There has already been talk this week that new Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff isn’t exactly “throwing deep” in training camp so far. Goff has dusted that noise off by saying that he can only take what the defense gives him — and I’ll rush to his defense to say that “a few practices” does not make a full report — but it’s not a new song being sung.
That’s on a macro level, but on a micro level, one Lions writer pointed to a key example of how certain plays that were available to Stafford over the last 12 years do not seem to be available to 2016’s first overall pick, going as far as to say that “There’s just a difference in mentality” between the two quarterbacks.
The Athletic Detroit’s Nick Baumgardner, in a joint piece with national writer Chris Burke, noted on Tuesday that during one “routine” opportunity for a deep bomb in practice, Goff opted for the much shorter gain that was right in front of him:
”Stafford throws the deep ball there probably 99 times out of 100. Goff targeted Raymond instead, then threw it behind him a bit so it fell incomplete. There’s just a difference in mentality, and that’s assuming Goff even has the arm strength to hit a receiver in stride 50-plus yards deep while going against the grain.”
Some would argue that the difference in that mentality is not necessarily that Stafford is right and Goff is wrong. Should all great quarterbacks take that deep ball “99 out of 100 times”? Why 99 and not 100? What happened during that one play where Stafford chose to not throw it deep? If he would do that one time out of 100, could he maybe do it 10 times out of 100? 15? How many of those 100 get intercepted? How many of Goff’s short chucks get the job done plenty well enough?
Those are just some classic 2,000-years old riddle puzzles, but in the case of the upcoming NFL season, it also means that the inverse should be true.
If Goff has been taking that 10 yards over the deep bomb in the last two years, how much different is it going to be for the Rams now that they have the guy who gives it 100-percent of his elbow mustard 99-percent of the time?
I can’t wait to see this vast difference in a real game.