The evidence is hiding in plain sight. The question is whether Lions coach Dan Campbell will actually pull the trigger.
On Sunday, Campbell called out Jared Goff by name, publicly. On Monday, Campbell said he’s “going to shake things up here a little bit.” On Tuesday, it’s possible that the shakeup will encompass the quarterback position.
It would definitely shake things up a little bit to bench Goff, especially with the team’s next game being a trip to L.A. to face the Rams.
The Rams, who know Goff better than anyone. The Rams. who couldn’t wait to get rid of Goff after the 2020 season ended. The Rams, who surely can come up with a plan for exploiting Goff’s various weaknesses.
The Rams didn’t fall out of love with Goff. They plummeted down the stairs. It happened only 19 months after foolishly paying him $33.5 million per year on a second contract. And they managed to unload the deal in a way that made it less obvious to everyone (including owner Stan Kroenke) that, as a practical matter, they gave the Lions a first-round pick to take Goff’s ridiculously inflated contract.
The Lions have to date participated in the grift, acting like Goff is worth the money and worthy of the franchise quarterback label. He’s not, on either count. The question now is whether he’s good enough to keep David Blough on the sidelines.
Campbell’s old-school style doesn’t mesh with Goff’s personality and demeanor. That’s obvious. The Lions didn’t make the trade for the player; they made the trade for the picks — two first-rounders and a third-rounder in exchange for giving up Matthew Stafford and taking on the Goff cash and cap obligation. Campbell was willing to give Goff a try, since it’s not as if the Lions had a better option lurking on the roster.
Most thought Goff would get a full year to show what he can do. With the Lions now 0-6, maybe it makes sense to see what they have in Blough before they start looking at other options for next year.
Or maybe this is Campbell’s last-ditch effort to get more out of Goff. While it’s regarded as bad form in some circles to air out the dirty laundry at a podium (and Campbell definitely paused before launching into his Sunday critique of Goff), the truth could be that Campbell is at his wit’s end, that he’s tried everything to get Goff to perform at the level the team needs.
Maybe Campbell hopes that a pissed-off Goff will have a better chance of competing with the Rams, and that he won’t end up being systematically exposed by the Rams for the average, random quarterback that, truth be told, Goff is.