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O'HARA: Goff more comfortable in second year with Lions

Jared Goff has gone through a period of change in the last year both as quarterback of the Detroit Lions and in his personal life.

It's all for the better.

In his personal life, Goff was engaged to his longtime girlfriend, model Christen Harper.

"It was kind of a long time coming for me," Goff said at training camp this week. "I'm glad I was able to get that done."

Will having this part of his personal life settled make him a better quarterback?

"No," Goff said, smiling. "I wish I could say yes."

Goff has gotten a lot of support to improve his game as he prepares for his second season with the Lions.

Goff spent much of the offseason working with first-year offensive coordinator Ben Johnson to refine and retool the Lions' offense and put Goff in position to get maximum production out of his talented teammates.

"We have the talent," Goff said at training camp this week. "It comes down to how detailed we are."

Goff spoke with the assurance of someone who has become more secure in his position with the Lions. Better days are on the horizon for Goff and the Lions. The offense has talent and depth.

Goff suffered through the Lions' 3-13-1 2021 season. He started 13 of the 17 games and saw some flashes of light at the end of the season by winning three of the last six games.

After five seasons with the Rams – four of them with winning records and one trip to the Super Bowl -- it was a tough way to break in with a new team.

Goff compiled decent stats overall – 19 TDs, eight interceptions and a completion rate of 67.2 percent. He saved his best work for last. He threw 11 TD passes against 2 interceptions in the last five games.

That finish, plus his familiarity with the Lions' Allen Park headquarters gained from a year under his belt with the team, have given him a sense of comfort that was missing a year ago.

"He's more comfortable at this time than he was last year," head coach Dan Campbell said. "A lot of that has to do with what we're doing offensively. Ben Johnson and his staff have done a really good job.

"Also, we're doing a number of things that he did well at LA. I think those will help us."

View photos from Day 2 of Detroit Lions training camp on Thursday July 28, 2022.

Making play-action passes a bigger part of the playbook is one of those additions that should play to Goff's strength.

"It's so hard to defend," Goff said. "If you've got a team that can run the ball efficiently on first and second down, you're going to have to come up in the box more.

"Then you can throw it over the top and make plays in the passing game."

Goff worked hard in the offseason to prepare for the 2022 season. There's an opportunity for him to make a statement as to where he belongs on the pecking order of NFL quarterbacks.

Directing a winner in Detroit would be a good chip to have on his side.

"I think I'm always getting better," he said. "At this point in my career it's winning. That's the only thing that drives me. Wining with these guys -- nothing would be more special."

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