THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay wanted to reflect on the good times with Jared Goff on Thursday rather than expand on what went wrong with his soon-to-be former franchise quarterback who has been traded to the Detroit Lions.
"What I think is important to make sure that I at least want to mention is the amount of good things and really great leadership that he provided since I got here as a head coach," McVay said, listing the three playoff appearances, two division titles, NFC championship and Super Bowl appearance under Goff over the past four seasons. "So what I'd rather focus on are the things that I think he did a great job of establishing himself in this league, the way he handled himself consistently day in and day out and all I can do is just be appreciative of that and that's kind of what I would say on Jared."
Last month the Rams traded Goff, as well as a 2021 third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, to the Lions for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The trade will become official at the start of the new league year on March 17 and until then NFL rules prohibit the Rams or Lions from speaking directly about the trade. But McVay acknowledged in his first videoconference with reporters since the deal that the potential of acquiring a veteran offensive player was "exciting."
When asked what changed in his and the organization's mind about Goff since he signed a four-year, $110 million guaranteed extension before the 2019 season, McVay said, "I don't know that really a lot changed.
"I mean, there's just so many things that have taken place since then," McVay said. "I think what I would say that I learned over the last handful of years is things change by the day and you probably want to be careful making blanket statements when you can't predict the future."
Before Goff signed the record-breaking extension, McVay said that he hoped to be stuck with the quarterback for a long time.
However, in the days after the trade, Goff told the Los Angeles Times that "It became increasingly clear" that he was no longer wanted in L.A., and said that he could not figure out when that happened.
McVay said that he has since spoken to Goff and described their conversations as "healthy."
"Jared and I had a lot of conversations," McVay said. "We had one that I want to keep between myself and Jared, but again, I don't want to get into the specifics of those types of things ... I think we were both able to communicate open and honestly with one another, but those details I'd prefer to keep between us."
Now entering his fifth season as coach, McVay acknowledged that he could have been a better coach to Goff, who passed for 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns with 13 interceptions in the Rams' 10-6 2020 season that ended with a divisional playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.
"I think it's just the consistent and ongoing communication," McVay said. "You pride yourself in those types of things and I think I could have been much better about those real-time communications and, I'm not going to make any excuses about it, but there's a lot of things, even some of the decision-making in games. Are you consistently putting him in the right positions to be successful and so, as a coach, as a leader, your job is to try to make situations and people that you're around better and there were certainly some moments that I know I could have done better, really for our team and Jared in particular."