The Detroit Lions are switching quarterbacks for the first time since 2009, but the good news is, the move will come with a significant bit of grace attached.
Matthew Stafford is heading to Los Angeles while Jared Goff will make his way east to Detroit. It’s going to be a sea change for both players considering their roots are on opposite sides of the country. Even such, the quarterbacks do have something in common and a way to connect in both cases, and Stafford isn’t hesitating to put that to use ahead of a major change for both men in 2021.
While speaking with The Mitch Albom Show on WJR-760, Stafford confirmed that he’s been in contact with Goff thus far via text as he begins to transition to Detroit. As he said, he is hoping Goff will lean on him for some advice about the city, as he will likely need to do similarly for Los Angeles, a place Goff has known well.
On @mitchalbomshow Matthew Stafford said he's spoken to Jared Goff via text. Said he told Goff he appreciated him as a player and to reach out to if he needed any advice about Detroit. "I know he feels he can reach out to me, and I know I can reach out to him about LA." #Lions
— Michael Stets (@Michael_Stets) February 15, 2021
This situation is a good one for both teams. In most cases, quarterbacks that are traded or brought into the mix don’t have any connection with their predecessor, but Stafford reaching out to Goff to keep the lines of communications open will certainly help the transition for both parties in the next few months. It’s turned a potentially uncomfortable or awkward situation into a positive.
The more comfortable Stafford and Goff feel, the better off their teams could be. Credit Detroit’s soon-former quarterback for understanding this early on.
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Kelly Stafford: Jared Goff Will Be ‘Amazing’ With Lions
The connection between Goff and Stafford is clearly one that will run deeply. Kelly Stafford, who shared her sadness to be leaving the Lions and Michigan when news was revealed a few weeks back that the team and Stafford would be parting ways, hasn’t said much since the rumored trade went down, other than to show her excitement for her husband heading toward Los Angeles for a new start.
One thing she did do, though, was quickly throw her support Jared Goff’s way. Unsolicited on a Lions fan Instagram, Stafford chimed in and said that she believes Goff is going to do amazing things for Detroit and the Lions.
Here’s a look:
Really cool nod from Kelly Stafford to Jared Goff pic.twitter.com/DvUYC82FMS
— Wolverine 🏀 14-1 (@Detroit_Szn) January 31, 2021
It’s a class move for Stafford, who had her ups and downs with Lions fans during her run in Detroit. Certainly, it’s nice to see her getting behind the man who will take her husband’s job eventually. Obviously, it’s a thought the whole family has.
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky Likes Jared Goff’s Fit in Detroit
With Goff taking over the Lions, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky thinks that the best could be yet to come for Goff, because he is getting out on his own and has a chance to show his talent within a brand new offense as well as coaching staff instead of playing in an environment that may have become stale. As he also said, it’s a good fit because of the support system that Goff will have at his disposal with Brad Holmes.
“First of all, it’s a great opportunity for him to create his own identity. Everybody that pays attention to the NFL, they equate Sean McVay and Jared Goff, or Jared Goff with Sean McVay. Now he’s going to be away from Sean. Now it’s going to be an opportunity to prove he can create his own identity away from Sean. The second thing is this. The new general manager for the Lions is from the Rams. So for everyone that is sitting there telling me how much Jared Goff stinks and how much he got overpaid. The guy, his first move at his new organization is to go acquire the player that he knows just as well as anybody, or better than anybody and his “overpaid” contract. Jared Goff is a good player. What’s the number one trait for a quarterback physically? Can you put the ball where you want to put it. He’s got that. Jared Goff is a good player. It’s an opportunity for him to create his own identity, and the guy who traded for him knows him as good as anybody in the NFL.”
Goff has a good opportunity in front of him to help make a career change for the better, and as he’s already said, he’s happy to be in a spot that wants him and can make the best use of him moving forward. With Detroit’s run-heavy offense under Anthony Lynn, the potential exists for Goff to have a career renaissance. It’s obvious he can still throw the football well, and if he goes to an organization where he’s got support, things could come together in a new way.
That support is going to come not only from the team and coaching staff but from Stafford himself, the guy he’s replacing. It’s just another interesting wrinkle to the biggest sports story of the year in Detroit.