Just over two years ago, Sean McVay and Jared Goff led the Rams to a conference championship and an appearance in Super Bowl LIII.
A few months later in June 2019, McVay said he hoped Goff would be “stuck with me for a long time.”
Los Angeles tried to guarantee that by signing the quarterback to an extension that tied him to the club through 2024 before the start of the 2019 season.
But now the Rams have agreed to send Goff to the Lions as part of a deal to acquire Matthew Stafford. And Goff has talked about being confused as to how his relationship with the Rams soured so quickly.
Until the trade becomes official at the start of the new league year, McVay cannot address acquiring Stafford. But in his press conference on Thursday, McVay was asked what changed with Goff over the last 18 months.
“You know, I don’t know that really a lot changed,” McVay said. “I mean, there’s just so many things that have taken place since then. I think what I would say that I’ve learned over the last handful of years is, things change by the day and you probably want to be careful making blanket statements when you can’t predict the future.”
McVay did note how appreciative he was of Goff for their shared time together and what they accomplished — including that trip to Super Bowl LIII. And the head coach tried to combat the perception that L.A. made Goff a scapegoat for its offensive issues.
“I think the unfair narrative has been that some of our decrease in production is exclusively on the quarterback,” McVay said. “That’s not true at all. I think certainly, I have a big hand in that. I have to be able to look myself in the mirror and acknowledge and be able to evolve, improve, and take ownership in that.
“I’m not going to run away from the blame that’s deserved on my end. But what I do think is important that the narrative [that] becomes, ‘Oh, this is the outlet for why the offense wasn’t what it was’ — that’s unfair to Jared. And I think it’s disrespectful to what he’s done over the last four years.”
Still, Goff is the one leaving town in favor of a replacement in Stafford who McVay expects will be able to create more explosive plays.
As for McVay’s relationship with Goff, the head coach said he and the quarterback have had “good conversations,” and noted he could’ve been better for Goff in some instances.
He’ll have a chance to show off what he’s learned with Stafford in 2021.