Rams coach Sean McVay is willing to take some blame for quarterback Jared Goff’s sudden decline.
Because the trade that sent Goff and draft picks to the Lions for Matthew Stafford isn’t official until the start of the new league year on March 17, McVay can’t discuss the specifics of the deal that changed the face of his franchise.
But McVay addressed the big picture that brought coach and quarterback from a Super Bowl appearance in February 2019 to a divorce less than two years later.
“There are a lot of things when I self-reflect that I wish I was better for him in some instances,” McVay said, according to NFL Network. “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.”
McVay called it “unfair” to blame the quarterback for all the Rams’ offensive regression.
“I think certainly I have a big hand in that,” McVay said. “I have to be able to look myself in the mirror and acknowledge and be able to evolve, improve, and take ownership in that. I’m not going to run away from the blame that’s deserved on my end. The narrative [that] becomes, ‘Oh, this is the outlet for why the offense wasn’t what it was’ — that’s unfair to Jared. And I think it’s disrespectful to what he’s done over the last four years.”
Goff clearly was hurt by how quickly the Rams gave up on him after signing him to a four-year, $134 million extension in September 2019. He missed the 2020 season finale due to injury and essentially was benched for a quarterback with one career start (John Wolford) in the playoffs. He relieved an injured Wolford.
“As the quarterback, as the guy that’s at arguably the most important position on the field, if you’re in a place that you’re not wanted and they want to move on from you, the feeling’s mutual,” Goff told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month.
In response, McVay said he has had “healthy conversations” with Goff since then but did not reveal any details.
“I don’t know that really a lot changed,” McVay said of the change in how Goff was viewed over 18 months. “I mean, there’s just so many things that have taken place since then. I think what I would say that I’ve learned over the last handful of years is things change by the day and you probably want to be careful making blanket statements when you can’t predict the future.”