Stafford on the Lions Offense
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Author:  LionFan57 [ April 16th, 2012, 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Stafford on the Lions Offense

Detroit Lions.com wrote:
Stafford: 'Our team would like to be a little bit more balanced than we were last year'
By Tim Twentyman


When players stand behind a podium and talk about statistics not being important and it being all about wins, most of the time, its just lip service.

But when Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford stood in front of the media Monday and said the very same things, there’s no doubt he meant it.

Stafford is as laid back and team oriented as they come. When he says he wouldn’t mind throwing for less than 5,038 yards this season if it means the Lions win 11 or more games, he’s one of the few players I believe.

“I want to win games,” Stafford said when asked about throwing for another 5,000 yards again this season. “Last year, the easiest way for us to win games when we had so many guys injured was to throw the football a lot.”

In fact, Stafford led the league in pass attempts last season with 663. He finished with 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns to became only the fourth player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season.

If he has his way, though, he won’t come anywhere near 5,000 yards in 2012.

“We were doing anything we could to win games and I think if we had it our way we’d be a little more balanced,” Stafford said. “I don’t really care if I throw for 5,000 yards. That’s obviously a great team accomplishment last year, but at the same time, I’d throw for 4,000 yards and win a couple more games.”

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had a good line last year when asked about the lack of balance on offense. He said he’d care more about balance when rushing touchdowns were worth more than passing touchdowns. His point was well taken. As long as the team moves the ball and scores – they were the fifth-ranked offense in 2011 – it’s doesn’t much matter how it’s moved in the grand scheme of things.

That being said, though, Schwartz would certainly like to see more balance this season and be able to watch his offense pound the football on short yardage situations, utilize great play action and wear teams out with a lead in the fourth quarter. He's hoping a healthy Jahvid Best, Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith allow the Lions to do that.

As talented as Stafford it, every quarterback loves the crutch of a good rushing attack.

“Everyone on our team would like to be a little bit more balanced than we were last year,” Stafford said. “If we stay healthy, I know we can be. That’s the thing about the NFL, you just never know. We’re going to prepare to be a balanced offensive attack…try to put a lot of points up.”

I'd like to see the Lions use the two TE set a little more often than they do. Green Bay uses it exceptionally well and it gets a lot out of both running & passing plays. It seems that is could help balance out the Lions offense better.

Author:  LionFan57 [ April 25th, 2012, 6:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Stafford on the Lions Offense

The Detroit News wrote:
April 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Receiver Calvin Johnson hopes for boost in Lions' run game
By Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Jahvid Best played in only five games in 2011 but still led the Lions in rushing -- a sign of the team's weak run attack. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)

Allen Park — Coming off a career-best season, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson isn't necessarily looking to improve on his statistics. In fact, he'd like to see the Lions spread the ball around a little more.

Last season, Johnson had career-highs in receptions (96), yards (1,681) and touchdowns (16), but he would prefer that the Lions get the running backs more involved in the offense.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has his best season, as well, throwing for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns. But the Lions were a pass-first team, which made the offense a bit predictable.

"Last year, the running game wasn't really there and we threw the ball all day," Johnson said Tuesday. "Matt had a heck of a year, throwing over 5,000 yards — not to say he won't throw for 5,000 again. But if we have a consistent running game, that's a lot of passes we don't have to throw and we can run some time off the clock."

The Lions ranked fourth in the NFL, averaging 301 yards passing, but just 29th in rushing (95.2 yards).

Jahvid Best, who was expected to lead a revamped rushing attack, played in just six games after suffering a concussion — but still managed to lead the team with 390 rushing yards. After Best's injury, the Lions had a backfield by committee, with Maurice Morris, Kevin Smith and Keiland Williams combining for 867 yards.

If the Lions can establish a consistent running game, Johnson believes it will benefit the receivers, as well.

"I'm not mad because honestly we (can) run it all day. I don't mind blocking for my RBs and seeing them shine," Johnson said. "I want those guys to get our running game strong and bring some extra guys in the box and that helps us (receivers) outside."

The receiving corps should be improved with Titus Young gaining more experience after his rookie season, hen he had 48 catches for 607 yards and six touchdowns.

"It's a big difference from your rookie year to your second year because everything slows down so much," Johnson said of Young. "Coming from college to the NFL, he made a good adjustment, but things are going to get slower for him and he'll understand defenses a lot more. He'll be good for us."

Casual observer

Johnson said he would watch some of this week's draft coverage, but he's not going to be glued to his TV.

"I'll be in tune to a little bit of it. I never really can sit there and watch it — it's hard," he said. "Honestly, I haven't paid too much attention besides the guys you see on TV every day. Obviously, we're not going to take any of those guys, such as (Robert Griffin III)."

Johnson said he wasn't sure whether the Lions would select an offensive or defensive player with their first-round pick, but guessed that it would be a defender.

As he prepares for his sixth season, Johnson recalled his draft experience fondly, when he was selected second overall in 2007.

"Being able to do those things that you see (on TV) but you never thought you'd be there — it's surreal and it's a blessing."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2012 ... z1t2voAMac

Author:  DJ-B [ April 25th, 2012, 8:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Stafford on the Lions Offense

Its been said before but beyond just the skill .. we are so lucky to have stafford and calvin for the type of teammate they are.

Author:  kdsberman [ April 25th, 2012, 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Stafford on the Lions Offense

DJ-B wrote:
Its been said before but beyond just the skill .. we are so lucky to have stafford and calvin for the type of teammate they are.

Absolutely. Definetly something special.

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