Before kickoff Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell could feel his guys getting riled up. Like any strong motivator, Campbell was there to dowse the room with gasoline and amp up the energy level.
But also like any good head coach, Campbell told quarterback Jared Goff off to the side to make sure everyone stayed level-headed.
"That's what he has to do for us," Campbell said Monday in his postseason press conference when asked about Goff. "He has to be the constant, man. He can't be the ebbs and flows and highs and lows. Just stay centered and be that for your team."
It's because of that calming confidence Goff exudes both in the locker room and on the field that Campbell called him a perfect fit at quarterback for his football team.
"He fits us," Campbell said of Goff. "He really does. We're about running the football, play-action pass and when you do those things you need a quarterback that can get you in the right play and is very good at accuracy and decision making and he fits the bill in all of that."
Goff said Monday as the players cleaned out their lockers, had their exit interviews and put the 2022 season to bed, that this season was one of the most rewarding for him in his career. Goff is a big reason why this team was able to bounce back from a 1-6 start to finish 9-8 and be a team that no one in the NFC wanted to see in the playoffs.
Goff finished the season completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 4,438 yards with 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He finished with a 99.3 passer rating, the third highest of his career.
But more important than all the numbers is that Goff has found a home in Detroit. There's something to be said about being wanted, and Goff is all-in with the Lions and the culture Campbell, general manager Brad Holmes and owner Sheila Hamp are building.
"Maybe it's being prisoner of the moment, but this team is as special of a group that I've ever been a part of," Goff said. "The people in this room and the people in this locker room and the coaches, it's truly incredible the mental toughness and perseverance that this group has. That will carry us into greater things in the future. It's very humbling and I'm proud to be a part of it and to be able to say I'm a leader of it and to be around these people every day."
Lions fans aren't the easiest bunch to win over, but there's no question Goff is the leader of this football team now and for the foreseeable future. It's something Goff doesn't take for granted.
"I've loved my time here," he said. "Love Dan (Campbell) and love the players and coaches. I can't speak higher of this group and these coaches. I love leading this team. I love being a part of it. I love playing for Dan. I love playing for Brad. I love playing for Sheila. It's such a special group and a special place to be. Ford Field. It all goes into it. It's a really special place to be and I really enjoy it."