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 Stafford 
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Post Re: Stafford
kdsberman wrote:
Killwill25 wrote:
So who was the best QB chosen in the 09 class again?...



We know the answer to that, just dont ask ESPN. You know they drool over Mark Sanchez.


I haven't heard much about Sanchez on ESPN lately.. oh yeah, it's Tebow now. ](*,)

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December 21st, 2011, 8:21 pm
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Post Re: Stafford
I wish the lions would get smart in games when the first 5 times we run the ball we avg. 4 yds a carry to actually run it more. Stafford isnt benefiting anyone throwing near 60 times a game...But he is showing to be an awesome 4th quarter and crunch time QB. Happy to see he finally has a season where he hasn't been so injured where hes out for half the year.

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December 22nd, 2011, 1:34 am
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Post Re: Stafford
billy wrote:


Quote:
Stafford was on Sirius/XM NFL Radio today. After his interview was over, Pat Kirwan mention how he fully expects Stafford to beat Brees' Passing record, that he will set this year when he passes Marino, within the next couple years. This is because of the weapons we have around Stafford. Calvin being just one of them.


yet 3 weeks ago kirwan ripped stafford and said he d rank him with guys like matt moore and other journeyman. those guys dont have a good idea of whats going on bc of how much they have to cover. they just get a general sense based on whats happened in the past 1-2 weeks. i called there lame show that day when he ripped him and they wouldnt put me on


December 22nd, 2011, 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Stafford
Quote:
Look past the problems of this season. If we can fix our O-line in the next couple of years, we could have the best Offense in the History of the NFL.


it seems the front office isnt that concerned with the OL to this point. mayhew has had 3 offseasons to address this and has only added one starter so far. they ll be forced to make a move with backus contract status but im not sure they see it as a priority although i agree that they probably should.

Quote:
Brees has average RB's and a bunch of very average WR's.


i disagree with this. sproles is a unique and very talented player that nobody has figured out how to cover. Ingram is above average and pierre thomas is an above average all around runner. they have a very complete and talented backfield. just bc they split roles/carries doesnt mean they are average. they have a big stud at WR in Colston and a TE far better than anything we have in Graham. Henderson, Meachem, Moore are all solid No 2 WR but when u figure that 2 of them are a No 3 and a No 4 they as a groupd are way above average.

Quote:
Brady has average RB's and a bunch of average WR's


the rbs are far below average as runners but are good as receivers. Welker and the TEs are exceptional. Branch is average.

Quote:
P. Manning has a team that barely has won 1 game without him.

yes, sad situation there. guy will be lucky if he plays again but really they were declining last season and were probably a 6-7 win team this year with manning.

Quote:
Rivers has a Really good RB and 1 great WR and a great TE. But, he can't get himself going for a full season. He either starts slow and then gets it together at mid season or he starts out quick and then bogs down.


injuries had a huge role in that. gates missed time and matthews and tolbert both were out or slowed down at different times or together.

Quote:
We have 2 potentially really good RB's. 1 Great WR and 1 really good #2 WR. 2 really good TE's.
We just need the O-line to come up to top notch status. And away we go to the Super Bowl. OK, so I'm getting ahead of myself. LOL


pettigrew is an average starting TE, he drops too many balls and isnt the dominating blocker he should be. sheffler isnt anything special, he s an average receiver with good speed but cant block a lick. the RB situation is much more dire than you think - Best concussion issues are serious and his career may already be over. I think that we ll have him next year but it will mostly be a financial decision on his part - one recurrence and he is done. the medical decision cant be made for him but he already has people advising him to hang up the cleats. leshoure will make it back to training camp but how good is 85% of the player that we drafted? probably not an above average NFL RB, maybe one that can stick on a roster for a season or two. Smith looks like a legit all around runner but one without one standout factor and is always dinged up but the threat at RB will probably have to come from someone not on the current roster. michael bush who shreaded us on Sunday is a possibility.

calvin is great and young looks like he will be very good. burleson is an avg 2 and is declining but the biggest factor is Stafford and he can make any number of the others better as he continues to figure things out. i agree with you, this offense if it secures the run game could become the nfl s best.


December 22nd, 2011, 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Stafford
The Legend wrote:
Quote:
Look past the problems of this season. If we can fix our O-line in the next couple of years, we could have the best Offense in the History of the NFL.


it seems the front office isnt that concerned with the OL to this point. mayhew has had 3 offseasons to address this and has only added one starter so far. they ll be forced to make a move with backus contract status but im not sure they see it as a priority although i agree that they probably should.

Quote:
Brees has average RB's and a bunch of very average WR's.


i disagree with this. sproles is a unique and very talented player that nobody has figured out how to cover. Ingram is above average and pierre thomas is an above average all around runner. they have a very complete and talented backfield. just bc they split roles/carries doesnt mean they are average. they have a big stud at WR in Colston and a TE far better than anything we have in Graham. Henderson, Meachem, Moore are all solid No 2 WR but when u figure that 2 of them are a No 3 and a No 4 they as a groupd are way above average.

Quote:
Brady has average RB's and a bunch of average WR's


the rbs are far below average as runners but are good as receivers. Welker and the TEs are exceptional. Branch is average.

Quote:
P. Manning has a team that barely has won 1 game without him.

yes, sad situation there. guy will be lucky if he plays again but really they were declining last season and were probably a 6-7 win team this year with manning.

Quote:
Rivers has a Really good RB and 1 great WR and a great TE. But, he can't get himself going for a full season. He either starts slow and then gets it together at mid season or he starts out quick and then bogs down.


injuries had a huge role in that. gates missed time and matthews and tolbert both were out or slowed down at different times or together.

Quote:
We have 2 potentially really good RB's. 1 Great WR and 1 really good #2 WR. 2 really good TE's.
We just need the O-line to come up to top notch status. And away we go to the Super Bowl. OK, so I'm getting ahead of myself. LOL


pettigrew is an average starting TE, he drops too many balls and isnt the dominating blocker he should be. sheffler isnt anything special, he s an average receiver with good speed but cant block a lick. the RB situation is much more dire than you think - Best concussion issues are serious and his career may already be over. I think that we ll have him next year but it will mostly be a financial decision on his part - one recurrence and he is done. the medical decision cant be made for him but he already has people advising him to hang up the cleats. leshoure will make it back to training camp but how good is 85% of the player that we drafted? probably not an above average NFL RB, maybe one that can stick on a roster for a season or two. Smith looks like a legit all around runner but one without one standout factor and is always dinged up but the threat at RB will probably have to come from someone not on the current roster. michael bush who shreaded us on Sunday is a possibility.

calvin is great and young looks like he will be very good. burleson is an avg 2 and is declining but the biggest factor is Stafford and he can make any number of the others better as he continues to figure things out. i agree with you, this offense if it secures the run game could become the nfl s best.


I think we can cut Nate this off season. Does he even have another year on his contract? If not, let him walk. We can then move Best to the SLOT. This will somewhat protect him and prolong his career.


December 23rd, 2011, 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Stafford
burleson has 3 yrs left on his contract


December 23rd, 2011, 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Stafford
Let's put a wrap on the stats:

Yards 5,038 (3rd)
TDs 41 (3rd)
Comp 63.5% (5th)
QB Rating 97.2 (5th)

he was also 6th in plays of 20 or more yards, 2nd in plays of 40 or more yards.

But when comparing him with the other top QBs, please keep this stat in mind:

Drew Brews 32
Tom Brady 34
Aaron Rodgers 28
Tony Romo 31
Eli Manning 31
Phillip Rivers 30
Matt Stafford 23

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January 3rd, 2012, 4:20 pm
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Post Re: Stafford
Pablo wrote:
Let's put a wrap on the stats:

Yards 5,038 (3rd)
TDs 41 (3rd)
Comp 63.5% (5th)
QB Rating 97.2 (5th)

he was also 6th in plays of 20 or more yards, 2nd in plays of 40 or more yards.

But when comparing him with the other top QBs, please keep this stat in mind:

Drew Brews 32
Tom Brady 34
Aaron Rodgers 28
Tony Romo 31
Eli Manning 31
Phillip Rivers 30
Matt Stafford 23

He's a keeper for sure.


January 3rd, 2012, 5:19 pm
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Post Re: Stafford
Yahoo wrote:
Stafford’s arm and mind take Lions to new heights
By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP)—Matthew Stafford’s golden right arm is an obvious asset, allowing the Detroit Lions quarterback to thread passes into tight spots across the middle or connect with Calvin Johnson in stride deep down the sideline.

Behind the scenes, Stafford’s teammates believe he’s just as impressive.

Offensive guard Rob Sims marvels at Stafford’s ability to tell the other 10 players on offense exactly what he wants them to do on various plays when they gather the night before each game.
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Receiver Nate Burleson still can’t believe Stafford told him to be ready for a pass on a long crossing pattern when Detroit was facing a third-and-19 against San Diego in Week 16.

“He told me in the huddle, `Stay alive, I’m coming to you,”’ Burleson recalled. “He anticipated the coverage they were going to be in before he even got to the line. Sure enough, I was open and he stepped up in the pocket to make the throw.”

Stafford’s record-breaking season lifted the Lions to the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season.

He threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns, smashing Scott Mitchell’s single-season team records

But Stafford is more interested in helping the franchise match its number of playoff victories since winning the 1957 NFL title when they play Saturday night at New Orleans.

“That’s the biggest thing,” Stafford said.

Stafford can’t do it all as his 520-yard, 5-TD performance proved Sunday in a 45-41 shootout loss at Green Bay. It looks as if help is on the way for the Lions.

Starting safety Louis Delmas practiced Tuesday, moving a big step closer to playing for the first time since injuring his right knee on Thanksgiving. The Lions were healthy enough to put their top six defensive backs on the field to prepare for the Drew Brees-led passing attack.

Johnson and rookie Titus Young were limited to watching the workout.

Johnson said he was just resting Achilles tendon ailment, declining to say which one was hurting, and Young insisted he was simply giving his entire body a break.

In hindsight, the Lions got a break when they became the NFL’s first—and still only—team to go 0-16 because they used the No. 1 pick overall in 2009 to select Stafford and end their decades-long search for a franchise quarterback.

After being limited to just 10 games as a rookie and three last season because of injuries, he bounced back to play in every game during this past regular season to become a candidate for NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors.

His refuse-to-lose moxie helped the Lions become the first team in league history to win four games in a season after losing by at least 13 points, giving them 10 wins for the first time since 1995.

The 23-year-old Stafford, Brees and Hall of Famer Dan Marino are the only ones in league history to throw for 5,000 yards and 40 TDs in a season.

“I really didn’t know that so few people had done it,” Stafford said. “But it was a total team effort.”

No one, though, had to force Stafford to spend hours each week watching video of opponents and thinking of ways to come up with plays to pick them apart.

Stafford’s father said he’s been doing it for years.

His coach, Randy Allen, at Highland Park High School in Texas used poker chips to represent players on offense and defense, then move them to test his promising pupil.

“Before Randy could take his hand off a chip, Matthew was moving his chips around,” John Stafford said Tuesday in a telephone interview.

During a recruiting trip to Texas, the future Georgia Bulldog sat in a dark room with then-Longhorns offensive coordinator Greg Davis and coach Mack Brown to study the program’s offense.

“Once Davis paused the video and asked Matthew what he’d do,” Stafford’s father recalled. “Without hesitation, Matthew told him the progression and used their terminology. Davis told him he could start right now because he didn’t have a quarterback at the time who could do what he just did.

“Matthew has always loved the chess match part of the game.”

Even from afar, other coaches see Stafford has more than just a powerful and accurate arm.

Saints coach Sean Payton answered an open-ended question by starting off saying Stafford has progressed quickly to be one of the better quarterbacks in the league thanks in part to his stature and arm strength and ended by talking about the mental aspect of his repertoire.

“Just as importantly, he has that anticipation you look for in the position,” Payton said. “He does a real good job at the line of scrimmage with his checks and audibles.

“What you see is someone playing with a lot of confidence.”
Follow Yahoo! Sports' NFL coverage on Twitter.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-lions-stafford

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January 4th, 2012, 9:37 am
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Post Re: Stafford
ESPN wrote:
Stafford's rise has given Lions swagger

Buoyed by QB's talent, toughness and maturity, Detroit hoping to make noise in playoffs

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The text message flashed on the cell phone of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on the night before Christmas Eve.

Margaret Stafford had been anxiously awaiting her son's game against the San Diego Chargers and hoped to lighten the mood before a contest that could clinch the Lions' first playoff berth in 12 years. When Stafford glanced down at the message, he had to be amused by his mother's sense of humor. All she'd written was a single question: "Do you think Santa will understand a comfortable lead with time left in the fourth quarter?"

You couldn't blame Mama Stafford, either. Like every other Lions fan this season, she'd watched her boy lead a team that seemed most comfortable playing with its back against the wall and the game in serious doubt. Stafford had led four comeback wins already but, as it turned out, there would be no such suspense in Detroit's 38-10 victory over San Diego. The more salient question for the Lions quickly became how they'd handle life in the playoffs -- and just how far their third-year quarterback could take them in what has become his breakout season.

Many people expected big things from Detroit this fall, as the 10-6 Lions were a trendy pick to go from nobodies to playoff contenders. What everybody realized was that such a leap wasn't going to happen without Stafford playing at a high level, which he's certainly done with a team-record 5,038 passing yards and 41 touchdowns.

"It definitely feels nice to be thinking about another game right now," Stafford said. "Hopefully, we can keep it moving and find a way to keep winning. We had the talent. I just knew that if I could stay healthy, we could play good football."

Reshaping a franchise

Stafford's brilliance isn't just limited to the production that put him in the same statistical stratosphere as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

His success also has plenty to do with how he's helped change the dismal culture around the Lions. When he arrived in 2009 as the top pick in that year's NFL draft, he was joining a team that was literally so clueless about winning that it had lost every game a season earlier. Now, as Stafford noted, the Lions have more talent, experience and attitude than at any point in his time in the league.

Such assets will be huge because the Lions will face a stern test Saturday night: a trip to New Orleans to meet the NFC South champion Saints. The last time these teams met, on Dec. 4, New Orleans walked away with a 31-17 win. This time around, the Lions are hoping their familiarity with the raucous Superdome and the presence of a gifted quarterback might lead to a different result against an opponent that has won eight straight games.

"In the playoffs, you take [wins] any way you can," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "You take them 3-0 or 63-62. But we certainly have confidence in [Stafford's] ability to score along with the other guys on offense."

Thanks to injuries and a decimated running game, the Lions have been relying on Stafford to win shootouts for much of the past four games. He has responded by averaging 377.8 passing yards in those contests while throwing 14 touchdown passes and two interceptions. The Lions won three of those games -- including a 28-27 victory in Oakland that resulted from Stafford's last-minute, 6-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson -- and they could've defeated Green Bay in Week 17 if their defense had shown up in a 45-41 loss. Stafford threw for 520 yards and five touchdowns in that defeat.

The game ultimately ended when Packers cornerback Sam Shields gave Green Bay its second interception of Stafford, but the lasting image of that contest should've been Stafford's postgame body language. His displeasure was apparent in everything from the way he trudged off the field to how glumly he strolled out of the locker room after his news conference.

The Lions should've been upset about blowing a chance to improve their playoff seeding from sixth to fifth. But Stafford clearly had other intentions that day, specifically wanting to stick it to the defending Super Bowl champs.

Even if the Lions had been able to draw the New York Giants instead of the Saints in the opening round, any opposing defense will be facing a quarterback who is looking far more seasoned than his age (he's 23) would suggest. Stafford said his maturity comes from "playing more. It's like seeing a pitcher the second time around in baseball. You have to learn fast."

Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams agreed, saying, "You can see the difference in him. When he was a rookie, we knew that if we pressured him, he would make a mistake. Now you see him moving safeties with his eyes and making adjustments at the line. He's definitely not doing things to hurt them anymore."

"The most impressive thing about Matt is his toughness," said Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson. "It's one thing to be a pro passer but he's got a certain grit to him. Whether he's in the middle of a drive or in the huddle, he's always letting us know that he's going to do whatever it takes to get things done. He plays quarterback but his personality is more like a linebacker."

That explains why the 6-foot-2, 232-pound Stafford played with a fractured right hand during a 37-13 loss to Chicago on Nov. 13. After throwing the third of four interceptions in that contest, Stafford grabbed Bears defensive back D.J. Moore and flung him down during the return. That move resulted in a brief scuffle between Stafford and Moore and a $7,500 fine from the league for the quarterback. It also wasn't something he had to do to prove his toughness.

Stafford has had a hard-charging approach to sports since the moment he started playing them in Highland Park, Texas. He was a high school standout in baseball and football, but he also had a drive and focus that belied his youth. When Stafford decided to give up baseball prior to his junior season, he told his father, John, that he might get six ground balls a game as a shortstop but that in football, he could handle the ball every play -- and better dictate the outcome.

Stafford brought that same approach to the University of Georgia -- where he started as a freshman. "We've always let him go at his own pace and he's always been on a fast track," John Stafford said. "He always projected himself that way."

That confidence made the Lions certain Stafford could help them resurrect a moribund franchise. This was an organization that had such a sorry quarterback history that 24 men now have started at the position since Stafford was born in 1988. You'd have to go back even further to find one deemed worthy of making the Pro Bowl -- Greg Landry in 1976 -- and Stafford's omission this season seemed to infuriate most everybody around the franchise except him.

"That's not a big concern at this time of year," he said. "Right now it's about the playoffs."

Healthy gains

Stafford is taking nothing for granted these days, mainly because his first two seasons were so frustrating. He played in only 10 games in 2009 before sustaining a right shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery. A year later, Stafford injured the same shoulder in a season-opening loss to Chicago. Though he managed to play in two more games that season, he called that setback the lowest point of his career.

"It was disheartening because he'd worked so hard to prepare for that second season," Margaret Stafford said. "But he's always had such strong character. He didn't whine or cry about it. He said it was what it was. It wasn't the happiest year of his life but I was proud of his resolve."

The lone upside of Stafford's abbreviated seasons was the time they afforded him to study the game. The Lions' coaches always have praised his meticulous nature -- "Little things really matter to Matt because if he doesn't do them, big things don't happen," said offensive coordinator Scott Linehan -- but his approach to his downtime was even more revealing.

When Stafford wasn't rehabilitating his surgically repaired shoulder, he was attending meetings, studying film and running through game-day scenarios while standing on the sideline.

"That time away turned out to be a blessing for him," Burleson said. "He started seeing the game in ways that make people say, 'I can't believe someone that young is doing what he's doing.'"

"I just tried to immerse myself in the offense," Stafford said. "I was here for every game and I didn't go back home [to Texas]. I had a chance to play and a chance to sit and it turned out that 50 percent of my first two seasons was spent watching from the sidelines."

Still, there were plenty of moments when Stafford displayed what gave the Lions so much hope in him. As a rookie he threw for a 422 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-37 victory over Cleveland, an effort that was all the more impressive because Stafford threw the game-winning touchdown pass despite having a separated right shoulder. In his first game back from injury in 2010, Stafford lit up the Washington Redskins for four scores in a 37-25 win. After watching Detroit go 6-10, he wasted no time re-establishing his promise this season.

Along with throwing seven touchdown passes in Detroit's first two wins, Stafford helped his team to comeback victories over Minnesota (erasing a 20-point halftime deficit) and Dallas (after trailing 27-3 early in the third quarter).

"Matt's development is dependent on the development of the team around him," Schwartz said. "Matt played at a very high level last year in the little bit of time that he was able to play through the injuries he's had. But as we've developed the team around him -- more weapons on offense, a better defense, things like that -- you see Matt looking like's developed more but it's more the team developing around him."

That talent includes a transcendent Pro Bowl receiver in Calvin Johnson (96 receptions, 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns), tight end Brandon Pettigrew (83 receptions) and two other shifty, reliable targets in Burleson (73) and rookie Titus Young (48). Stafford has used those weapons to lead a team that averages 29.6 points and 396.1 yards per game. If the Lions had a little more balance, they could've easily won two or three more games. As it stands, they'll have to continue riding Stafford's talent as far as they can go.

Regardless of what happens this postseason, what the Lions won't do is forget how far they've come with Stafford under center. The scene at the end of that Chargers win is critical proof of that. Midway through the second half, fans broke into a chant of "PLAY-OFFS! PLAY-OFFS!" and the players rewarded them by circling the field and slapping hands after the win.

As Margaret Stafford looked down on her boy from the seats that night, she thought about how far he'd come with this team. At that point three years ago, you wouldn't have had a hard time counting the number of fans still seated and there surely was no reason to hear what they might say.

As much as Stafford likes to play down his success -- "I just want to win games and I don't care how it gets done" -- he has to feel good about his role in that. He's gone from wondering why a guy who'd never been hurt could suddenly turn so fragile to believing the Lions are on the cusp of bigger and better things.

As Lions tight end Tony Scheffler said, "There are some quarterbacks that, when you get in the huddle, you know they have it. He's proven he's one of those guys."

Senior writer Jeffri Chadiha covers the NFL for ESPN.com.


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January 5th, 2012, 2:47 pm
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Post Re: Stafford
Good read. :cheers:

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January 6th, 2012, 11:14 am
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Post Re: Stafford
nice article. Love this kid

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January 6th, 2012, 2:12 pm
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