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Stafford doesn’t think he needs a quarterback tutor


Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s throwing mechanics have been called into question as long as he’s been in the NFL, and as he threw away Detroit’s division lead with 12 interceptions over the last six games, those questions about his throwing motion intensified.

But Stafford doesn’t think that’s anything he needs to work on over the offseason.

Asked if he would spend time next year learning from a quarterback guru like George Whitfield, who has had good results in private tutoring sessions with several NFL quarterbacks, Stafford said he doesn’t believe that’s what he needs.

“Probably not,” Stafford said. “It’s not something that I feel would be my style or beneficial to me.”

But the issue is that Stafford needs to change his style. The Lions have devoted a huge chunk of their salary cap to Stafford for years to come, and they simply can’t afford to have him play the way he’s been playing. It could be a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, a new quarterback coach or a private quarterback tutor, but someone needs to get Stafford to play better than he played while the Lions went 1-5 down the stretch.

Stafford did say he knows he needs to get better.

“Any time you don’t achieve the goals you want, individually and as a team, it can do one of two things,” Stafford said. “It can pull you down or it can motivate you to have a more successful season, not only individually but as a team as well. I know I’ll take it that way.”

Whatever motivates Stafford through the offseason, the Lions will be in bad shape in 2014 if he doesn’t play better than he did in 2013.

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67 Responses to “Stafford doesn’t think he needs a quarterback tutor”
  1. MichaelEdits says: Dec 28, 2013 12:06 PM

    He’s got so many different throwing motions that we should call him Vitruvian Quarterback.

  2. hehateme2 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:08 PM

    And this is why the lions won’t be taken seriously. Dude needs to admit that he needs help and go get it.

  3. tavisteelersfan says: Dec 28, 2013 12:11 PM

    He needs a coach who is a tough, disciplined winner. He needs Coughlin.

  4. letsgotemple says: Dec 28, 2013 12:12 PM

    To follow up, anyone in any profession at any level that thinks they could not benefit from a mentor or learning more is limiting themselves and their company. And needs to take their head out of their ass

  5. bennyb82 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:13 PM

    Doesn’t Tom Brady get help every offseason? For Stafford to say this, it makes me think that signing him to that huge extension was such a mistake. Nobody can truly 100 percent master the position so for him to not want to have somebody potentially help him improve is very telling.

  6. 1964bclions says: Dec 28, 2013 12:14 PM

    You can always tell how far a man will go by what he is willing to learn, once he THINKS he knows it all.

  7. kriswd40 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:14 PM

    His mechanics aren’t the issue, its his decision making and tendency to make lazy throws. Guy can chuck the ball from all sorts of crazy angles just fine.

  8. jimnaizeeum says: Dec 28, 2013 12:14 PM

    “Stafford did say he knows he needs to get better”…just doesn’t want to do anything to improve.

  9. bennyb82 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:15 PM

    Sounds like the 1-5 finish has really motivated Stafford to get better…

  10. calhounlambeau says: Dec 28, 2013 12:17 PM

    If local media is bringing up that question you as a QB you should be alarmed and a little embarrassed. As long as they’re paying him to be an elite QB there’s no incentive for him to prepare any better.

  11. strictlythedanks says: Dec 28, 2013 12:18 PM

    Maybe they should have an intervention

  12. jsho55 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:22 PM

    Every off season for his NFL career Tom Brady has worked with QB coaches. So a multiple MVP still trys to get better every year.

    Stafford doesn’t see any benefit in having a coach? Extremely arrogant on his part imo. The best athletes in the world still work with coaches to get better.

  13. blackngold4life says: Dec 28, 2013 12:23 PM

    Kid has a nice arm..he just makes mistakes early or late when it counts..but to say he doesn’t need alil help is beyond egotistical

  14. twang621 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:24 PM

    Brady had a tutor until the day his tutor passed and he is one of the greats but Stafford apparently is ok with throwing INTs and inconsistency.. This right here is the difference between a GOOD QB and a GREAT one.. Drive and determination.

  15. ecupatsfan12 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:29 PM

    Note to Matt- as a professional quarterback it’s your job to realize that you are a mortal and to do whatever it takes to get better. Brady Rodgers Manning Brees all those guys weren’t legends off the bat at age 24. You have to work to get better!

  16. gb4mn0 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:32 PM

    Isn’t an elite QB one that can make a mediocre Receiver a Pro Bowler?

    In Stafford’s case it’s more the Receiver(s) make the QB a Pro Bowler.

  17. officialgame says: Dec 28, 2013 12:33 PM

    You have to admire a guy who doesn’t want to get better and thinks he knows all the answers.

  18. gergie1957 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:37 PM

    By the way he’s played the past four weeks, I’m thinking he already has a tutor, Tony Romo.

  19. tonyricemajorharris says: Dec 28, 2013 12:38 PM

    Tom Brady would never say what Stafford did. That is why Stafford will never be a Champion. Great attitude kid

  20. beelza says: Dec 28, 2013 12:40 PM

    He doesn’t need a QB coach b/c his head coach tells him he doesn’t need one. See a pattern here – Jim Schwartz. The little boy who refuses to take his cough medicine b/c he thinks he doesn’t need it, and the mommy who enables his behaviour. All the while the sick little boy continues to infect his siblings and classmates.

  21. slew55 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:40 PM

    Even Tiger Woods has a coach who helps him with his swing. You can always get a little better….

  22. ryann252013 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:40 PM

    Just go on google images and search Matt Stafford to get an idea of this guys work ethic.

  23. 1rockyracoon says: Dec 28, 2013 12:41 PM

    Stafford sounds happy putting up empty stats. Who cares if you throw for 4,000 yards if you also throw away your team’s chances for the playoffs. He has what he wants–stats and $. Winning and becoming a better QB don’t sound important to him.

  24. mazenblue says: Dec 28, 2013 12:44 PM

    Everyone is missing the point here. He knows he needs to get better. He is also not going to throw his current set of coaches under the bus. They have not been fired, yet. Saying he needs more coaches would imply his current coaches suck(they do). But understand that a QB coach works for the team and hired by the team. If he brought a QB guru in, that would be his thing. Not every QB has a guru to help. Tom Brady is not your regular QB. And Stafford is not Brady. He’s a mid 20 year old Favre. The same Favre that led the league in interceptions a few times.


  25. azjam says: Dec 28, 2013 12:47 PM

    It starts with the HC. Get rid of Schwartz is the first step.

  26. metrocritical says: Dec 28, 2013 12:51 PM

    For those who suspect that the Lions’ problems extend beyond just poor coaching, these comments are further evidence that Stafford has issues with maturity, perspective, judgment and insight, on and off the field. The stand up guy would admit to bring open minded to whatever could help improve his performance and help the team win. As things stand right now, Stafford just doesn’t show the traits of a true winner. Very disappointing.

  27. bert1913 says: Dec 28, 2013 12:51 PM

    you cant learn talent, either you have it or you don’t

  28. dubblelznhell says: Dec 28, 2013 12:56 PM

    Stafford’ stop proud too admit he has flaws. Too bad, cuz he could have 5000 yard seasons with 40 TDs every year while putting his team in positive situations. Instead of getting photographed while drinking on a boat all the time, how about you work with a QB coach that isn’t there in name only?

  29. hyzers says: Dec 28, 2013 12:57 PM

    All he needs is his receivers to not lead the league in dropped passes. Catch those balls and the lions would be in the playoffs and all the so called experts wouldn’t have crap to say.

  30. shaggytoodle says: Dec 28, 2013 1:00 PM

    He has an elite arm… but he needs to be smarter… I think a offense HC would be good for him. They also need someone to get those penalties under control.

    As a Packer fan that watched 15 + years of Favre and 5 of Rodgers.

    Trust me, a strong arm is great, but when you can add a smart player that makes high % plays with the ball like throwing away under pressure instead of trying to squeeze a ball into a tight window on 2nd and 4 it goes a long ways.

  31. bsandersislegend20 says: Dec 28, 2013 1:02 PM

    And this is why Stafford will continue to be mediocre and my team will continue to miss the playoffs even when they’re handed to us. Smh

  32. dino2997 says: Dec 28, 2013 1:22 PM

    As a Bears fan I love that Stafford plays for the Lions and Shwartz gets all the blame by the fans. Lions will never be a team to worry about.

  33. The Pittsburgh Steelers says: Dec 28, 2013 1:25 PM

    He needs something.

  34. GHOSTHOUSE says: Dec 28, 2013 1:28 PM

    The kid is upset. He’s 25 years old coming off a freak losing season brought on mostly by poor coaching and his own faults. He doesn’t want to hear it right now. I’m sure he’s going to get the help he needs in the offseason and come in and dominate in 2014. Give him a break. He has no excuses now and he’s got great character and a winning attitude along with the right stuff to be the Lions QB for years. Get off his back. He’ll do what he needs to do

  35. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 28, 2013 1:29 PM

    Well then he’s probably not going to learn anything against the Vikings either. Let somebody else play and maybe Matthew can learn something new from himself by watching from the bench.

    Both of these QBs were prepared to play in the preseason and he can check out what that looks like.

  36. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 28, 2013 1:30 PM

    1. Needs far better coaching than the Lions have had the last few years.

    2. Brady for years had a mentor who he worked with every offseason until he passed away a couple years ago. He did this even after the Super Bowl victories.

    Brady works very hard every offseason reviewing what he did the year before, his mechanics etc, looking for any tiny little way to improve.

    But hey, if Stafford doesn’t want to make the jump to a top tier QB, he should just keep doing things the way he has been and he can keep watching the playoffs and SB from his couch.

  37. gslumbers says: Dec 28, 2013 1:34 PM

    YES- the Vikings really are that bad.

  38. cletusvandam says: Dec 28, 2013 1:34 PM

    What I really want to know is what does his stripper girlfriend think of all this?

  39. ninerswilldominatelikebefore says: Dec 28, 2013 1:35 PM

    this guy just doesnt seem to have the passion to be great. I can see him just do the required work to get by and not maximize his talent, he got paid big time out of college he doesnt care anymore plus his justin beiber haicut is annoying

  40. fdugrad says: Dec 28, 2013 1:39 PM

    No tutor? Well, how about a check to tell if he is colorblind? He seems to keep throwing to the wrong shirt. It MUST be the reason, because Stafford himself will tell everyone, he CERTAINLY doesn’t have ANYTHING to learn about his position. That’s evident in his wonderful stats! JEEZ, how can head and position coaches work with the typical NFL player? They are either equipped with an IQ of a turnip, socially maladjusted or have such an INFLATED picture of themselves, that they can sneer at long-term stats, video tape, and well documented tendencies, SWEARING that water DOES run uphill in their world! Pro football coaches must be wizards or something!!

  41. ahs2 says: Dec 28, 2013 1:40 PM

    Its not his mechanics…his mechanics have bailed him out far more than hurt him. Its his decision making and he plays for a coach who believes in playing reckless. Once Schwartz is gone, I’m sure question number one for the coaching candidates will be “what are you going to do to get our franchise QB on track.”

  42. cornerstone2001 says: Dec 28, 2013 1:43 PM

    ….Uncle Rico said the same thing

  43. vicnocal says: Dec 28, 2013 1:45 PM

    “I know a guy. They call him the QB Whisperer. He’s worked wonders for me.”

    -Josh McCown

  44. morr24 says: Dec 28, 2013 1:46 PM

    It is entirely predictable that he would dislike the idea of a QB coach. It is shocking that he would verbalized it. I now question his intellect.

  45. 12brichandfamous says: Dec 28, 2013 1:49 PM

    its too bad the reporter did not ask Stafford this question:

    Matt, your play this year directly led to the mediocre results, yet you don’t see the need to obtain coaching. Please tell us what you will do to improve your mechanics and decision making?

  46. offthelows says: Dec 28, 2013 2:00 PM

    remember that Stafford shut down Reggie Bush’s team meeting efforts just before the Lions choked away the NFC North. They talk about Jim Schwartz and an undisciplined team, but when your QB keeps sticking to the “no problems here” line when the team constantly underperforms, Stafford is probably a bigger component to the undisciplined rep of the team, let alone his undisciplined, side-armed gunslinger performance on the field

  47. egomaniac247 says: Dec 28, 2013 2:17 PM

    In the past 3 years he has averaged 4,800 passing yards. In that time span he’s thrown 89 touch down passes.

    He is FAR from the primary issue in Detroit.

  48. jerrahsucks says: Dec 28, 2013 2:17 PM

    Sitting on the bench with your hat turned backwards, looking like a goofy howdy dooty wanna be gangsta, instead of the team leader, doesn’t help your credibility a whole lot. Even Romo stopped that crap, and threw less interceptions the whole year than Stifford threw in the last six games.

  49. Ferdinand says: Dec 28, 2013 2:42 PM

    His attitude might be different in any of the coaches were willing to hold any players accountable for anything.

  50. tremoluxman says: Dec 28, 2013 2:45 PM

    Yeah, I love that cute little side-arm flick where you try to coax the ball around a pass rusher, Matt. Keep padding that INT stat, son.

  51. kordogg says: Dec 28, 2013 2:46 PM

    This is why he will never be a great quarterback. The true greats never rest on their laurels. He is not a student of thr game. He will have a couple good games but never have long lasting success. The man and his team are very immature. Their behavior is pathetic and despicable. It’s never their fault, it’s the mean crusty old dean Goodell always making life hard. Ever hear the Patriots, Colts, or any sucessful team say these things. No because they man up and move on. The crappy teams are always stuck in the past and never grow. But hey if every team was good then the NFL would be boring. So suck away and continue to be win fodder for the good teams because until you legitimately change, that’s all you will ever be.

  52. mylionsroaring says: Dec 28, 2013 2:50 PM

    When he gets a head coach that tells him he is responsible for most of what happened, rather than a coach who blames the rest of the team. He will start to change for the best.

    Stafford says all the right things. He takes the blame when they lose and gives credit to his team when they win, but until the head coach tells him in private what he says publicly nothing will change.

    Stafford needs to get better at the normal plays, without losing the sidearms, and the unbelievable throws he can make sometimes. It’s the plays where he needs to plant the foot and throw the ball with time he needs work on. It’s those plays where he has little to no pressure on him that cost the team. Hitting a guy in stride on a crossing route so he can turn it up break a tackle and go, rather than (jump up, dive, or reach back) only to waste that extra half second that gave the defender time to come up and make a play as soon as he finally gets possession of the ball.

    If those small details were fixed I think this team goes a long ways. Stafford could be a very good qb, but like Tom Brady he must hear the truth about his weaknesses. If Stafford throws an int and the coach blames the O-line, the receiver, a missed block, ect he will never look at what he did wrong on that play. The qb could scramble to make the play work even if the O-line breaks down, he could plant his foot even if he will get hit from a missed block, and he could improvise even if the receiver runs the wrong route. He can also take a sack rather than force a bad throw. Brady seen the truth about his play on a note pad from his coach, and Stafford needs the same thing from his new coach when he gets one.

    If Schwartz is still his coach this year coming up, Stafford will have no future in the NFL IMHO. The window for him to fix his problems is growing smaller and it needs to be addressed this year.

  53. orivar says: Dec 28, 2013 2:53 PM

    The more you look at it, it’s less Schwartz and more Stafford. People like to talk about the penalties however haven’t Jim Harbaugh’s ravens been one of the most penalized teams for years? Last year they were THE MOST and they won the superbowl so that is meaningless.

    Stafford and his stubbornness is holding them back. He already stopped Reggie’s team meeting and Reggie you know, has a superbowl ring.

  54. FinFan68 says: Dec 28, 2013 3:00 PM

    His mechanics are fine. He lacks discipline in his decision making process. The lions will get instantly better on black Monday. A no frills coach who will hold players responsible is all they need to consistently win.

  55. staffordh8er says: Dec 28, 2013 3:01 PM

    No he doesn’t need a better qb coach…he throws to the defensive backs just fine! Thanks fat boy Matthew!!
    Sincerely, every defense that plays against the lions

  56. mooberry123 says: Dec 28, 2013 3:06 PM

    Qb coach? I don’t need one of those. The Lions just gave me a huge extension before I even won a playoff game. They’re stuck with me, whether they like it or not!

    Matthew Romo

  57. buyamericanonly says: Dec 28, 2013 3:12 PM

    Spoken like a true Millenial, “we are all winners no matter where we finish, first or last” Now give Matt a ribbon, a bowl of ice cream and his big paycheck and all is well

  58. rmc1995 says: Dec 28, 2013 3:19 PM

    Stafford spent the entire offseason living and working out in Detroit to make himself better. To think he doesn’t want to get better because he won’t go to a tutor in Southern California.

    CJ was hurt for most of the season, Broyles was recovering from knee surgery beforw he got hurt, and Burleson broke his arm.

    Unless the guru is a medical healer of injured receivers, he won’t teach him much

  59. egomaniac247 says: Dec 28, 2013 3:38 PM

    If they’d won two more games this year this article would never exist.

    Dude is throwing for almost 5000 yards a season.

    I remember a guy named Bret Favre being a reckless gun slinger too. How’d he turn out?

    Detroit needs some damn DB’s that can compliment their D-line.

  60. tigerlilac says: Dec 28, 2013 4:11 PM

    More evidence that he does not have the head for the game.

  61. tigerlilac says: Dec 28, 2013 4:16 PM

    When Brady’s tutor, Tom Martinez, got ill and eventually died, Brady respectfully mourned his passing and moved on to Tom House. House was a marginal MLB pitcher but Brady saw in him the technical skill he needed in a coach. Stafford needs not only a sills coach but also a game management coach and a sports psychologist.

  62. lambeauwest says: Dec 28, 2013 4:31 PM

    Crappy footwork, throwing off-balance, with side-arm delivery – NO – I don’t think he needs any QB coaching help.

    I think his denial is fed because many of his “jump ball” throws are bailed out by the best WR in the NFL in Calvin Johnson.

  63. bluepike says: Dec 28, 2013 4:50 PM

    This kid has been around Jim Schwartz so much that he’s beginning to talk just like him. Not good.

  64. axespray says: Dec 28, 2013 6:50 PM

    ryann252013 says:
    Dec 28, 2013 12:40 PM
    “Just go on google images and search Matt Stafford to get an idea of this guys work ethic.”

    Yuck! I didn’t wanna see Stafford on a leash in Suh’s “fun time” dungeon.

  65. metrocritical says: Dec 28, 2013 9:28 PM

    It appears that egomaniac247 hasn’t seen a lot of Matt Stafford. The only thing Stafford and Favre have in common is arm strength. Favre was smarter, more mobile, significantly more accurate and had better footwork plus the “it factor” that separates winners from also rans. Stafford came into the league as a streaky slinger who didn’t understand the finer points of the QB position and five years and zero coaching later he’s the same guy but with more money. In Detroit, we are hoping that the next regime can convince him that there is more to playin QB than throwing the ball really, really hard in the general direction of his teammates.

  66. namaths5thofwhiskey says: Dec 29, 2013 3:06 AM

    You can always get better. In this case Lions might get better by moving on from a guy who has repeatedly refused to better his throwing motion and foot work.

  67. ydousuk says: Dec 30, 2013 3:34 AM

    Look at Wilson and the Seahawks. All they talk about is the dynamics of the team and how they work together. There’s always room for improvement and Stafford needs to acknowledge that he could work harder. He’s a good quarterback, but a tutor and maybe a team shrink/doctor would be a good idea. Stafford could be a great team leader, but he needs to put the team first…

    And to be fair, many of his so called ‘interceptions’ were dropped balls by Megatron and other receivers. They all need to get some tutoring and probably a new coach.

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