In his press conferences at the 2023 NFL Combine, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes made it clear he was happy with Jared Goff as their starting quarterback. Holmes reiterated that Goff is their guy and when it came to the quarterback position, their focus would be on a backup.
“We love Jared. He’s our starter, he’s our guy going (forward), but we don’t have anything behind him,” Holmes said.
Coach Dan Campbell was not asked any questions about Goff during his time at the podium, but in a sit-down interview with CBS Sports, he sang a pretty different tune. Campbell praised the work Goff has done in Detroit—specifically hanging through a tough year-and-a-half before their late-season turnaround in 2022—but admitted it may be time for the team to start looking toward the future.
“What he’s done is—and what we were hopeful and thought we were going to get—is a guy who, he’s our guy,” Campbell said. “He’s bought us time here. We believe we can win with Jared Goff. And in the meantime, we also know he’s not going to be here for the next 10 years. It’s not like Jared Goff is a rookie. So certainly our eyes are on potentially a quarterback.
“The question is where do you acquire that at? And that’s something that Brad and I kick around all the time. But we don’t feel like we’re pressed right now. We don’t feel like we’re pressed, but that doesn’t mean our eyes aren’t on a quarterback.”
That’s a starkly different answer than Campbell or Holmes has ever given in the past regarding the quarterback position. Even acknowledging that Goff’s time in Detroit is not likely for the long-term—although nobody really expects him to be here 10 years down the line—is something that the Lions have never really addressed.
While this could certainly be smoke—as it is lying season for the NFL Draft—Campbell is also one of the more candid and uninhibited speakers to the media. And considering Detroit has both the No. 6 and No. 18 pick in this year’s draft, they’ll have more than enough capital to get the quarterback they want. They may not have that luxury in the future with the way the team is currently headed. And don’t overlook the fact that the Lions met with Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson at the NFL Combine.
That said, Campbell also said they won’t push the issue. If their guy isn’t in this draft or they’re unsure about an evaluation, they are more than comfortable enough to ride with Goff for the time being.
And so... we wait.