Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell appeared to be frustrated with another loss Sunday at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals and posed a challenge to his quarterback, who has been under center for all six losses to start the season.
Jared Goff was 28-for-42 passing for 202 yards and an interception in the team’s 34-11 loss. It was the third game he’s been held without a touchdown pass. Campbell told reporters Goff needed to “step up.”
“Yeah, look, I think — I will say this — I still don’t feel like, I don’t feel like we can accurately judge him one way or another. I don’t feel that way yet,” Campbell said when asked if he can accurately judge Goff with so many key players injured.
“Now, I will say this: I feel like he needs to step up more than he has. And I think he needs to help us just like everybody else. I think he’s going to need to put a little bit of weight on his shoulders here, and it’s time to step up, make some throws and do some things. But he needs help. He needs help.
“And look, I told him out there — he knows this, but some of that stuff. We’re getting these holding calls. Well it’s because he’s drifting back in the pocket 10 yards deep. That’s not fair to those guys either. If you hang onto the ball … It’s like I told you, this is a collective effort now. Everything goes hand in hand. But I want to see him step up, I do, I do, because I think he can do it.”
T.J. Hockenson, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams were all banged up during the week. The Lions placed Quintez Cephus on injured reserve with a broken collarbone earlier in the week. The team is also without Frank Ragnow and Tyrell Williams.
Goff said he needs to do more to help the team after the loss.
“I think I can always do more. You’re never in a position where you feel like you’re complacent. Of course, we’re nowhere near that, but I think I’ve got some experiences to rely on that I can relay to these guys and do my best to be the best leader I can be and continue to try to find the open guy and get him the ball, take care of the football and do my job every day,” he said.
Detroit is the only NFL team yet to win a game this season. Goff said his performance has been “up and down.”
“I mean, there’s been good, there’s been bad, there’s been stuff to work on. It’s kind of always that way when you look at yourself and when you’re critical of yourself. Like I said, everyone’s got their things that they’re working on, and I’m no different.”