Quarterback Jared Goff has not performed well for the 2021 Lions, but his head coach isn’t planning on making a change at the position.
In his Monday press conference, Dan Campbell was asked directly why Goff should continue as Detroit’s starting quarterback. Campbell, who took over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn on Sunday, listed several factors for sticking with Goff — including the team’s poor pass protection.
“Well, I think right now, when you think about what we’ve changed after the bye and the fact that we wanted to tinker with a couple of things — and then there, again, I kind of took over the green dot, if you will, there’s a certain way we wanted to go,” Campbell said. “We wanted to take shots early. We took one shot and we didn’t get it. But there’s also pressure in his face when he’s trying to throw it, alright, so that thing comes up and then you end up in one of these games where the weather [affects things] and you realize you’re running it well, you’re going to continue to run it.
“Well, it’s hard to say that he shouldn’t be the guy right now. It’s hard to say that, man, because [if you say], ‘Oh man, make this throw’ — well again, every time we try to throw it and dropped back, just about, our protection breaks down. And so until we can do things right around him… Now, yeah, there’s throws we want to see that he needs to make. There was a dart that we threw to ‘Lif’ [KKalif Raymond] that we should make and he’s pissed off about it, too. But ultimately, I still think right now, he’s the guy that gives us the best chance.”
Perhaps a key phrase in what Campbell said is the same one Rams head coach Sean McVay and G.M. Les Snead used before agreeing to trade him to Detroit in January: “right now.” The Lions designated quarterback Tim Boyle to return from injured reserve last week after suffering a thumb injury that required surgery in the last preseason game. If healthy, he could be an option to replace Goff — even if Campbell doesn’t seem particularly keen on making that switch.
David Blough is also on Detroit’s roster at quarterback.
Goff is dealing with a hip/oblique injury, but Campbell noted on Monday that it doesn’t seem like a long-term injury.
In his first season with the Lions, Goff has completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,109 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He’s also fumbled seven times in 2021, losing four of them.