Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff recently told reporters that his new team has set playoff-high expectations for the 2021 season, and made a concerted effort to ignore the nay-sayers and outside noise.
Of course, the Lions -- rebuilding and retooling -- don't yet have the requisite talent to contend for a championship. But first-year head coach Dan Campbell appreciates Goff's leadership, and has noticed considerable growth from him since the beginning of camp.
"He's been really exceptional for us," Campbell told the Tiki and Tierney show on Tuesday. "I knew he was tough, I knew he won a lot of games. But I didn't know what kind of leader he was, I didn't quite know how composed he was. After being around him, I'll tell you what, he's been impressive. He's got a lot of composure, and he is tough...
"We've asked him to do things that he hadn't done before. When we did some things in the spring -- working on protections -- it was new to him. But since then, my gosh, he's grown. He's gaining comfort and confidence with the offensive line and receivers, and he's been exceptional."
Goff, who was part of a blockbuster deal that sent longtime Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in January, left much to be desired last season. In 15 games with the Rams, the fifth-year starter threw for 3,982 yards with 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and over the past two years, he ranked second in the NFL with 38 turnovers.
Although Los Angeles finished 10-6 and reached the divisional round of the NFC playoffs in 2020, their offense wasn't up to snuff. They ranked 22nd in the league in average points, 23rd in total points, and 25th in percentage of drives ending with an offensive score.
Detroit will open the 2021 campaign at home against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 12. According to the William Hill Sportsbook, the Lions currently have the worst odds (+2500) to win the NFC North and the worst odds (+10000) to win the conference.
The entire Lions conversation between Campbell and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.