Sean McVay: I wish I’d handled trading Jared Goff better as a leader

Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
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Just over three years ago, Rams head coach Sean McVay said it was “insane” to think quarterback Jared Goff would go anywhere.

Obviously, things changed. And everything worked out as well as possible for Los Angeles after the club traded Goff to the Lions as part of the deal for quarterback Matthew Stafford since the Rams won Super Bowl LVI.

But in a recent interview with Mike Silver for his Open Mike podcast, McVay was asked about how he views the end of the Goff era in hindsight and admitted he regrets the way he handled communicating with his former quarterback.

“That was a hard thing for me because the thing that’s more important than anything is being a good communicator — clear, open, and honest. Making sure people aren’t caught off guard and really having respect for the players and the coaches for what they have to do. And I wish that there had been better in-person communication,” McVay said. “The one thing that hurt me is that I would never want anything to be misunderstood about my appreciation, my respect for Jared. Was it a tough decision? Yes. Were there some things that I could’ve handled better in terms of the clarity provided for him? No doubt.

“If I had it over again, what I would do is, before I had even gone to Cabo, when there was a possibility of, alright, if Matthew Stafford’s available, if there’s other quarterbacks available, that would be something that we would explore — you sit down with him, you look him in the eye, you tell him that instead of calling him and setting up a meeting where that was my intention when I got back from Cabo.”

Before delving further into his explanation, McVay noted, “Whatever I’m going to say from here on out is an excuse.” But he said that he didn’t anticipate the trade talks with Stafford and the Lions would escalate as quickly as they did.

“When it got public that we were interested in Matthew, what we thought was going to be a week’s worth of time ended up happening in about 24 to 36 hours,” McVay said. “So all in all, biggest thing I regret, [not] being able to sit down, look him in the eye and be able to communicate kind of where we are, what we were going to try to do moving forward. And for that, I regret it, I’ll not make those same mistakes again.”

“But, I care about Jared. He sure as hell did a lot of good things. And I think the thing that shows what a stud, what a class act he really is, is one of the best text messages I got after the Super Bowl was from Jared Goff. And so, I think the further we get away, the more appreciation that we’ll have for the great four years that we did have together — because there were a lot of really good times. … But all in all, just the better communication, better clarity is what I would’ve wanted. And I didn’t like the outside narrative, but I think he knows where my heart was. And I was glad we were able to connect, sit down, be honest with each other, and I think we both have a lot of respect for each other. And I wish I’d handled it better as a leader for him.”

Goff was 42-20 as a starter for the Rams under McVay from 2017-2020. With Goff behind center, Los Angeles advanced to Super Bowl LIII, falling to the Patriots 13-3.

36 responses to “Sean McVay: I wish I’d handled trading Jared Goff better as a leader

  1. When it comes to NFL Qb’s, if you arent at the very top of the heap you are going to get a LOT of heat at some point. Lamar Jackson is catching it now and Josh Allen, if he doesnt win in the next year or two, will start catching it.

    Obviously Goff was never a true top 10 stud QB, but for a guy who went 42-20 for the Rams, he sure is talked about like he was one of the biggest QB busts ever. He wasnt.

  2. He is right but his timing is way to late. He would have been better to say nothing at this point. Sounds more like a fool.

  3. I like McVay and it is cool that he admits his mistakes. However, it is a lot easier to admit your mistakes with a shiny new SB ring on your finger.

  4. With Stafford under center, Los Angeles wins Super Bowl LIII

  5. Goff played excellent in the last several games last year. I don’t have the numbers in front of me but it’s not a secret. He is going to be just fine in Detroit. Their new GM is doing a wonderful job.

  6. @cletuspstillwaterjr

    He’s cunning, he’s realized the perfect thing to say, a glorified well rehearsed “my bad” to get people to forgive his behavior.

  7. Its good McVey can admit that, and Im sure things could have been handled a little better.

    I wonder what the Browns message would be a year or so from now regarding their Watson/Mayfield trade situation if they were to come forward and say what they would have done differently.

  8. Jared Goff is a solid starting QB and a team COULD win a SuperBowl with him. The problem is we’ve replaced the “Dalton Scale” with the “Goff Scale”. If you are better than Jared Goff. You’re job is probably safe. If you’re worse than Goff(And not on a rookie contract), teams are actively seeking to replace you.

  9. finfan63 says:
    June 30, 2022 at 2:02 pm
    He is right but his timing is way to late. He would have been better to say nothing at this point. Sounds more like a fool.
    No, he just sounds honest. Some people don’t realize things until after some time for reflection or for some other reason. More people deny their mistakes than realize them, and even fewer are even honest about them. There’s nothing wrong with being honest, even though it seems to be a dying concept, especially in certain groups.

  10. “But if I had to do it all over again I would do it exactly the same. Just watch me next time.”

  11. Rams have been given more than any team in recent memory. Benefit from a non PI call to make the super bowl and only score 3 points. Acquire every top tier free agent available with an unlimited salary cap. Win the super bowl. Then naval gaze. Very LA of them.

  12. Careful McVay, are you going to coddle every player you let go? This is regular NFL practice, don’t try to be some kind of nice guy now since you won a SB. As soon as you start losing and critics and fans are riding your tail, you will eventually let Stafford go and he will find out from ESPN or a distant cousin that he was traded just everybody else.

  13. Statistically, Jared Goff is actually a bit better than Matthew Stafford, and Goff is a lot better at the start of his career (first 6 years). Goff has a better completion percentage and slightly better passer rating. TD/INT ratio for both is 2/1. I’m not sure what other people watch, but I’ve always seen Jared Goff as a good QB.

  14. McVay’s ownership bought themselves a Lombardi. Sooner or later it will catch up to them and McVay’s irritating rah-rah act will wear thin when it does, no matter how nice of a guy he seems to be.

  15. McVay thinks people care. He misjudged Goff, overpaid him, then realized he couldn’t coach him up. McVay then rode Stafford’s coattails to a title and suddenly acts like he’s a HOF coach.

  16. he Least Interesting Man Alive says:
    June 30, 2022 at 2:19 pm
    With Stafford under center, Los Angeles wins Super Bowl LIII
    What? The Rams made it to the SB previously with Goff. The Lions with Stafford behind center (for 12 seasons) never won a playoff game.

  17. Lifelong Rams fan here. Goff should have been released aster the Rams held Patriots to 13 and lost the super bowl. He is lucky they gave him so much money after that puke fest

  18. Might well be wrong but McVay seems very disingenuous and everything he does and says is calculated to project an image rather than genuine. The millennials millennial.

  19. I know there are many in here who point to Goff as taking the Rams to the SB as an accomplishment. But the guy looks like he has REGRESSED instead of getting better. Just an observation.

  20. Translation:

    “The consensus is that I did a poor job of handling the Goff situation, so I’m going to say I think I could’ve handled it better while describing how I handled it in a way that makes you think what I did actually wasn’t so bad; this way, you’ll think I’m actually a pretty good communicator and I’m being too hard on myself.”

  21. I’m not a Rams fan, but I am a Lions fan, so I am an interested party because of Stafford.

    In any case: This here is exactly why McVay is succeeding as a head coach. He is able to admit when he was wrong.

    Some guys can’t do that and it shows. They throw their own guys under the bus and they ultimately can’t make it work.

  22. Goff said don’t worry about it, I came up short a few times in my career too. Kidding aside Goff looked like he was done the first 10 games or so in Detroit but really played better towards the end of the season when the Lions changed play callers. Going to be interesting to see him with a full offseason working with Campbell and the new OC who took over the play calling. Thinking we might see more of the Goff that earned the big contract then the guy who was looking like he hit the end of the road.

  23. A fitting out come would be Jared Goff winning a Superbowl with the Lions and getting a congratulations text from McVay

  24. For anyone out there (I have seen some 49er fans say this) who still likes to squeak about how Kyle Shanahan is a greater head coach than Sean McVay is, they’re forgetting or ignoring the fact that McVay has been to TWO Super Bowls as the head coach of his team in the same time frame as Shanahan has been to ONE Super Bowl as the head coach of his team AND McVay won one of his (nearly won two) and made the right trade for the QB that he felt his team needed whereas Shanahan made the trade for Jimmy Garoppolo and failed to win a Super Bowl with him. It’s not Sean McVay’s fault that Shanahan traded for the wrong quarterback.

  25. McVay should take a cue from his buddy Shanahan. He and lynch have been honest and open with Garapollo in their exploring Brady two years ago and drafting Lance last year. It’s not easy to deliver that kind of message and Jimmy may not have liked it but they were transparent about it.
    While I commend the rams for getting stafford I’d wait on passing judgment on Lance for a couple of years

  26. Successful and expert teachers are humble, credible, and approachable. McVay was not humble. He thought he could raise Goff’s play higher than he actually could. Once they lost the Super Bowl, McVay blamed Goff for not bailing him out on the play calls.

  27. A fitting outcome would be the Lions beating the Rams in LA on the way to winning the Superbo

    >>>>>A fitting out come would be Jared Goff winning a Superbowl with the Lions and getting a congratulations text from McVay

  28. Regardless, the Lions and Goff got what they both needed: A fresh start. Stafford is a great QB now, but he wasn’t at Goff’s age – he was only good, like Goff. It’ll be interesting to see what Goff accomplishes 5-10 years from now, if anything. He has the right attitude about things as Stafford did in Detroit, so I hope he succeeds as I hoped Stafford would’ve as a Lion. In Detroit, all we have is hope anyway. Bad attitudes accomplish zero.

  29. This is a phony statement. Serves his brand as a communicator more than an a apology. McVay has been gloating non-stop for over a year about how much happier he is with Stafford. We get it. Stafford’s better, but Goff is not exactly a bum. Move on.

  30. Also, the next time a team trades a great QB, the need to ask for the value of competing for a super bowl, not the actual QB. Rams stole Stafford for one 1st round pick. The second 1st round pick was to take the goff contract. That is a first class fleecing.

  31. Stafford has more Arm Talent in his pinky as compared to Goff. Stafford is an Elite QB talent and Goff is a good QB, they are not close. Goff can only dream of making the throws that Stafford does. Comparing career TD/Int % or Completion % when not referring to when and what situation you were in when the throws were made makes little to no sense. Stafford Constantly being in a situations that forced him to throw when his team was behind , into often stacked coverage because the Lions had no running game or defense he could rely on to stop the opposing team forced Stafford to be aggressive. Goff was not in these scenarios.

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