The Los Angeles Rams will host their former quarterback of the last five years on Sunday when Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions come to SoFi Stadium for the Week 7 matchup.
Goff, who was sent to the Lions this offseason after the Rams sent him and a bevy of future draft picks to Detroit in exchange for quarterback Matthew Stafford, will get his first opportunity against the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.
While the relationship between the Rams and Goff appeared to not end on good terms, coach Sean McVay offered some reflecting words on how the entire situation unfolded.
McVay said Monday that the situation transpired in a different way than he could have expected, reiterating that he should have done a better job in offering an open line of communication throughout the offseason process.
“I wished that there was better communication," McVay said. "You don’t want to catch guys off-guard. It came together a lot faster than anybody anticipated."
The Rams observed the quarterback market this offseason following an underachieving season from Goff despite the team signing him to a $134 million contract extension that included an NFL-record at the time of signing of $110 million guaranteed in Sept. of 2019.
“Going back to when this all went down, it was more about the opportunity to acquire Matthew and what we felt like that meant for our football team," McVay said. "And that was why that decision was made. And that's why things came together as quickly as they did, because we felt like it was a rare opportunity to acquire a player of Matthew's caliber, that those opportunities just don't come up often."
The Rams currently sit with a 5-1 record as one of the better teams in the NFC with Stafford completing passes at a 69.5% clip while having thrown for the fourth-most passing yards (1,838) and the third-most touchdowns (16).
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Meanwhile, Goff and the Lions remain the only winless team despite some last-second field goals that have haunted them at the end of games. Goff has yet to record a win without McVay in 13 starts under other head coaches.
"I will say this," Lions coach Dan Campbell said following Detroit's Week 6 game. "I feel like (Goff) has to step up more than he has and I think he needs to help us, just like everybody else. He's gonna need to put a little bit of weight on his shoulders here and it's time to step up, make some throws and do some things, but he needs help."
While there will be a lot made throughout the week about the return of Goff and the first game that he and his predecessor, Stafford, will face one another, McVay says "It’ll be just another football game once the ball’s snapped."
McVay expects Rams fans to greet Goff with a warm welcoming after all the things he's brought to the organization over the years. And more specifically, McVay says he believes Goff understands the respect he has for him and what they were able to accomplish during their time together.
"But I think Jared knows the respect that I have for him," McVay said. "I feel very good about the dialogue that we were able to have before he had gone to Detroit. He knows the appreciation that we, as an organization, that I have as a coach, for all the good things that he did here. But to say that it was perfectly handled on my end, I wouldn't be totally accurate in that, but 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.”
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