ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Despite being more than 2,000 miles away from California, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff couldn't hide the "sourness" that he feels about how his trade from the Los Angeles Rams unfolded, with no communication.
However, as the former Rams star gets set to make his return to SoFi Stadium -- on the opposing side -- he won't let the reunion ruin his focus, which is to help the 0-6 Lions try to get their first victory Sunday.
"To sum it up, it'll be fun to see all those people and it'll be fun to be there. Of course, you're motivated. Of course, you have the chip on your shoulder. I've spoken about that," Goff said following Wednesday's practice. "There was some disrespect felt towards the end, there was some sourness there towards the end and you still feel that, you still have that chip on your shoulder, but at the same time, when the game starts, if I let any of that come into how I'm gonna play the game, it'll be selfish.
"And I'm gonna play the game just how I would any other game and to be honest, I'm not worried about feeling some type of way, once the game starts," he added. "I really don't."
The Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams in March for Goff, a 2021 3rd-round pick, 2022 1st-round pick and a 2023 1st-round pick. Stafford has the Rams off to a 5-1 start while the Lions are the only winless team in the league.
"When you're the quarterback for an organization -- really, both of them for a period of time -- there does come some emotions that come with it, but I don't care who you are," Lions coach Dan Campbell said. "When you've played for a team for a number of years and then you go to play them again, there is an element of -- there are mixed emotions, man.
"You want to win, but you also -- there are so many people that you remember and were good to you and you'll never forget them."
The trade was orchestrated by first-year Lions general manager Brad Holmes, who worked with Rams from 2003-20, most recently as Director of College Scouting, but more so geared toward the future of the franchise.
On Monday, Rams coach Sean McVay expressed regret about how the deal went down with sending Goff to Detroit. McVay said he wishes "there was better, clearer communication," which Goff now admits wasn't the case. Goff felt blindsided by the move after having no contact with McVay or the Rams from the time the season ended up until he received the call about the trade.
"Yeah, man. I appreciate it. It takes a man to say something like that," Goff said of McVay. "So, yeah, I appreciate it. It still happened the way it did, but I do appreciate him saying that and got all of the respect in the world for him over there."
Goff says the public perception of his relationship with McVay in the end was different than it may have appeared to outsiders.
"I don't think it nearly eroded the way people thought," said Goff, who spent five seasons with the Rams. "And I think that was part of the confusion at the end. I don't feel like it really eroded that way. Again, I appreciate him saying that and it's big of him, but at the same time, it was done the way it was and it's been done."
The Lions' trip to Los Angeles for the first time since 1993 will also be a reunion for Detroit defensive end Michael Brockers and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant.
Goff still ranks second in Rams history in completion percentage (63.4 percent) and second in franchise history in passer rating (91.5). He was voted captain three times as a No. 1 overall pick in 2016.
"Excitement. Excitement. It's another game," Goff said. "Again, I think the easy answer and the reality is that we need to win and regardless of who we're playing this week, regardless of my history or (Michael Brockers) Brock's history, or anyone that would have with this team and with the Rams. It's more of the reality is that we need to win and we can't focus on that really."