Day 2 of the Detroit Lions minicamp was like a box of chocolates.
You didn’t know what you were going to get. Paraphrasing the famous quote from Forrest Gump may come off cheesier than the state of Wisconsin, but it’s the only way to describe it.
For starters, it was hot as hell with no Lions Honolulu Blue Kool-Aid to quench your thirst. And if you were me, you had instant regret over wearing black sweatpants during one of the hottest days this year. Nevertheless, on that afternoon, someone on the practice field was even hotter than me. However, he was hotter for a different reason. And the reason this guy was hot is due to him showcasing his skill.
The guy I’m talking about is Jared Goff.
Before I get to praising this guy, let me set the proper expectations for fans.
Firstly, players are not in pads, and there is no real pressure. Goff is a former first overall draft pick and two-time Pro Bowler. He isn’t a scrub. So it’s not shocking to see him look good in practice. Secondly, he’s not facing in-game pressure right now. So obviously, things may look different once the season starts, and he has a guy like, oh, Aaron Donald breathing down his neck. Lastly, Goff wasn’t as accurate as he could’ve been to start practice. He missed throws here and there. And that could be chemistry issues, which anyone should expect at this stage. After all, a lot of these guys never played together. Now that I’ve laid that out let’s get into it.
Jared Goff can sling it.
By now, multiple stories are circulating about D’Andre Swift’s circus catch. And being honest, it was a thing of beauty. The second-year back made a one-handed grab in the corner of the endzone that was jaw-dropping. I didn’t know how he caught it. The now-slimmer Jahlani Tavai was all over him. The grab was in the corner of the endzone, and the ball was placement, in my opinion, was excellent. However, there was no mention of the man who got it to him.
That was Goff.
Shortly after the pass to Swift, he connected with Tyrell Williams on a grab that sent the defense into a frenzy. Lions safety Tracy Walker, who jokingly didn’t care for his side of the ball being made to look bad, playfully mixed it up with Williams after the play. And Goff had to pull him off Williams afterward. It was a light-hearted moment. Goff and Williams connected twice for touchdowns during the drills.
As mentioned above, Goff was shaky to start the practice but got better as the day went on. I noticed from Goff that he seemingly began to go through his reads better as time progressed, hence the improved performance.
From how Goff has carried himself in press conferences since coming to the Lions to how he walks on the field, you get the vibe that something is going on with him. And that something is the often-mentioned massive chip on his shoulder. Remember, this man, when surrounded by good talent, led the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl appearance.
And the Rams traded him for a man who, when surrounded with good talent, has yet to win a playoff game and has gone seven straight postseason quarters without a touchdown.
Jared Goff will have a lot of eyes on him this season, but the look in his eyes during each practice comes off as if he’s ready for it. And in the words of wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page, “that’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing.”