As Jared Goff is set to face the Los Angeles Rams for the first time this week, his former head coach didn't like the way things ended with his first quarterback. Sean McVay wishes things would have been handled better with Goff prior to his trade to the Detroit Lions, which happened in January -- weeks before the deal could became official.
Just weeks after the Rams were eliminated from the playoffs, Goff was gone.
"I wish that there was better clear communication," McVay said Monday. "You don't want to catch guys off guard. It came together a lot faster than anybody anticipated. Any time that tough decisions and things like that, where people are affected, you always want to be as understanding and as empathetic as possible and think about it through the other person's lens. And there are certainly things I would do a little bit differently when those situations arise in the future."
The Rams sent Goff to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford, one of the biggest deals in the offseason. Detroit officially started its rebuild by acquiring two first-round picks (2022 and 2023) and a 2021 third-round pick, while taking on Goff and the remaining four years and $104 million left on his deal. The Rams had to act fast in order to get the player they wanted.
"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," McVay said. "The studying and evaluation of his game and then kind of that organic interaction that was able to occur in Cabo. It was kind of a very unique situation to say the least. And that's what led to the decision being made in the manner and the timing that it was."
Goff hasn't been good for Detroit as the Lions are off to an 0-6 start, the only winless team in the NFL. Goff has completed 66.8% of his passes for 1,505 yards with seven touchdowns to four interceptions (86.9 rating). Goff is 17th in the NFL in passing yards, 14th in completion percentage, tied for 20th in touchdown passes, 31st in yards per attempt (6.3), and 23rd in passer rating.
He still has yet to win a game without Sean McVay has his head coach. Goff was 42-20 in his four seasons with McVay as his head coach and 0-13 with anyone else. The current eight-game losing streak Goff is on is the longest of his career.
McVay and the Rams are 5-1 with Stafford, as the former Lions quarterback is seventh in the NFL in completion percentage (69.5%), fourth in passing yards (1,838), tied for third in touchdown passes (16), second in yards per attempt (9.2), and second in passer rating (116.6). The Rams clearly upgraded by choosing Stafford, but McVay would have rather had a better final conversation with Goff than the one he had.
"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."