Earlier this week, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell was asked on local radio station 97.1 The Ticket whether Jared Goff could be the team’s quarterback of the future. Campbell may not have used strong language, but he clearly threw his support behind the 27-year-old quarterback.
“Yeah, man, I don’t see why not. Look, he’s playing pretty good ball now,” Campbell said. “Shoot, he was coming off his best performance of the season, and then, unfortunately, he had COVID and he kinda had the knee injury, so he had to sit out last week. But, yeah, there’s no reason why—I feel like we’re starting to find our rhythm here, and we’re all starting to mesh collectively, from a coaching staff to the players as well. Just maximizing everything we have over here, and I just feel like we’re really improving. I feel like we’re finding identities. So, yeah, I don’t see why not. Look, he puts in the work, and all you can ask is for improvement from him, too. So I like where he’s going right now.”
Campbell, of course, is going to support his quarterback publicly, but there’s no denying the conversation around Goff has changed in December. The former Rams quarterback struggled earlier in the year, but it’s also pretty clear to see now that the receiving corps back there wasn’t doing him any favors, and neither was a patchwork offensive line. With wide receiver Josh Reynolds on the squad, Taylor Decker back at left tackle, and Amon-Ra St. Brown’s rise to stardom, Goff has suddenly looked like a capable quarterback.
While Campbell is basically required to support his quarterback publicly, Lions fans aren’t beholden to those same social norms. So where are Lions fans at with Jared Goff right now?
We asked our NFL Reacts community if they thought Goff can still be this team’s quarterback of the future. The results were nearly split right down the middle:
Just over half—53 percent—of Lions fans believe Goff cannot be this team’s quarterback of the future, which is honestly a lower figure than I was expecting considering where this conversation stood a month ago.
Goff is almost certainly going to be on this roster in 2022, and there’s a pretty good chance he starts for Detroit at the start of the season. But the Lions still face an interesting decision this offseason. With a guaranteed top-five pick in an iffy quarterback draft class, does Detroit kick the quarterback decision down the road a year?
It looks like around half of the fanbase would be okay with that.