The Detroit Lions have work to do in the offseason. Coming off an excellent stretch of eight wins over the team’s last 10 games, general manager Brad Holmes has an important offseason ahead of him.
Heading into his third offseason, Holmes has admitted he wants to add players, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. One area where he won’t be worried about production is at quarterback, as Jared Goff is entrenched as the starter heading into 2023.
Speaking on 97.1 The Ticket, Lions’ flagship radio, with hosts Michael Stone and Jon Jansen, Holmes detailed why he has been a fan of the signal caller. Holmes and Goff worked together with the Los Angeles Rams, but the GM admitted that that’s not the only reason he maintained belief.
“I don’t want to get it kind of confused,” Holmes said. “I don’t want to make it sound like I’ve always been a fan of Jared just because I was a part of drafting him in L.A. That’s not why, and I often hear that, ‘He was part of drafting him so that’s why he loved him.’ You want every draft pick to work out, but every pick doesn’t work out.
Holmes outlined Goff’s success in L.A. as a young quarterback, beginning with his rookie year in 2016. In his four years with the Rams as the team’s full-time starter, he made the playoffs three times. This was capped by an appearance in Super Bowl 53.
“That’s what I saw to have confidence about what he can do,” Goff said. “But then, we make the trade of Stafford, and yes, I told Les Snead, ‘I want Jared part of the trade.’ That meant something to me.”
The seventh-year signal caller struggled in his first season with the Lions as the team sputtered to a 3-13-1 finish. However, that season was riddled with difficulties such as injuries at every spot on the field and a midseason change of play-callers.
With more stability in 2022, Goff was able to thrive. He finished with 4,438 passing yards, the most he’s totaled in a season since 2019. His 29 passing touchdowns are the most he’s posted since 2018.
“I think about a little bit of, ‘Oh wow, he’s good now,’” Holmes said. “Well no, he’s actually been good in the past. He’s just had to go through a little adversity. I appreciated the way he battled back, and I want to say this, it’s not a surprise to me, but I am just happy with the way that he produced and what he did.”
Plans at backup quarterback
The Lions have had difficulty finding a solid backup for Goff. Tim Boyle was thought to be the solution when he was signed in 2021, but both he and David Blough were released at the conclusion of training camp in 2022.
Nate Sudfeld filled the void this season as a late addition to the roster but was never needed to play in big moments thanks to Goff starting all 17 games. Heading into the 2023 season, Holmes hopes to have a reliable option in place behind his starter before the 11th hour.
“Going into this past year, yeah, we went down to the umpteenth hour trying to figure out what we were gonna do at number two,” Holmes said. “I’ve let it be known internally that we’re not gonna be in that position again heading into this year, so we have to get that settled. I thought Nate Sudfeld did a nice job with us, so we’ll figure that out. But I am gonna make it a point of emphasis and make sure that, being that we’re finally in a position to address that quarterback room behind Jared, we have been in that position in the past, but we’re gonna make that a point of emphasis this year.”
Running back Jamaal Williams was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after his two-touchdown performance in the team’s win over the Green Bay Packers.
Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson took home his second consecutive Defensive Rookie of the Month award, becoming the first player in franchise history to win the award multiple times.
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is slated for three head coaching interviews, per NFL Network. He will interview with the Houston Texans Monday, the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday and the Carolina Panthers next week.