Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff admitted on Wednesday that he still feels the disrespect and has the chip on his shoulder from January, when the Los Angeles Rams unceremoniously traded him, two first-round picks and a third-round pick to the Lions for Matthew Stafford in return. However, Goff made it clear that those feelings will not impact the way he approaches the game this week or how he plays on Sunday, when he’ll return to Los Angeles to face his former team.
“I think it would be selfish of me to let any emotion get to me or to think of it that way,” Goff said. “Of course, pregame, you’re going to see your friends, your old teammates, old coaches, old staff members, and that’ll be good to see them. But when that whistle blows, it’s the same thing every game. The emotions will be out the window then. They’re really out the window by now, I guess. It would be selfish of me to have any of that going into this game.”
All offseason, much has been made of Goff’s divorce with the Rams and, specifically, his relationship with head coach Sean McVay. ESPN ran a long story on how frustration came to a boil and the relationship between the two had crumbled. However, Goff believes that narrative got overblown.
“I don’t think it eroded nearly the way people thought, and I think that was part of the confusion then,” Goff said. “I don’t feel like it eroded that way.”
That said, Goff clearly feels disrespected with the way that things ended in Los Angeles, and that was something that McVay tried to make amends with this week.
“Yes, I wish that there was better, clearer communication,” McVay said earlier this week. “I know I would do it a little bit differently when those situations arise in the future, but I think Jared knows the respect I have for him. I feel very good about the dialogue that we were able to have before he had gone to Detroit.”
Goff responded to that half-apology on Wednesday, showing appreciation for the words, but clearly still a little bitter about the actions back in January.
“I appreciate it. It takes a man to say something like that. So yeah, I appreciate it,” Goff said. “It still happened the way it did, but I do appreciate him saying that and I’ve got all the respect in the world for them over there.”
Later repeating: “I appreciate him saying that and it’s big of him, but at the same time it was done the way it was.”
Despite those lingering emotions, Goff’s focus this week is on getting the Lions their first win of the season. There will be a time to reminisce, there will be a time for pregame hugs, but after kickoff, it’s just another football game.
“There was some sourness there towards the end and you still feel that. You still have that chip on your shoulder. But at the same time, when the game starts if I let any of that come into how I’m going to play the game and be selfish—I’m going to play the game just how I would play any other game. And to be honest, I’m not worried about feeling some type of way once the game starts.”