Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is avoiding a war of words with Donovan McNabb.
McNabb, the former Eagles, Redskins and Vikings quarterback, said on NFL Network that Stafford hasn’t earned his new contract. Stafford responded on ESPN Radio that he’s fine with McNabb expressing that opinion, and he agrees with McNabb’s belief that Stafford needs to lead the Lions to more wins.
“I understand his point of view,” Stafford said, via the Detroit Free Press. “I totally get that. I’m all about wins and losses as well . . . it didn’t happen for us last year.”
Stafford says he realizes that as the quarterback of a team coming off a 4-12 record, there are going to be questions about whether he really deserves to be making more than $15 million a year.
“That’s something that’s obviously extremely important, especially playing the quarterback position,” Stafford said. “You get the praise when you win and all the loss on your shoulders when you lose. It’s just the name of the game. I totally understand Donovan’s point of view, but at the same time . . . I’m trying to please the Lions and my teammates and my coaches and nobody else. So people can say what they want to say, but as long as the guys in that locker room and that building believe in me, then that’s all that matters.”
Stafford is smart to keep his focus on what his teammates and his coaches think, and to respond to any outside criticism with his play.