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Jared Goff has had an interesting NFL career. The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft has been successful in some ways. In other ways, not so much.
This is a 26-year-old quarterback who has been to a Super Bowl. In the past four seasons, he’s averaged 4,271 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.3 percent of his passes.
Those aren’t bad numbers at all, but there aren’t many out there who would definitively say that Goff is a good quarterback. There are plenty out there, however, who would question his ceiling. A mid-tier starter? Sure, but not anyone you want to build around.
Well, the Detroit Lions recently acquired Goff in the trade that sent Matthew Stafford to Los Angeles. Does that lock Goff into a starting job? Not necessarily, but it is likely that the Cal product enters this upcoming season atop the depth chart.
Either way, the hope is for Goff to be productive — and successful. But being considered a cast off piece can shake the confidence of a quarterback, and that’s where former gunslinger Mark Brunell comes in.
The longtime NFL-player-turned-quarterbacks-coach is now in Detroit, and it’s his job to create success at the most important position on the field. Is he ready for that task? It seems like it.
He was recently on a Zoom call with the official team website for the Lions, and he talked about how his experiences can help the current guys in the room.
“What I hope resonates with the quarterbacks I get to coach is the fact that I’ve been in their shoes,” Brunell said, via Detroitlions.com. “I was a late-round draft pick, a backup for really half my career. I’ve been in a supporting role. I was a starter for a long time, been to the Pro Bowl, on a Super Bowl team, led the league in passing, so I had some really cool moments. I was the guy in Jacksonville for a long time.
“But where I think this will really hit home for these guys is that, listen, I’ve been traded, I’ve been cut, I’ve been benched, I’ve been booed, I’ve been told, ‘You’re just not what we want,’ I’ve been kicked to the curb. I’ve gone through just about anything an NFL quarterback can go through.
“So sure, I can identify with Jared Goff or whoever is our starter, but I can also identify with the kid who’s just new to the building, who’s young and nobody really expects to even make a team. I’ve been that guy, too. I think players can respect that. I hope they can at least.”
Brunell makes a great point. Regardless of the circumstance, this is a guy who’s seen and been through it all. One thing that can help a coach succeed is being relatable. Not having a guy in the room who feels like he’s going through something new. Sometimes, just having that voice there can have a lasting effect.
Will that be enough to get Goff where he needs to be? No, but it’s a start.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.