Rams' Sean McVay Says He Could Have Handled Jared Goff Better Before Lions Trade

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2021

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, right, talks to quarterback Jared Goff (16) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. The most recognizable trend in hiring NFL head coaches has been to target young, innovative offensive teachers with a track record of developing quarterbacks. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay says he could have done things differently with quarterback Jared Goff.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, McVay addressed his relationship with Goff, whom the Rams have agreed to trade to the Detroit Lions.

"There are a lot of things when I self-reflect that I wish I was better for him in some instances," McVay said, adding: "I'm not going to run away from some of the things that I could have been better for him as a leader and a coach."

Things between Goff and the Rams seemed to take a turn after he signed a four-year, $134 million extension in 2019. The team hasn't reached the heights of its 2018 Super Bowl season, and he's struggled to play at his previous level. The 26-year-old has a 42-29 touchdown-to-interception mark over the past two seasons.

"Our quarterback's got to take better care of the football," McVay told reporters after Goff committed three turnovers in a 23-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in November.

NFL Network host Steve Wyche reported last month the relationship between McVay and Goff was "not great," and an anonymous source told Wyche they needed "marriage counseling" to work through their issues.

The Rams and Lions agreed to a deal last month that will send Goff, a 2021 third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 to Detroit in exchange for Matthew Stafford.

Goff indicated he was happy to be going to a new team.

"I'm just excited to be somewhere that I know wants me and appreciates me," Goff told NFL.com's Michael Silver. "I'm moving forward and couldn't be more excited to build a winner there. I'm excited about Dan [Campbell] and the whole staff."

Goff's whirlwind tenure with the Rams started when they made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. He had a terrible rookie year under then-head coach Jeff Fisher but came into his own the following year when McVay took over.

The Rams have made the playoffs three times in the past four seasons, including an appearance in Super Bowl LIII. Goff earned Pro Bowl nods in 2017 and 2018, throwing for a combined 8,492 yards and 60 touchdowns in 31 games.