Lions’ Zack Follett: Matthew Stafford is “a china doll”

The Jay Cutler controversy is dying down, and it’s been a few hours since we’ve had a story about an NFL player questioning a quarterback’s toughness, so we’d like to present some of the words that Lions linebacker Zack Follett spoke in an interview on ESPN Radio in Fresno.

Follett chimed in on the Cutler story, but first he had some choice comments about his own teammate, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“Stafford, good guy,” Follett said, per the Detroit Free Press. “He’s a china doll right now. Anytime he gets hit, he goes down. But the kid is — hopefully, it’s just patiently waiting for him, because the kid is an awesome talent. He has a tremendous arm. The throws that he makes during practice when no one can touch him, he looks like an All-American quarterback, but put him in a game, and you hit his shoulder. So hopefully, say a couple prayers, keep him healthy next year, and the Lions can do some damage in the NFC.”

While Follett’s comments about Stafford may stir up a controversy in Detroit, he was measured in his response when asked about Cutler, noting that Cutler was legitimately hurt but also pointing out that Cutler didn’t exactly exude leadership while standing on the sideline after suffering his MCL sprain against the Packers.

“I kind of understand both sides,” Follett said. “I think, looking at Jay Cutler, if he wasn’t the man who he is, he wouldn’t be criticized so heavily. If you look at it, it is an actual injury, Grade 2 sprain. But you want to see your quarterback in the NFC championship game show the guts, show the heart and go out there and say, ‘I’m going to do this for the team and try and get a win.’ But he kind of just knew that they were going to lose, hung his hat up and said, ‘All right, maybe next season.’ That’s his character, that’s him. I’m not going to attack him, but I would handle it different.”

55 responses to “Lions’ Zack Follett: Matthew Stafford is “a china doll”

  1. Its funny how bad these comments sound, even tho he’s exactly right on both situations. sounds like he’s ripping them, but he’s just being fair and honest.

  2. Stafford is a year younger than Sam Bradford and a lot more physically talented. Don’t overlook that.

  3. It has been true so far in Staffords career that the slightest tap results in a 3 week absence. Hopefully thats not always the case.

  4. Who the heck is Zach Follett?

    STafford has been injury prone but at least you know he will play if his arm is attached (see browns game)

    Zach Follett?? really????

  5. You should do an article on the Panthers’ fullback talking about how Jimmy Clausen’s “on his way up in this league” and how they’ll “be contenders” in 2019.

    You know, something we’d *REALLY* want to read about!

    (Blows raspberry sound, two thumbs down)

  6. A 7th round draft pick out of Detroit’s in 2009 knows WHAT exactly about Cutler ?

    He’s been on the Practice Squad and IR (how ironic) more than he’s been on the field.

    Perhaps he shouldn’t be the spokesperson on this subject …

  7. Last season Stafford came back in the game from that big hit to win that game against the Browns. That was pretty ballsy and exciting.

  8. It’ll be interesting to see how Stafford reacts to this……Will he show Zack he’s wrong or right.

  9. Im not ready to concede Stafford is a ‘china doll’ just yet. It’s a premature assessment.
    I suspect he rushed himself back too soon from a significant shoulder injury. Its gonna take months for the tissue and structure to stabilize and heal so he wasn’t physically ready contrary to what leaks from Allen Park.

    Not to mention our fabulous O-line allowed every one our QB’s to sustain significant injuries this year.( I think it was 2 shoulder separations, 1 broken arm, and 1 broken digit on throwing hand).

    I think a more appropriate label could be directed at the folks that allow our QB’s to get the krap kicked out of them every Sunday.

    I already know we didn’t give up as many sacks this year but that doesn’t speak to the amount of hits Stafford, Hill, & Stanton took.

  10. Moron must be bucking for a trade.

    What kind of retard says something like that about his own quarterback?

  11. As someone who has seen every snap of Zach Follett’s NFL Career (which hasn’t been many) and has seen him whiff on as many tackles as he had made…he should shut the hell up…

  12. You just DON’T question the manhood/toughness of your own QB. Even if that is what you’re thinking. You don’t go public with it. The Lions will have enough problems going into the next season without this ish swirling around the locker room.

  13. When I read the headline, I thought it was a dig. But when I read it in context, I thought he was just saying that Stafford’s shoulder is so fragile that if you hit it, he’s going to go down.

    And it is. Remember? He played with it. He ran away from the trainers and made some good moves to get on the field. And they won that game.

    Hopefully, Stafford’s shoulder surgery is a success because I think he’s a gamer. But I think this is a little overblown.

  14. As much as I like Zach and see his potential along with Stafford, I think Follett could have phrased that statement better.

    You can’t say something like “he’s a china doll” then follow that with “keep him healthy next year, and the Lions can do some damage in the NFC.”

    It’s like saying “With all due respect…”

    It think the media is making it a better deal then really is but still. The one thing this kid needs is reassurance from the people that really matter and those are his teammates.

  15. First of all, the beat writer went to Follet…not the other way around. Second, Follet gave a spot on analysis of Stafford. The problem with regurgitating someone else’s article to make it sound like something else is really something else!

    Regardless of who’s saying it, what was said by Follet was spot on. Remember, he didn’t call Stafford a China Doll because he thinks he’s soft or “weak”. He referred to him getting knocked out for MOST of his young career with shoulder hits/injuries. Follet actually states in the article that he thinks Stafford is “awesome.”

    You guys make me laugh.

  16. This guy probably isn’t as valuable as the starting qb right? Not a very good team mate to say things like that either. I am not a detroit fan but have wondered about Stafford since he started getting hurt. I had a labrum tear in my right shoulder in 2007 ( don’t have any ides how it happened either.) and just had a torn labrum , rotator cuff, acromioclavicular decompression,and micro fracture surgery in my left shoulder all from climbing a ladder at work so I am a china doll not a guy who can take an NFL beating like he has. The last play where he fell on the shoulder looked like the perfect scenario for the same issue I had and come to find out he just had the same thing I did. Shaving the shoulder blade down has the same pain value as a bone marrow transplant. Remember Drew Brees had a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder at San Diego and that’s why they got rid of him because they thought he would be done, also had rivers on the sideline. Just look at Brees career since that surgery and it should tell you that Stafford still has a pretty good chance to be healthy. I would love to have him in Minnesota compared to the guys there now. I think the lions should get this mouthy linebacker.

  17. You can question Follet’s football ability all you want, but you can’t deny that he speaks the truth regarding Stafford. Stats don’t lie, look at the amount of time he’s missed already! I fear he’s another Chad Pennington…….talented, but always injured.

  18. Stafford could buy the city of Detriot right now. Noone wants to live there, can you blame them, Pistions,Lions,Tigers??? Anything to get a story about the Lions i guess somebody has to say sometin about the quarterback to get a little national publicity.!!

  19. i kinda have a problem with this cutler thing, i d ont like the guy but brett favre played on a fractured ankle in the nfc championship game and he is 40…and shut up zach i havent seen you make a pro bowl or anything

  20. Zack Follett rhymes with Frito Lay, he must be a corn chip cause I’ve never heard of him. And if he doesn’t keep his mouth shut Zack Follett’s next job will be using a microphone to say “do you want fries with that”?

  21. Your headline should be “Former Lion…” For you people agreeing with this idiot, he didn’t say the kid has had a couple of serious injuries, he called him a “China doll.” That’s not the same and it shouldn’t be taken as a fair assessment of the situation. Mayhew should cut this jackass before nightfall. Jealous bitch.


    A. Zack will be playing for the Lions next season:
    (vote “thumbs up”)

    B. Zack will be playing for some team other than the Lions:
    (vote “thumbs down”)

  23. From
    Follett was already trying to backtrack on his “china doll” comment. This afternoon, on his Twitter account, Follett wrote, “That’s my bad on the china doll comment, just referring to his injury .. have no room to talk I was more broken then anyone this yr”

    And for all the goofs here bashing Follet please keep in mind:
    “Follett suffered a serious neck injury in the game against the Giants this year and it’s possible that he might never play again.”- mlive

  24. In other news, Fresno police yesterday rescued 20 cats from filthy home and the cats are now resting in the local shelter and the home owner is charged with negligence…

  25. @scott1208

    “another Chad Pennington”

    Really??? Chad Pennington’s arm strength was never better than mediocre. Matthew Stafford, on the other hand, has a howitzer attached to his body.

  26. Zach Follett gets a lot of love in Detroit (for some reason) but the fact is this…he’s a 7th round pick that has spent more time on the Practice Squad and Injured Reserve than on the field on Sunday’s.

    This entire “injury prone” “china doll” tag that people like to throw around is completely premature and irresponsible. People shouldn’t give their opinion unless they assess all the facts.

    ALL 3 QB’s in Detroit got seriously injured this year. ALL THREE!! Hill suffered a broken arm and finger on his throwing hand while Stanton suffered a shoulder separation similar to what Stafford had!

    Zach please explain to me why neither of them nor yourself for that matter (who finished the year on IR) aren’t “china dolls” as well??

  27. hey Zach…was Stafford soft or a “china doll” when he ran back on the field with his left arm hanging out of socket from the shoulder to throw a game winning TD pass (his 5th TD in that game and a rookie record)?? Tell me also, do you think that is something Cutler WOULD EVER do??

  28. hobartbaker says: Jan 25, 2011 2:42 PM

    Stafford is a year younger than Sam Bradford and a lot more physically talented. Don’t overlook that.

    Who knows this? Sam Bradford has a lot of talent, and probably the Rookie of the year. How does Stafford’s talent compare to that? What you been smokin son?

  29. If the Lions had a decent O-line, we wouldnt be having this discussion!! Cutler got shafted with the knocks. A strained MCL can easily lead to a torn MCL. Hats off to the Bears’ medical staff!

  30. He’s saying the same thing that everyone in Detroit is thinking about Stafford.

    We all know that he’s an awesome QB with a giant heart. But we’re all worried about whether he’ll make it through next season.

    There’s some pressure on Stafford to work harder during the off season to prepare his body for the physical pounding he’ll take. Supposedly Troy Aikman increased his off season workouts in Dallas and it reduced his injuries.

    In that context, I don’t mind anyone with the Lions saying things in public that will remind Stafford that he’s got a lot riding on his shoulders.

  31. 2nd day … 2nd Fullback to comment on something… a QB…. earlier in the month a Punter commented on Owner/Coach Business…

    This league is getting out of control when Fullbacks and Punters have mouth pieces..

    Does the Long Snapper have some revelations..?? coming soon

  32. Big difference between being soft and being injury prone. Stafford has been injury prone. No one feels sorry for Soft.

  33. Z speaks the truth. He just posted a FB video explaining himself and how his words were twisted. He also spoke to Matt, and they are on fine terms. Hopefully, he can continue to rehab and be back next year to blow some people up on the field. Dude’s the man

  34. from daytwa area…

    stafford may be the guy.

    but if he goes down again i wouldnt resign him. or anoint him.

    cause if he cant stay up… someone else has to play. and one of them may end up being he guy.

    stafford may be the guy only if he can stay in the lineup. like, from now on.

    i like hill’s moxie but stanton may get there yet.

    and children, please, stfu about chauncey pullpecker. he sucks balls.

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