The poor second half turned in by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford last year, which led to questions about how to get him back on track for coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi after they were hired by the team.
Some of the answers offered include working on footwork and other fundamentals, although Mike Ditka also chimed in to say that Stafford’s penchant for wearing his hat backwards detracted from his ability to make every throw. Assuming all can’t be fixed by simply rotating his cap 180 degrees, Stafford will spend the offseason sharpening up his game and said Thursday that he’ll be picking both coaches brains in an attempt to get the kind of consistency that was missing last year.
The Lions also added Golden Tate to give them a strong complement for Calvin Johnson at receiver and they’re reportedly mulling a trade up in the first round for Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, both of which suggest they don’t place all the blame on Stafford’s shoulders. Still, Stafford knows the way things go in a league that almost always comes down to quarterbacks.
“In the NFL, if your quarterback plays really well, your team plays pretty well, and I understand that,” Stafford said, via the team’s website. “We’re no different than any team, so the better I play, the better we’re going to play as a team. Common theory says that. Nobody puts more pressure on me than I do. I want to be as good as I can possibly be and not for myself, but to help this team win. That’s the number one goal.”
Stafford understands the nature of the task ahead of him, now he and the Lions just have to do the winning that will quiet many of the concerns about both quarterback and team.