If the Lions are truly committed to Jared Goff being their starting quarterback, it’s time for them to build around him. It’s the only way in which Goff is going to be successful during his time in Detroit, according to Pro Football Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner.
“If you go back and look at him in L.A., when they do what they do, in terms of they run the football, they play-action and they stay in that wheelhouse, when they’re able to play games that way, Jared Goff is really, really good,” Warner said leading up to Super Bowl LV. “When they’re forced to play different ways and they’re forced to play more drop-back football, Jared Goff isn’t as good.”
Goff’s enjoyed his highest level of success as an NFL passer when he’s had a potent run game to complement what he does through the air.
For instance, during his back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns from 2017-18, then-L.A. Rams running back Todd Gurley averaged 4.8 yards per carry, amassed 2,556 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground and garnered first-team All-Pro honors each season.
Meanwhile, the Lions have only had four 1,000-yard rushers since the start of the 2000 season, including just one during the Matthew Stafford era (Reggie Bush in 2013; 1,006 yards).
Unless D’Andre Swift takes the next step and becomes a more consistently productive back in his second year in the league, Detroit doesn’t appear to have a competent ground game to support Goff.
That’s where building through the draft comes into play, with six total picks this year for the Lions and more in future seasons due to the trade of Stafford to the Rams that netted the organization two future first-rounders (2022 and 2023 picks).
“They’ve got this draft collateral. They have to build this team, if they’re going to keep Jared Goff and make him their guy. They’ve got to build this team around what he does well and make sure that they stay in that as much as they possibly can, or have the talent to live in that world as much as they possibly can,” Warner explained. “Because when they get out of that, Jared has shown he’s not as good in those other areas. But, he’s a winner. He’s done well in this league, and I think he can continue to do well, as long as you build a system around him that plays to his strengths.”
Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin also chimed in regarding the roster building that Detroit has to do moving forward.
According to Irvin, as important as it is to add players that possess a high degree of talent and ability, it’s equally important to add players that fit the positive culture that the new regime in Motown wants to instill.
“That’s one of the things I do remember us talking about and talking about, ‘Okay, let’s make sure we get the right kind of guys in here,'” Irvin said. “Sometimes, if I’m in that situation, I’m going in looking for guys that kind of want to make their own mark and try to bring them in. I’ll take a guy a little less talented, but (that) has the right attitude because I know I’m building something. I want a guy that’s going to be vibrant, always on the practice field (and) always lifting everybody up because you’re trying to turn something around.”
Yes, the Lions are trying to turn things around, and it won’t happen overnight.
The rebuild officially kicked off with the trade of Stafford, and will continue to play out over the course of the offseason in Brad Holmes’ first one as an NFL general manager.
- Lonia Mae Rambo Brisson - October 26, 2021
- Chippewa County Health Department Announces Vaccine Clinics - October 25, 2021
- Betty Jean Lipsett - October 25, 2021