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Lions coordinator: Stafford will be one of the best quarterbacks ever

Matthew Stafford AP

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is having a fine year, with 4,006 yards through 13 games, but his numbers are down from his breakout 2011 season, and the Lions have taken a big step backward as a team. So does that make Stafford’s 2012 a disappointment?

Not according to Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who says he believes that through four NFL seasons, Stafford looks like he’s on his way to being mentioned alongside Peyton Manning as one of the finest passers the NFL has ever seen.

“I don’t know where Peyton was after four years, but I think Matt’s definitely on track to be one of the best quarterbacks to ever play this position,” Linehan said, via MLive.com. “We’ll see when it’s all said and done, but he’s really taken a lot on. We put a lot on him as well.”

Stafford is still just 24 years old, so the fact that he already has 11,846 career passing yards and 77 touchdowns is impressive. But Linehan acknowledges that Stafford will have to lead the Lions to the playoffs consistently before anyone is mentioning Stafford alongside Manning.

“I mean, he’s not going to be mentioned in that category yet until we put together two or three seasons like we did last year in a row,” Linehan said.

Actually, if Stafford is going to be mentioned alongside Manning, he’s going to need a lot more than two or three seasons like last year, when the Lions lost in the wild card round of the playoffs. To be mentioned alongside Manning, Stafford is going to need to take the Lions to the Super Bowl.

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69 Responses to “Lions coordinator: Stafford will be one of the best quarterbacks ever”
  1. bindersfullawomen says: Dec 14, 2012 7:00 AM

    Riiiiight…

  2. toadthechoad says: Dec 14, 2012 7:01 AM

    And Linehan was one of the best head coaches ever. Just ask St. Louis fans. What a turd

  3. jc1958cool says: Dec 14, 2012 7:04 AM

    NOT!!! as long as you and schawrtz nt are there!lol

  4. derrickbrooks4president says: Dec 14, 2012 7:04 AM

    Without Megatron he’s nothing but a fragile teacup, or a skid mark. Definitely one of the two though.

  5. kacapaco says: Dec 14, 2012 7:06 AM

    His #s are heavily Megatron dependent w/c he will not have for his whole career. So far, Stamford has been doing good with other WRs but not great.

  6. krycek84 says: Dec 14, 2012 7:06 AM

    With Megatron, even Ryan Leaf would be a Probowler, put the ball in air and let Megatron does his job.

  7. bayoubob4 says: Dec 14, 2012 7:07 AM

    No big deal anymore passing for 4,000 yds. Lions continue to go backwards!

  8. joetoronto says: Dec 14, 2012 7:07 AM

    I don’t see why not, if he stays healthy.

  9. wabbitslayer says: Dec 14, 2012 7:07 AM

    A little reading between the lines….

    “We don’t want to pay Stafford anything close to his rookie contract when he re-signs, so we’re going to trade him to a better team where he will then develop into one of the best.”

  10. blackcatnfl says: Dec 14, 2012 7:08 AM

    All he has to do is win a game and…look out world!

  11. randygnyc says: Dec 14, 2012 7:11 AM

    I’m having a hard time see it. He’s more like romo in my eyes. He’s a slightly better passer, but both mediocre leaders. He’ll have to win a few mvps, superbowls and its mvps, take a run at a few undefeated seasons and start breaking records let and right just to be considered an elite QB. Best ever? Possibly after reincarnation. It’s his only shot.

  12. mrp2003 says: Dec 14, 2012 7:15 AM

    Marino had great stats and broke records but never won the big game. Stafford needs to win atleast one superbowl or at a min, get to one. Great Quarterbacks do not just have great stats, they are great leaders who win chanpoinships.

    Stafford will likely continue to have great stats but unless he leaves Detroit, he will watching all future superbowls either on tv or from the stands

  13. anyonebutbrady says: Dec 14, 2012 7:15 AM

    Well isn’t that just peachy keen for him. Stafford’s already on his way to the HOF & Megatron’s breaking records…wait, what exactly is the rest of the team doing, cause they’re still pretty bad…

  14. larryboodry says: Dec 14, 2012 7:20 AM

    Maybe if he played for a winning team…

  15. dkrauss93 says: Dec 14, 2012 7:22 AM

    Great QB’s have great WR’s. I think stafford can be and is a very good QB but he will not be one of the greatest QB’s.

  16. hypefree10 says: Dec 14, 2012 7:22 AM

    Young Stafford! He does the most in the league with one talented (GOAT) WR and a nonexistent running game. Let’s see what Mayhew does to sure up this team. Unfortunately due to issues with high round draft picks, whether its injuries or attitude problems, this team has regressed. In Mayhew we trust?!?

  17. smstonerock says: Dec 14, 2012 7:33 AM

    To the few idiots who say Stafford is overrated and without Megatron he would be nothing: STOP INSULTING OUR INTELLIGENCE. Just because Calvin makes great plays doesn’t mean we can’t also independently evaluate Staffords talent. It’s really not that hard to do. By making that statement you are basically saying that you are the only one who “really sees what’s going on here” and that those who are impressed by Stafford’s talent aren’t intelligent enough to separate his gifts from what CJ does. Just stop. Stafford is an unbelievable talent in his own right. Larry Fitz is a pretty good WR right? So why isn’t everyone talking about how good Kolb/Skelton is?

  18. fuglyflorio says: Dec 14, 2012 7:33 AM

    He always seems kind of chubby though.

  19. anarchopurplism says: Dec 14, 2012 7:35 AM

    I was thinking more Rivers, Promo or Cutler

    Manning? Cmon…..

  20. tomthebombtracy says: Dec 14, 2012 7:38 AM

    Reminds me about another statement Ford related coming out of Detroit.

    “This car will revolutionize the industry and I’m so pleased to have it named after me.”
    Edsel Ford.

  21. getatmeplease says: Dec 14, 2012 7:38 AM

    LMAO at people saying he needs to win more. He was drafted by the worst team in NFL history (0-16) and took them to the playoffs 3 years later. Definitely some regression this year but a lot of that blame is on the coaches (ST coach and Cunningham need to go).

    Also, he has one of the worst run games in the NFL. The Lions are on track to throw the ball more than any team in history and defenses all know that the Lions will throw, especially to Megatron. Since last season he has 6,000 yards and 37 TDs throwing to guys not names Calvin… not too shabby.

  22. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Dec 14, 2012 7:38 AM

    Matt Stafford = Peyton Manning?
    You are CRAZY STUPID Linehan!

  23. dustinq says: Dec 14, 2012 7:42 AM

    I understand humor, but some of these comments are simply factually incorrect. It may have been plausible to consider Stafford injury prone during his first two years, but no so any more. Stafford played 16 games last year, and hasn’t missed a game this season. And look, yes, he has Calvin Johnson. Even still, the last time I checked Stafford has over 4,200 yards passing, and Calvin, even though he’s on pace for 1,900 yards, doesn’t account for half of those.

    Linehan wasn’t a good head coach. He was terrible. His track record as an OC, however, isn’t debatable. Linehan has consistently developed quarterbacks, and let’s remember he’s not the guy leading the Lions in the NFL in drops.

  24. sgtdiver says: Dec 14, 2012 7:58 AM

    haters wanna hate! You all pretend to know the inner working of the lions. That’s cute.

  25. footballfan58 says: Dec 14, 2012 8:24 AM

    Stats mean nothing. You need to show true leadership, humility and win a Super Bowl. He’s still young. He can do it.

  26. jjpt4540 says: Dec 14, 2012 8:27 AM

    Quote
    dustinq says:
    Dec 14, 2012 7:42 AM
    I understand humor, but some of these comments are simply factually incorrect. It may have been plausible to consider Stafford injury prone during his first two years, but no so any more. Stafford played 16 games last year, and hasn’t missed a game this season. And look, yes, he has Calvin Johnson. Even still, the last time I checked Stafford has over 4,200 yards passing, and Calvin, even though he’s on pace for 1,900 yards, doesn’t account for half of those.

    Linehan wasn’t a good head coach. He was terrible. His track record as an OC, however, isn’t debatable. Linehan has consistently developed quarterbacks, and let’s remember he’s not the guy leading the Lions in the NFL in drops.
    __________________________________
    More worried about his bad TD to INT. Anyone can throw for yards.You take out last years # and he 1 for 1 td/int not a mark of a great QB.

  27. zaggs says: Dec 14, 2012 8:39 AM

    Lets see if Stafford can put together a great season without Megatron. QB’s are judged by wins and Stafford hasn’t won anything yet. We’re seeing Peyton doing it without Harrison, Wayne and Clark. We’ve seen Eli win 2 Super Bowls with completely different receiver sets.

  28. hehateme2 says: Dec 14, 2012 8:40 AM

    “Marino had great stats and broke records but never won the big game. Stafford needs to win atleast one superbowl or at a min, get to one. Great Quarterbacks do not just have great stats?”

    Have to disagree as Marino was a 1st ballot HOF’er. He’s always in the discussion of the best pure passer in NFL history.

  29. megatronn81 says: Dec 14, 2012 8:41 AM

    If you question Stafford’s toughness, I would encourage you to watch the Lions/Browns game a few years back when Staff was mic’d up.

  30. rmc1995 says: Dec 14, 2012 8:44 AM

    Joe Montana leaned on Jerry Rice as well. A smart quarterback gets the ball to his best player in the best position to make a play.

    Manning’s numbers to Marvin Harrison are similar to Stafford and Calvin Johnson.

    QBs lean on their number one receivers. It’s not something mediocre QBs do. Its something great QBs have always done.

    The Lions are similar to the 2007 Saints. That team had a down year after making the playoffs in 2006.

  31. zaggs says: Dec 14, 2012 8:45 AM

    Another thing Stafford fans tend to ignore in regards to his stats (especially yardage), he’ll almost always have a good deal more pass attempts than most QB’s (40 more attempts this year than the next QB on the list). Coupled with the fact he’s not as accurate (60.4% completion rate), this leads to a lower average. To give you an idea, take Eli average of 7.4 yards (not stellar) and multiply by Staffords attempts and you would have Eli with 4284 yards. That would be tops in the league by about 200 yards.

  32. boomnutz says: Dec 14, 2012 8:46 AM

    ha! that’s hilarious. Stafford is Cutler 2.0. It’s even funny because Cutler only had (and now has again) Brandon Marshall to throw too and Stafford just has Megatron. He has to limit his mistakes if he’s ever going to be great. Great QBs don’t throw INTs at the rate Stafford does

  33. sixjak says: Dec 14, 2012 8:49 AM

    A face only his OC could love.

  34. source7769 says: Dec 14, 2012 8:50 AM

    hopefully he wont be there to witness it

  35. cubano76 says: Dec 14, 2012 8:51 AM

    “Stafford will be one of the best quarterbacks ever”…….To Play In Detroit.

  36. bigwinintx says: Dec 14, 2012 9:00 AM

    “Lions coordinator: Stafford will be one of the best quarterbacks ever”

    This just in:
    No he won’t!

  37. bjbroderick says: Dec 14, 2012 9:19 AM

    To everyone who says Megatron would make any QB look awesome, how come that didn’t happen for the likes of John Kitna, JT O’Sullivan, Daunte Culpepper, Dan Orlovski, or Drew Stanton?

    Just Curious.

  38. lks311 says: Dec 14, 2012 9:27 AM

    Everyone chill. The kid is 24. Twenty-Four. He’s smart. Maybe not Andrew Luck, photographic-memory smart, but smart…and he can sling it.

    He’s closer to the top of his craft than the bottom and his OC is just supporting him. The question is if you’re building a team today, and you’re looking for a QB to lead your squad for the next ten years, how many names to you call before you get to Stafford?

  39. dwarftosser says: Dec 14, 2012 9:39 AM

    He has his moments where he looks incredible, no argument. After last year it looked like he just needed to stay healthy to be in the best QB conversation every year… but he really seemed to regress this year. Hopefully it’s just a down year for him and he’ll bounce back next year. In any case he needs to play great more consistently before he gets in the top 5 QB debate for current players… let alone all time.

  40. mickmoney says: Dec 14, 2012 9:40 AM

    Than he woke up

  41. essentialsausage says: Dec 14, 2012 9:42 AM

    He’s already one of the best QB’s in the league, despite having no running help and a terrible offensive line.

    Calvin Johnson didn’t make a slew of quarterbacks before Stafford look like all-stars, so that criticism has no merit as far as I’m concerned.

  42. baloneyjohn says: Dec 14, 2012 9:56 AM

    The lions need a better #2 and other receivers.
    Stafford has a cannon, no doubt

  43. fground says: Dec 14, 2012 10:02 AM

    “Stafford will be one of the best quarterbacks ever”

    that’s not going to happen…but it’s not quite as ludicrous a statement as Rick Spielman saying C. Ponder’s stats are right in line with the great QBs.

  44. purpleguy says: Dec 14, 2012 10:09 AM

    Just remember this: Linehan said the same thing about Daunte Culpepper when he was OC for the Vikes.

  45. hikohadon says: Dec 14, 2012 10:10 AM

    ““Stafford will be one of the best quarterbacks ever”…….To Play In Detroit.”
    _______________________

    That played his college ball at Georgia. Detroit had some good QB’s in the 50’s and 60’s, no need to go disparaging their names.

  46. sosuhme says: Dec 14, 2012 10:11 AM

    The only QBs I’d would rather have leading the Lions are Petyon Manning, Brady, Brees and Rogers. Stafford is at least as good if not better than all the others. Are there really any Lions fans that would rather have Cutler, Rivers, or Romo? Please! I remember when the debate was Stafford vs. Sanchez. How is that working out?

  47. dukemarc says: Dec 14, 2012 10:15 AM

    He was just talking about the Lions right? He’s already a top 5 all time Lions QB…..but that’s not saying much.

  48. dukemarc says: Dec 14, 2012 10:16 AM

    essentialsausage says:

    Calvin Johnson didn’t make a slew of quarterbacks before Stafford look like all-stars, so that criticism has no merit as far as I’m concerned.
    ———————–

    Actually, Hill had a pretty good season in relief of Stafford as I recall.

  49. essentialsausage says: Dec 14, 2012 10:33 AM

    Actually, Hill had a pretty good season in relief of Stafford as I recall.
    ———————————

    Good, not great.

  50. hatesycophants says: Dec 14, 2012 10:42 AM

    “More worried about his bad TD to INT. Anyone can throw for yards.You take out last years # and he 1 for 1 td/int not a mark of a great QB.”

    __________________________________

    This is the type of argument that insults all football fans. Under what circumstances would last season’s numbers not count?

  51. nicepak381 says: Dec 14, 2012 10:48 AM

    I’m impressed with his skill set; what an arm on the kid! He is very young and has the tools to be a great one.

  52. tvguy22 says: Dec 14, 2012 10:58 AM

    No.

  53. raymondtx says: Dec 14, 2012 11:00 AM

    I dont know about that….I never seen Manning, Elway, Montana, etc walking around with their baseball cap backwards all the time like Stafford. Funny how something so small, can say so much.

  54. isphet71 says: Dec 14, 2012 11:27 AM

    I’m a huge Lions and Stafford fan, but stats are at best a nice consolation prize. Show me success. Until the Lions are successful, Stafford’s stats don’t mean much.

    Even if you can honestly say that he was a great player on a crap team, lack of success still diminishes anything he might individually accomplish to the point where he just doesn’t compare to Manning.

  55. dexterismyhero says: Dec 14, 2012 11:57 AM

    Stafford watches Ren & Stimpy on Peyton’s forehead!!!!

    That would be the only way they should be mentioned in the same breath.

  56. mrp2003 says: Dec 14, 2012 11:58 AM

    ranking GREAT QB vs great passers ihas to be done differently. Great passers have great stats while great QBs win games. Marino is considered to be ranked lower than Elway which it would have been different if Elway would have never won a SB. Great QBs are great leaders not just passers. Great QBs find a way to win even with a poor Defense suchas what Manning did in Indy.

  57. bangpow says: Dec 14, 2012 12:00 PM

    dukemarc says:
    Dec 14, 2012 10:16 AM
    essentialsausage says:

    Calvin Johnson didn’t make a slew of quarterbacks before Stafford look like all-stars, so that criticism has no merit as far as I’m concerned.
    ———————–

    Actually, Hill had a pretty good season in relief of Stafford as I recall.

    ——————————

    Yeah, Hill was decent but what about

    Daunte Culpepper
    Drew Stanton
    Dan Orlovsky
    Jon Kitna

    They didn’t really do all that much while playing with Calvin.

    Joe Montana must not have been a good QB either because he had Jerry Rice.

    No, I’m not comparing Stafford to Montana.

  58. lionsdraftguy says: Dec 14, 2012 12:13 PM

    @bayoubob4

    You are an idiot.

    Im amazed at how big of morons most of you posters are and how little football knowledge you have. You talk bad about Stafford just because hes a Lion. Funny. You simply cannot argue hes a top 10 QB in this league.

    Whats funny is he threw for over 5000 yards last year when every single defense KNEW they were passing, yet they still couldnt stop him. He did it with NO running game.

  59. immafubared says: Dec 14, 2012 12:30 PM

    Lets evaluate this. The Lions have more first round picks, including Stafford, then any other team. Stafford has one of the best D lines in football, the top receiver in football, a much improved running game, and better d backs this year.
    If he was as Linehan says, he should have taken this team to the NFC North championships this year on his great arm and all that talent. Instead they won like 5, 6 games and were out of the playoff’s weeks ago.
    Passing yards mean nothing. As the former owner Raider owner Allen would say, its win baby win.

  60. calloustongue says: Dec 14, 2012 12:34 PM

    Not even one of the best QB’s in his division. Rodgers>Cutler>Stafford>Ponder

  61. mrbiz8505 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:40 PM

    I just spilled my dew

  62. Sam Plymale says: Dec 14, 2012 12:42 PM

    Stafford is still really young and basically only in his 3rd season. He has shown the ability to come back and lead the team in the 4th quarter to victory, which is something only a handful of QBs in this league are capable of. If the Lions can get a more balanced attack and Stafford can utilize play action more regularly I think he could reach the elite status. Attention to details will be key this off-season.

    Although it’s not all on his shoulders, you can’t mention him in the same breath as Peyton, Brady, Brees etc. until he wins a playoff game.

  63. Just a Fan says: Dec 14, 2012 12:43 PM

    “No, I’m not comparing Stafford to Montana.”
    ==================================

    Actually that is a more accurate comparison then to Peyton. I can see Stafford’s numbers very close to Montanna’s.

    Rings don’t make a player, numbers do. Rings define a player, not make them.

    Trent Dilfer has one and he will never be half as good as Stafford.

  64. Just a Fan says: Dec 14, 2012 12:46 PM

    calloustongue says:
    Dec 14, 2012 12:34 PM
    Not even one of the best QB’s in his division. Rodgers>Cutler>Stafford>Ponder
    ====================================

    Did you just list Cutler above him? wow, what an insult. Jay is just bad. With out Marshall he is nothing. Bears will not make the playoffs and it is Cutlers fault. Cultler is a tiny bit better then Sanchez.

  65. wludford says: Dec 14, 2012 1:07 PM

    … in the arena league.

  66. mrp2003 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:21 PM

    calloustongue says:
    Dec 14, 2012 12:34 PM
    Not even one of the best QB’s in his division. Rodgers>Cutler>Stafford>Ponder

    LMOA

    Cutler is very poor. Stafford is a much better QB than Cutler.

    That made me spit up my dew

  67. iminyrhead says: Dec 14, 2012 1:39 PM

    raymondtx says:
    Dec 14, 2012 11:00 AM
    I dont know about that….I never seen Manning, Elway, Montana, etc walking around with their baseball cap backwards all the time like Stafford. Funny how something so small, can say so much.
    —————————————————-

    You must have graduated from the same school of ignorance as Rob Parker. Are you next going to tell us how “uneducated” we are that a quarterback wearing his hat backwards tells so much about him?

  68. pastabelly says: Dec 14, 2012 1:52 PM

    Right now, he’s not even in the top ten.

    There are three elite quarterbacks in the league in Brady/Rodgers/Manning. Is he in the next group of E. Manning, Brees, and Roethlisberger? NOOOOOO!!!!!! Hell, I’d put him behind RG3 and Luck. So, that brings us to number 9 and the next tier discussion with Cutler, Flacco, Schaub, Dalton, Romo, Bradford, and maybe even Russell Wilson now???? . . . . you get the idea. He’s a decent quarterback and you could win a championship with him if you had the absolute right parts around him.

  69. thefox61 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:06 PM

    Stafford is good…just not Manning good.
    Let’s compare stats since Linehan “doesn’t know where Peyton was after 4 years”:

    Manning
    Games – 64
    Comps – 1357
    Pct.- 61%
    Yards – 16,418
    Avg. – 7.4
    TD – 111
    INT – 81
    QB Rating – 85.175

    Stafford
    Games – 42
    Comps – 1029
    Pct. – 60%
    Yards 11,846
    Avg. – 6.9
    TD – 77
    INT – 49
    QB Rating – 83.9

    Not bad but not Manning.
    In defense of Stafford, he still has 3 more games left this season and he only played 10 games in ’09 and 3 in ’10. Manning played 16 games a season his first 4 years, so to be fair an accurate comparison can not be made until his 64th game.
    So let’s make an adjustment and we will look at Manning’s first 3 years and we should have a better comparison.

    Games – 48
    Comps – 1014
    Pct. – 60.4%
    Yards – 12,287
    Avg. – 7.3
    TD – 85
    INT – 58
    QB Rating – 85.53

    Things look a little closer now.

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