Ex-Lion says front office is arrogant, Stafford doesn’t work hard

AP

Former Lions defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson is ripping the Lions for losing Ndamukong Suh in free agency, saying an arrogant front office has failed to do enough to keep its key players while coddling quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“As a player and understanding how it goes, and understanding the caliber of player that Ndamukong is, you don’t table talks,” Jackson told the Detroit Free Press. “You keep them open until you figure something out. But I think the organization, from the front-office perspective, is very arrogant. And they’ve been known to do things like say we’re tabling discussions and things in that ballpark because of how they feel about themselves.”

Jackson added that Stafford gets away with being lazy because the team doesn’t demand otherwise. According to Jackson, the franchise quarterback should be leading by example, but in Detroit it was Suh and Calvin Johnson who did that.

“You see clips of Peyton Manning, however limited they are, you see him drilling his pocket presence, his footwork and different things like that,” Jackson said. “The time period I was out there [in Detroit], I didn’t see any consistent drills like that on a daily basis where he’s working on the drops and evading the rush and different things like that. . . . In my opinion, when you’re making that kind of money and you’re the face of the franchise, you put in work. And I don’t think that I was the only one to question that. When you see a guy like Calvin and Ndamukong working hard on a daily basis, doing extra stuff, and you don’t really see that from the quarterback, it’s like how can you be mad with the results? Because it’s not a high demand they’re placing on him for improvement.”

Whether Jackson is right or wrong about Stafford’s work ethic, there’s no question that he’s right that Stafford hasn’t improved as a passer since the Lions gave him a huge contract extension three years ago. That contract is part of the reason they can’t afford to keep Suh. Which means it would be nice to see Stafford do the work necessary to live up to the money the Lions are paying him.

116 responses to “Ex-Lion says front office is arrogant, Stafford doesn’t work hard

  1. Stafford and Cutler have a ton of talent but will never win big because their laziness.

  2. To be fair to Stafford:

    1. He never had an actual QB coach until this season.

    2. He played with the headcase named Titus Young for 2 seasons.

    3. Majority of his career had a below-average/bad offensive line

    HOWEVER,

    LoJack is most likely right about the F.O. and Stafford’s lack of accountability.

    Great Arm Talent, Not an Elite QB.

  3. This shouldn’t be a shocker to anyone. Stafford/Cutler, same deal, different person.

  4. Stafford is not an elite QB by any means yet he is getting paid like one. How can you just be Average when you have the best WR in history saving your ass on half your throws to him. Stafford would be a bottom 10 QB without Johnson.

  5. This is ironic coming from the mouth of Lawrence Jackson, a complete bust in his own right as a first round pick of the Seahawks that even a defensive genius Pete Carroll couldn’t salvage, who admitted (when he was dumped to the Lions for peanuts) to sleeping in meetings and film study sessions in Seattle.

  6. He’s right you know. Lewand aka f em till next year is still there along with Millen Jr.

  7. Get real, if there’s one thing that lions fans can’t deny is that stafford is working hard to improve

  8. Lawrence Jackson’s opinion matters? I’ll agree the Lions are the worst franchise in all of sports, but really Lawrence Jackson? Dude couldn’t even make the roster of a 7 win team.

  9. Sour grapes? How about this for a concept: the coaching sucked. Caldwell has Stafford doing drills and is more focused on situational football. And Suh didn’t want to be in Detroit! I think it’s lame when a former player bad mouths a team he couldn’t keep a job with. Grow up

  10. To which Stafford yawns, rubs his eyes and replies, “Yeah, but its a lot harder to get up in the morning when you are wearing silk pajamas.”

  11. The NFL Brass and Media have decided the QB is the ONLY position that matters. Every other position is easily replaceable. Heck, I remember after Demarco Murray scored an awesome touchdown last year, they just showed Tony Romo walking off the field and kept the camera on him. I mean, wouldn’t you want highlight the guy who actually scored?

    Teams all over the league are waaaaaaaaaaay overpaying for slightly above average QB’s and then losing players who can actually help the team win. I mean does every starting QB in the League besides Colin Kaepernick need $50-60M guaranteed?! What has Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, etc. done to warrant tying up 15% of the salary cap? Even “jump ball” Joe Flacco rode Anquan Boldin’s circus catches to a SB and massive contract. And then they ask Anquan to take a pay cut?! WTF! “Hey Anquan, thanks for catching all those jump balls and helping us win the SB, but we need you take less money so we can overpay the QB who threw those balls up for grabs”…. Seriously?!

    My question is, if you aren’t a Tom Brady, or A-A-Ron Rogers caliber QB – why are you being paid like one?

    Easy math from where I am sitting.

  12. stop this crazy talk! stafford is really good lions fans, i’m sure he works very very hard everyone!!! sign him to another huge extension, signed every nfc north fan…

  13. Suh was doing “Extra Stuff” out there?
    Sorry, I’m calling BS on that.
    This guy is just a dude who was Suh’s buddy. So he thinks he’s great and “has his back”

    What did Suh work extra on.. practice head stomping?

    Geesh…

  14. How anyone can believe that Suh is worth 19 mil/year is beyond me, i can juuuust about wrap my head around McCoy getting 14/year, Lawrence Jackson just seems bitter

  15. To say “majority of his yards are hail mary’s to Calvin Johnson” is what makes fans like me think this guy is bitter…..Matthew Stafford has over 20,000 yards, I’ve been watching the lions since i can remember, and since this pair has hooked up up can name all the “hail mary plays” that has come between these two.

    Now im not the smartest commenter on PFT, but i know it wasn’t 20,000 yards worth of hail mary’s…

    I agree with some of his sentiments about our front office…but he sounds very bitter saying obvious exaggerated stats in regards to Stafford’s yardage.

    Yes we would love for Stafford to be the 2011 Stafford with 5100 yds, 48 TDs…..but calvin johnson didnt have 5100 yds receiving that year…give the kid SOME credit, and yes he dserves the some critiquing as well.

    New system and he cut his turnovers to 12 this past year, I see the growth, he just has to mesh the ball security with the talent he has. If he cant, we have to move on when his deal is up in 2 years. period.

    But yea ….thanks, but no thanks Lo Jax.

  16. Stafford stepped up this year, now its on to year two in a system that may just be good enough to work.

  17. Agreed! Stafford is the highest paid inaccurate , overweight QB in the league . He should snot book and hanging out w Teddy Koolaid . Skol Vikes

    Ps: if your one of the faces of your franchise …… Turn yo hat back around ?

  18. Lojack hasn’t shut his mouth about Detroit since they cut him. There are others who say Stafford is the 1st guy there and the last guy gone……who do you believe?

  19. Suh signed for 114 million. I can’t fault the lions for not matching it, they wouldn’t have much money left to field a team. It’s tough to let such a great player go, but you have to be smart with your cap too.

  20. I’m not fan of the lions, I am pretty indifferent about them as I am of any team that has been mediocre to bad for most of their history but I would point out a few things:

    the idea of the lions front office being arrogant is kind of funny, why would they be? Based on what, not being able to afford to keep Suh who clearly was going to the highest bidder no matter what?

    Johnson wasn’t quite a first round bust, but for a first round pick, he had a 3rd-4th round career. I think the talent was there but clearly not the effort. If the lions have players that don’t work very hard, he fit right in and his basis for criticising anyone is non existent.

  21. As to the front office…..it does seem to be lacking in many areas including leadership.

  22. This guy has been off the team for I think 2 years now. Why is he still talking about Stafford? I remember when he was blasting Schwartz but he never played with Caldwell and hasn’t seen Stafford practice in the last 2 years. So I’ll take everything he says about Stafford now with a grain of salt.

  23. Stafford inherited an 0-16 team and has set many NFL records already. Is he perfect? No…..but he just turned 26 a month ago and he has potential. A good qb is hard to find, I like him

  24. It was good to see some fire in Stafford, like his on-field comments after the picked-up flag against Dallas. We need to see more of that in him. He comes off very flat the rest of the time and doesn’t have much presence. As an outsider, it does make you think he might be lazy. Googling his name and looking at the images, you might think he’s a Db. I’m not exactly sure on that though. He’s not a Manziel-level Db.

    I do agree that he’s got a real staff around him now, but they need to do more than keep him from throwing ints. He needs to score points. Without Suh, we’ll need to score even more.

  25. Lawrence Jackson has been crying about the Lions ever since they released him for being garbage. This isn’t the first time Jackson has cried, he does it annually. Poor guy must have nothing to do.

  26. “Ex-Lion says front office is arrogant, Stafford doesn’t work hard”-Maybe that’s why he’s out of a job……………

  27. Tough to give a huge contract to a person(Suh) who can’t be relied on because he hasn’t grown up. All he cared about was being the highest paid player. He doesn’t understand the whole picture and I bet his play will taper off (if he can stay on the field).

  28. Guy hasn’t played for the Lions in 2 years, but I guess that gives him the right to rip the QB 1 year after the team actually hired a real QB coach, right? His perspective from 2 years ago is outdated and sounds like sour grapes. The coaching staff worked tirelessly this offseason to get Stafford to be better and he put in the time to get better as well.

    For the author to say he hasn’t gotten better is a cop out too. He was asked to take care of the ball this year, he also improved his accuracy. He was asked not to play sandlot football, and live to fight another day, not throw into triple coverage and have CJ go up and get it. He improved significantly this year, despite being under duress from one of the worst olines in the league. He also had a 1st year coordinator that at times appeared to be in over his head.

    Also, you can point to the contract of CJ being just as big of an issue as Stafford’s. Stafford makes what above average QB’s make in the league. CJ has a contract that is one of the tops in the league, despite the fact that he has become more injury prone the last 2 years, and has had major drop issues that are starting to creep up. You can also point to the fact that the Lions don’t have 1 member on the roster from 2010 or 2011 draft classes as a major issue. Or the FO’s constant restructuring of deals which has led to $17M of dead cap space this year. Stafford isn’t perfect, but he also isn’t the reason why the Lions couldn’t afford Suh. That falls squarely on the GM and the guy they hired to manage the cap.

  29. Lawrence obviously doesnt know much about the Lions/Suh situation.

    But interesting to hear what he has to say about Stafford, he may have something there.

  30. I imagine Stafford waking up everyday and praying to baby jesus that QB whipping boys like Cutler and Romo exist.

    Dudes been getting a free pass for close to a decade now!

  31. Jackson’s just a bitter man who had been out of the league for 2 years. Just trying to get his name out there but in reality the man had no chance to make any team.

  32. Even as as a Packer fan, I’ve always liked Stafford. Ever since his shoulder got just wrecked, but he came right back in and threw a pass (might have been the game-winning touchdown?).

    I hope this is just sour grapes from a former player as it gets harder and harder to root for any of these guys as time goes by. And by “these guys” I mean players in general, even those that play on my team.

    Kids need heroes.

  33. Stafford isnt cutler. They both have strong arms. Stafford has a ton of game winning drives in a young career. Watch some of his mic’ed up highlights for example the browns or cowboys games he won last second. Hes a much more vocal leader than Cutler. Was he pampered? Maybe. But this sounds a lot like sour grapes from a guy who never started and was eventually cut.

    And jackson was a first round pick out of USC drafted by the Seahawks…. has played for 3 teams and never done anything. Maybe he should be questioning his own work habits.

  34. Who cares what Lojack thinks, he can tweet in disgust all he wants.. It’s not going to get him a spot back on the only team he did anything in his career.

  35. Stafford has a sense of entitlement and arrogance that isn’t deserved. I view him as a Jeff George type of player. Tons of talent, just doesn’t have the leadership qualities you look for in a franchise QB.

    I don’t like it when former players talk bad about an ex teammate seems pretty low.

  36. I’m THE biggest Lions fan on the planet and I would have to agree with LoJack. Stafford is not a leader at all. The Lions will never win the SB with him at quarterback.

  37. This is the second year of a prime-aged 27 y/o Stafford under Caldwell/Lombardi and their new offensive scheme…for this Lions fan, this is the last excuse-free chance for Stafford to show what he is.

    As of now, Stafford’s a gun slinger and you take the good with the bad; 40+ TDS, 5,000+ yards and a healthy dose of interceptions or neuter him like he looked like last year. If he has to be the latter to be on the team, they made a huge mistake in extending him.

  38. I’m not a fan of the Lions front office but letting Suh go was a good move. WAY overpriced.

  39. As far as the front office, this brain trust picked TE Ebron at #10 last year ahead of Aaron Donald even though they had their two best DTs becoming free agents…the arrogance is pretty apparent.

  40. “Which means it would be nice to see Stafford do the work necessary to live up to the money the Lions are paying him.”

    Just put this in the huge stack of things I don’t understand about this generation. (Not sure if it is Stafford or Florio to whom I am referring.)

    Honor. Integrity. Self Respect. Any of these are reasons to put in longer hours and more grueling workouts if you are the starting quarterback of an NFL team. Money? That’s the residue of effort, not the reason for it.

  41. WHOA! Someone actually putting their name to their comments? I had to do a double take…

  42. I don’t think laziness is Stafford’s issue. I do think he trusts his arm too much. His footwork is a mess a lot of the time, but there’s no way he doesn’t know the proper way to do things. He’s been quarterbacking for 20 years. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he knows how to step, how to shift his weight, how to square up, and so on. He just got away with doing it his own way for too long to stop now.

  43. this was news back in 2010 when LoJack was actually with the team and in the locker room… stafford was 22/23 and didn’t have the right support of the coaching staff. as for the FO … I’d challenge him to find an FO elsewhere in the league that isn’t arrogant to a certain extent. this is non-news.

  44. Anyone objectively observing Detroit over the past five years would’ve suspected as much. Mayhew and Co. got some glory after cleaning up Matt Millen’s oil spills but what have they actually accomplished? If your last girlfriend was a cheating, abusive, pill popping, shoplifting, know it all psycho and your next one isn’t, that doesn’t necessarily make her a good girlfriend. It just means she isn’t horrible in comparison. For the Lions, that next girlfriend was Martin Mayhew and he needs to become Detroit’s next ex.

  45. No, Stafford is just Jason Isbell, with a better arm, but worse voice.

    dee6634 says:
    Mar 10, 2015 9:30 AM
    Stafford is just Jay Cutler with better body language.

  46. Stafford is a lot like Cutler. They look good… great arm, lots of yards, some big plays. However, they aren’t actually good enough to win in the NFL. There have been many years now where if you put Brady or Manning (or Rodgers, or Brees) on Detroit they would have been a very dominant team in the NFL. Very dominant. Calvin Johnson with a truly elite QB would have been the scariest thing in NFL history. Instead his career has been mostly wasted in Detroit. At least Fitzgerald had Warner for a while.

  47. Stafford spent those years on injury. Somebody bring that up please. 2010, 2011, 2012 is when Lawrence played here. This dude is bad

  48. I wish I could say LoJack is wrong; he voiced these same gripes last year. But Stafford insisted he doesn’t need a QB coach; two years ago when the Lions were melting down Reggie Bush said they needed a players only meeting, and Stafford said, no, they didn’t need that, either. Stafford has been a me first guy and it shows. Teams always coddle starting quarterbacks, but maybe Caldwell can turn on a little tough love.

  49. This guy is telling the absolute truth about the Lions front office and Stafford.

    And that’s why they won’t be winning anything.

    Stafford hasn’t progressed since he got there. You don’t see the progression because their isn’t any.

    You get what you put in. When was the last time you heard Stafford being the first in practice and then being the last to leave practice?

    When was the last time you heard Safford telling his WR’s that he wants to work out with them on their own individual time??

  50. A lot of Stafford bashing here.
    Actually think he is pretty talented dude.
    If he had some consistent coaching and offensive schemes, he would be elite.

    Too often he has had to do too much for the kitties to Win.

  51. All the dumping on Stafford but there are probably at least 15 teams right now that would jump on him if he was available more than likely 20+. He is a very good QB who last year played fairly well and controlled with Megatron unavailable or uneffective most of the year due to injuries. The big worry now is that he’s going to be asked to do too much again if the defense regressed after Suh’s departure. All I know is if someone puts up 5000+ yards and 40+ TDS in this league he is an elite talent. You can talk about him having Megatron all you want but until last year that was Detroit’s only WR of note. Cutler had Alshon aMarshall yet he never even approached those numbers.

  52. nflfollower says:
    Mar 10, 2015 9:49 AM
    Stafford isnt cutler. They both have strong arms. Stafford has a ton of game winning drives in a young career. Watch some of his mic’ed up highlights for example the browns or cowboys games he won last second. Hes a much more vocal leader than Cutler. Was he pampered? Maybe. But this sounds a lot like sour grapes from a guy who never started and was eventually cut.

    And jackson was a first round pick out of USC drafted by the Seahawks…. has played for 3 teams and never done anything. Maybe he should be questioning his own work habits.

    ————–

    When you watch a truly elite QB run an offense (reading the defense, changing plays, directing traffic, covering blitzes, hitting the open man in stride, accurate short passes) and then you watch Stafford (deep ball, dump off) it’s just not the same game. He’s talented and gutsy but he’s more like Cutler than he is like Manning.

  53. I hope the Ford family knows how to make cars better than they know how to choose GMs.

  54. The full swing decline continues on…..

    It’s blatantly obvious that Stafford is not going to help any team win a championship, definitely the overrated Lions.

    Cutler-Stafford-Romo all the same person!

  55. You can’t afford three big contracts, and your team has a good defense and crappy offense…so you let Suh go and keep Stafford? Apparently they’ve tabled common sense for now.

  56. “That contract is part of the reason they can’t afford to keep Suh.”

    —————————————

    Yeah, weeeeell, sure. But if the situations were reversed, Suh’s contract would be the reason they couldn’t keep Stafford. And that’s what the Dolphins will face for the next few years.

    I believe that every team should have a QB coach. Also, if Stafford is “lazy” or whatever, they should’ve signed a good vet QB as a backup to set an example in game preparation.

    The money and desire to win should be enough to motivate him, but what if in his mind he does do extra work? There may be many reasons why things are the way they are, and some don’t rest with Stafford. The team should step up if it feels he’s not preparing adequately.

    I would also add that a defensive player likely doesn’t know everything Stafford does to prepare.

    Not defending him for any particular reason, just saying that there may be more to the story.

  57. As a Lions fan I beleive every word he is saying. Still love my team but yeah, he speaks the truth. More could be done, and needs to be done.

    They haven’t won even a single playoff game, so they are obviously far from perfect and everyone from the top down is responsible for that. They have to find a way to do better and do more, each and every one of them. It’s not about pointing fingers, IMHO, when everyone could be better.

  58. Maybe he is lazy maybe he isn’t; could have something to do with the previous circus regimes he played for….

    Let’s not forget he played pretty good against Dallas in the playoffs, should have won that game. Let’s give him a chance with Caldwell and see what happens. Personally I like what I saw after 1 year.

    Much as I love Megatron, I would have gotten rid of him and re-signed Suh…

    Megatron is just about 30, hasn’t played a full season in 3 years and numbers are declining… I would have gotten younger and cheaper at WR and kept Suh….

  59. You can respect this guy, he owns his comments. Curious if he’s right or disgruntled. Always when thinking about great, elite and good QBs Stafford’s name never comes up in the conversation. With some really pretty good supporting cast he’s always been in the shadows, even with decent to great numbers at times.

  60. Jackson is right on the money. Asked a couple Seasons ago if he was going to work with a QB coach in the off season, Stafford stated “That’s not my thing.” As far as the front office goes, Mayhew always thought he’s the smartest guy in the league.

  61. I’m not saying he’s wrong, but how is it that a defensive lineman knows what kind of work a QB is putting in? Shouldn’t the d-lineman be in his own meetings and drills and practices while the QB is in another room or on another part of the field?

  62. “jboogie72 says:
    Mar 10, 2015 9:33 AM
    Lawrence Jackson’s opinion matters? I’ll agree the Lions are the worst franchise in all of sports, but really Lawrence Jackson? Dude couldn’t even make the roster of a 7 win team.”
    ===========================================

    What does LoJack’s ability or non-ability to stay on the team have to do with the validity of his comments? He was on the team, in the locker room, played with these guys, knew these guys, and probably still talks to guys on the team. That’s why his opinion matters. Who do YOU believe? Some sports writer who covers the team only a couple hours a week? Oh, if he supports YOUR homer opinion, then that’s what matters, right?

    I have to shake my head in disbelief every time I read comments blasting ex-players and coaches just because their playing career wasn’t hall of fame worthy.

  63. Can Cam Newton be owed an apology now???

    Maybe Warren Moon was onto something when he approached the Stafford vs. Newton subject in 2012 in a piece he did with Mike Silver.

  64. bullcharger says: Mar 10, 2015 10:33 AM

    Stafford is a lot like Cutler. They look good… great arm, lots of yards, some big plays. However, they aren’t actually good enough to win in the NFL.
    __________________________________

    Winning 11 games under a completely different scheme and making the playoffs twice in three years is pretty good for a team driven into the ground by Millen

  65. Jackson was cut by the Lions TWO years ago and hasn’t been able to get back on the field since then. Yeah, he’s the guy whose opinion I trust on hard workers!! Not.

  66. Lot of teams would love to have Stafford, not so much with Jackson who has been an whining underachiever dating back to university days.

  67. The guy might be right but, he has been crying about the Lions since he got all butt hurt when they didn’t resign him. This isn’t the first words out of his mouth about them. Get over it!

  68. Hard to say Stafford didn’t get better this year. He didn’t have the monster numbers he had in 2011 (though no almost quarterback has matched his production from that year, which coincidental was the year of the preseason lockout) but he wasn’t asked to. He was asked to increase his completion percentage and limit his turnovers, and he did, in his first year in a new system. We need to watch and see what happens this year before making Jay Cutler comparisons.

  69. Stafford is not a good face of the franchise. Look at his win/loss record against winning teams, away from Detroit, zero wins, 18 losses.

  70. If Lojack is so smart, maybe he can figure out why he doesn’t have a job in the NFL anymore. I’m sure he has an answer, and I’m sure its not his fault. Loser.

  71. Andre’s Johnson says:
    Mar 10, 2015 9:22 AM
    Well at least he’s owning his comments, rather than hiding behind the cloak of anonymity, etc.
    ——–
    That doesn’t mean much since he’s been out of the league for almost 4 years. I highly doubt if he were active or had a realistic chance to get back in the leauge he would be dumb enough to put his name with the comments. Only idiots think speaking freely has no consequences

  72. Lionstildeath

    Stafford didn’t throw all 5100 yards to CJ but it was 1900+ or something ridiculous. Almost 2k of the 5k. Stafford hasn’t shown enough growth to warrant his contract

  73. Lions fans, pay attention to what this guy is saying. His points are too obvious not to be true.

  74. Stafford is playing with the most dominant receiver since Randy Moss and Jerry Rice, so it’s pretty reasonable to wonder why he hasn’t improved.

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