Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
One of the most highly anticipated games of Wild Card Weekend will take place on Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams face the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
The matchup is notable in large part because Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff are facing their former teams for the second time since the blockbuster trade prior to the 2021 season.
Goff was selected by the Rams with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and appeared to be their franchise quarterback for years to come. He led the team to a Super Bowl LIII appearance but struggled with consistency at times, which led to the franchise making a change.
Goff admitted he still has a chip on his shoulder from the trade and will be playing with extra motivation this weekend.
Ahead of the high-stakes contest, Aaron Donald said he reached out to his former teammate to express how proud he is of him. “We had a good relationship,” Donald said of his time with Goff.
“We were cool, proud of what he’d been accomplishing. Reached out to him and told him I’m proud of him. So I feel like we have a good relationship.”
When asked if Goff is looking forward to seeing Donald, the All-Pro defensive tackle revealed the contents of their conversation. “That’s funny. No, I just told him I was proud of him, what they’ve been accomplishing and what he’d been doing,” Donald said.
“I said, ‘I’ll see you Sunday night.’ He said, ‘Appreciate you, brother. I’ll see you Sunday night.’ It’s going to be fun.”
Donald admitted that Goff has grown as a player, but believes the Rams defense can slow him down if they are able to pressure him. “No, obviously he grew as a player so you know some things he did well, some things that made him feel uncomfortable you could take advantage of,” Donald said.
“But obviously he grew as a player. The X’s and O’s, he probably knows even much more than what he did when he was here. So he’s a great football player.
“We know he’s not the most mobile guy, but when he’s got a clean pocket and he’s able to make all the right throws, he can do that. So we just got to do a great job of finding ways to put pressure on him, make him uncomfortable, and hopefully we get to him.”
Rams’ Aaron Donald praises Jared Goff’s leadership skills with Lions
While watching film of Goff, Donald noticed that the two-time Pro Bowler has become more of a leader with the Lions. “His leadership role,” Donald said of what caught his attention.
“You could tell how he controls the huddle, how he controls the guys, communication things. You could see him pointing out certain things. So you see that on film that just pops out and you and it just shows.”
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