Which team will Jared Goff take
NFL: This is how Dan Campbell wants the Detroit Lions to succeed again
The new head coach of the Detroit Lions, Dan Campbell, caused a sensation with some unusual appearances in the past few months. A mammoth task awaits him in Detroit; many see the Lions as perhaps the worst team in the league. Whether the rebuilding of the team succeeds also depends on Jared Goff. The quarterback may even be too good for his new team.
It has now been exactly four months since Dan Campbell became the topic of the day in the American football cosmos. "This team will take on the identity of this city," promised Campbell when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions. "We will kick you in the teeth!" Kick your teeth? OK.
"And if you hit back, we'll smile at you. And if you hit us to the ground, we'll get up again and bite off a kneecap on the way up." Bite off a kneecap? Did he really say that?
"We're going to get up and it'll take two more punches to knock us down again. And on the way up we're going to bite off the other kneecap!" Okay, he actually seemed to want to bite off his kneecap.
"We'll get up again and then it'll take three more blows to get us to the ground. And when we're there, we'll take a little more from you. We'll be the last ones. That will. We'll do that." be our mentality. "
It was a speech that had to be sunk in the first place. Most viewers could hardly have believed their ears. Campbell quickly became a trending topic on Twitter, and the first three terms that Google suggests when searching for his name are still today: Lions, Press Conference and Kneecaps.
NFL: Dan Campbell as a caricature of a coach out of time?
Many received Campbell's remarks with humor. He himself was surprised by his own choice of words shortly after at Good Morning Football and proved that he could laugh at himself.
As a guest at Pardon my Take, Campbell laughed and traced the image he created even more sharply: "I would like to have a lion as a pet. I would run through the building with him to training," he said. "I would probably lose an arm because of him, but that would only make it better. Then it would become really clear how dangerous the animal is." Would he sacrifice his arm for a Super Bowl win? "Yes," replied the Lions coach like a shot from the gun.
But as amusing as Campbell's appearances were, some observers could not avoid questioning his statements critically. Gone are the days when teams were able to define themselves through their mentality alone. The game has changed a lot over the past few years. Passing has become the most important factor in football. Campbell sometimes looked like the caricature of a coach out of time.
NFL: Detroit Lions underdogs in 17 of 17 games
But Campbell and the Lions are not only critical of so-called analytics. Detroit is the only team besides the Houston Texans listed as outsiders in all 17 games of the season. The Lions are - here too, alongside the Texans - as favorites for the number one pick in the upcoming draft.
And just look at the Lions roster to see why. The wide receiver group is arguably the weakest in the league. Tyrell Williams, whose only season with more than 800 receiving yards was more than four years ago, is going to be the nominal number one in the season.
The defense doesn't seem much better than the disappointing preseason either. The secondary in particular is still extremely vulnerable.
NFL: Detroit Lions with one of the ten best offensive lines?
But it's not all bad in the Motor City: The Lions' offensive line is definitely impressive. With Taylor Decker and Frank Ragnow the team has two (very) good veterans on Left Tackle and Center, with Penei Sewell one of the greatest tackle talents of this millennium joins this group.
Jonah Jackson should take the next step in the guard positions after his rookie year, Logan Stenberg or Tyrell Crosby will complete the line as solid options. If young players like Jackson and Sewell live up to expectations, Detroit could well have a top 10 line in the coming season.
Jared Goff in particular would benefit from this. There are some rollercoaster-like years behind the team's new quarterback: While he was still traded as an MVP candidate in 2018, some no longer even consider him a solid starter option.
While Goff was once relatively clearly overrated, he now seems clearly underrated.
NFL: Jared Goff with problems under pressure
Especially if his offensive line can use their potential and play well in the coming season, Goff could give an at least average quarterback for the Lions. Last season, Goff played poorly under pressure, but from a clean pocket he played solidly.
Against Pressure, the 26-year-old threw just 4.7 yards per pass in the preseason, he had four touchdowns in seven interceptions. Without pressure, Goff recorded 8.1 yards per pass, 18 touchdowns and just six picks. His passer rating from clean pocket (106) was more than twice as high as that against Pressure (50).
Of course, there are many challenges waiting for Goff in Detroit. For the first time since his 2016 rookie season, Goff mastermind Sean McVay will no longer have by his side. In addition, the Lions' Receiving Corps is - as already mentioned - a real weak point.
But: With T.J. Hockenson will play Goff with a potential top 5 tight end in the coming season, a luxury he's never had before in his career. The German-American Amon-Ra St. Brown could also help early as a slot receiver across the middle of the field.
NFL: is Jared Goff too good for the Detroit Lions?
Goff will play for his future in Detroit in the coming season, there's no question about that. However, he probably has his fate in his own hands - thanks to an interesting dynamic.
The worse Goff plays for the Lions, the greater the desire for a new quarterback in Detroit would become. At the same time, however, the following also applies: the better Goff performs, the more games his team will be able to win. And the more games the Lions win, the more difficult it will be for the franchise to get a successor for Goff in the draft.
Ultimately, despite his clear limitations, Goff could be too good to allow the Lions a pick in the top 3 or the top 5.
A season full of defeats would definitely be a completely new experience for the former number one pick. In the last four years, Goff won 42 of his 62 games as a starter - at that time, however, also in a much more talented team.
NFL: The Detroit Lions' record over the past decade
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