Although the Rams are enjoying the fruits of the Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade, Sean McVay wishes he had handled things differently.
“Yes, I wish there was better, clearer communication,” the Rams coach said Monday, per ESPN. “To say that it was handled perfectly on my end, I wouldn’t be totally accurate on that. I’ll never claim to be perfect, but I will try to learn from some things that I can do better, and I think that was one of them without a doubt.”
The Rams appeared ready to move on from Goff last year, when their offense struggled with him under center as their season ended in the divisional round against the Packers. Neither McVay nor general manager Les Snead would commit to Goff after that loss.
The chain of events that led to Stafford landing in Los Angeles started before that, when he requested a trade from the Lions. When Stafford and McVay ran into each other on vacation in Mexico, that accelerated the process that led to Stafford being traded for Goff, two first-round picks and a third-rounder.
Goff told reporters after the fact that he was blindsided by the trade, saying he and the Rams had no contact between the season ending and him being traded.
“You don’t want to catch guys off guard,” McVay said. “It came together a lot faster than anybody anticipated, but yeah, of course I think that any time that tough decisions and things like that when people are affected, you always want to be as understanding, as empathetic as possible, think about it through the other person’s lens and there’s certainly things that I know I would do it a little bit differently if — when — those situations arise in the future.”
The Lions and Rams come into Sunday’s matchup in polar opposite positions. Detroit has yet to win a game and, typical of the franchise, have dropped a number in spectacular fashion.
“I feel like [Goff] has to step up more than he has,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said Sunday, per ESPN. “And I think he needs to help us, just like everybody else. He’s gonna need to put a little bit of weight on his shoulders here and it’s time to step up, make smoe throws and do some things, but he needs help.”
The Rams, at 5-1, look like a Super Bowl contender behind Stafford. Throwing to a receiving corps that features Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, Stafford has passed for 1,838 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“We felt it was a rare opportunity to acquire a player of Matthew’s caliber,” McVay said of the trade. “Those opportunities just don’t come up often.”