he should."
  • Left tackle Taylor Decker's hand is mostly ready to go out and play, but the veteran lineman still must work to get comfortable to use it to punch and secure leverage against opposing linemen. Campbell acknowledged that there's still a barrier mentally, with him using his left hand, and no decision has been made yet regarding whether Decker will actually return this season.