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 Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History? 
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
I'm not sure comparing him to Layne is fair as the game is completely different these days, plus Layne had more talent surrounding him.
Both have show toughness, the will to win and the ability to lead.

I will say that going back to the days of Greg Landry, I've had to watch Gary Danielson, Eric Hipple, Chuck Long, Rodney Peete, Andre Ware, Scott Mitchell, Joey Harington, Jon Kitna and Dan Orlovsky. You can't say that any one of them comes close to Stafford.

Now that we finally have a decent running game and the O-line playing better, I think we have a chance to see what he can really do. Best ever? Maybe. Can we win with him? Definitely!

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November 29th, 2013, 10:52 am
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
I wonder....how many of you now feel Stafford is the best QB in Lions history? How many of you are convinced he can lead this team to the playoffs?

It was apparent to some of us that he was not playing well this season, even during some of the teams early wins. He was struggling to make easy throws, not reading defenses as well as he should, and his mechanics were sloppy.

I don't think Stafford is unfixable. I think he has the skillset. His mindset is the issue.

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December 23rd, 2013, 11:11 pm
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
yup, i still without a doubt think he is the best QB the Lions have had since Ive been watching - last 25 years or so. cant comment on the ones before that. the problem is the answer to that question is irrelevant and means little if anything at all. even though i don't feel he s been quite as bad as some others on the board feel, something has gone awry. it may be coaching or it may be something inherent to Stafford himself or maybe the team. i do think its fixable but im not sure the lions management can fix it. how many times did Schwartz publicly defend Stafford's mechanics? and didn't it seem like Stafford evolved from someone who when he first entered the league only altered the mechanics if he really needed but in the last two seasons has gotten increasingly sloppy and unnecessarily making the side arm throws? i agree with Schwartz that there is some value in having the ability to alter the throwing angle at times - but Stafford cant be doing that this frequently. there s also a lack of talent at the WR position beyond Calvin Johnson who s been good but missed a lot of snaps and showed some chinks in the armor. Durham, Ogletree, Edwards, Spurlock, etc - are we even going to remember these guys names in a few years? Draft picks Young and Broyles are failures and that's attributed to management. Burleson gives a good effort and I respect him but he just hasn't been good enough or healthy enough. TE Scheffler massively declined, Pettigrew proved to be unreliable and worked his way out of the game plan, Fauria was a godsend but not polished enough or with a diverse enough skillset to be much more than a redzone threat. Bush had fumbleitis and dropitis. There s a lot of work at all levels of the organization to fix the QB situation. Stafford needs to dedicate himself to polishing up his game. The coaching needs to push him to do so and should not positively reinforce detrimental habits. Management needs to have another good offseason but cant afford to forget the WR position this time, and they ll need to get a better TE as well. Probably need 3 new passing targets for Stafford.


December 24th, 2013, 12:09 am
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
Agree with 99% of what you say there Legend.

One point to pick up on:
The Legend wrote:
how many times did Schwartz publicly defend Stafford's mechanics?

I think Schwartz (who I agree should be fired, btw, before anyone thinks I want him back) gets too much criticism for this.

IMO a coach should always shield his players from the press, public etc. I would expect a coach to the outside world to pretty much always defend their players. IMO taking that heat is one of the coach's jobs (something that I think Rex Ryan does really well). Internally, I would expect him to be taking a different line - criticizing players, holding them accountable etc. But I don't think it's right to judge how much a coach holds his players accountable by how much he defends or criticizes them publicly.

As an example in soccer I'd give Alex Ferguson - one of the most successful coaches of all time. He always defended his players in public and to the media. They knew he had their back vs the outside world. Internally? Completely different story.


December 24th, 2013, 5:55 am
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
m2karateman wrote:
I wonder....how many of you now feel Stafford is the best QB in Lions history? How many of you are convinced he can lead this team to the playoffs?

It was apparent to some of us that he was not playing well this season, even during some of the teams early wins. He was struggling to make easy throws, not reading defenses as well as he should, and his mechanics were sloppy.

I don't think Stafford is unfixable. I think he has the skillset. His mindset is the issue.


Yes. I do. But, the list of other competitors in this competition is limited to 1 QB that I never saw play. Yeah, I'm old. But, not THAT old. Bobby Lane is Staffords only competition as best Lions QB ever.

Can Stafford lead the Lions to the Playoofs? Yes. He already has done it once. So, yes. He CAN do it again. I am, however, concerned that he chokes on the big stage. But, that can be taken care of with hiring a Sports Psychologist for him.

As for this season's play? I don't have a clue. It was definitely noticeable that something was not right. Did he have his current girlfriend last season? Maybe the Lions need to establish a no sex 24 hours before a game rule. LOL.


December 24th, 2013, 11:32 am
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
If we're doing that, I'll go ahead and predict NFC Championship Game appearance next year.


December 24th, 2013, 11:57 am
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
UK Lion wrote:
Agree with 99% of what you say there Legend.

One point to pick up on:
The Legend wrote:
how many times did Schwartz publicly defend Stafford's mechanics?

I think Schwartz (who I agree should be fired, btw, before anyone thinks I want him back) gets too much criticism for this.

IMO a coach should always shield his players from the press, public etc. I would expect a coach to the outside world to pretty much always defend their players. IMO taking that heat is one of the coach's jobs (something that I think Rex Ryan does really well). Internally, I would expect him to be taking a different line - criticizing players, holding them accountable etc. But I don't think it's right to judge how much a coach holds his players accountable by how much he defends or criticizes them publicly.

As an example in soccer I'd give Alex Ferguson - one of the most successful coaches of all time. He always defended his players in public and to the media. They knew he had their back vs the outside world. Internally? Completely different story.


I agree with that. still, internally I feel that Schwartz/linehan never wanted the mechanics fine tuned bc Stafford seems to be doing that stuff more frequently even as his protection has gotten better.


December 24th, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
Whether or not you saw Bobby Layne play is not the point. Bobby Layne won championships. It doesn't matter that he was a prick on and off the field, or if he was half in the bag. He won. And his team mates all attributed the success of the Lions to his leadership.

Stafford has stats. So what? As football continues to evolve into an offensive minded sport, and the rules committee continues to make playing defense more and more difficult, quarterbacks will pad their stats year after year. Stafford has accomplished nothing. Now...notice I said ACCOMPLISHED. I am not speaking of his talent, I am speaking of accomplishments, and those are two COMPLETELY different subjects.

I never saw Bobby Layne play. It doesn't matter. I know enough about the game of professional football to know that the ultimate goal for any football player is to win a championship.

I have no doubt that Stafford COULD become the best and most accomplished QB in Lions history. But if he doesn't get his head on straight, the Lions will continue to tank. He is the single biggest reason for their collapse this season. He may benefit from a sports psychologist, but they don't always work for their clients. It is up to Stafford as to whether he has the internal drive to get better or not. Personally, I think all the coddling the current coaching staff is giving him has been anti-productive. He needs to understand there is a price to pay for poor performance. Instead, the Lions gave him a guaranteed $94 million for having done nothing. The locked themselves into having Stafford as their QB, and he responded by sh!tting all over the season.

Unless Stafford makes a dramatic self turn around, this team is going no where. I believe Schwartz is a goner after this season ends. And if Stafford continues to struggle even under a new coach, then Mayhew and Lewand should get the boot next for extending Stafford with such a ridiculous amount of guaranteed money.

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December 25th, 2013, 1:19 am
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
One of the other things Lojack mentioned this week was during practice drills, the DBs were instructed to let the receivers catch the balls. If a DB intercepted or broke up a pass, the entire squad looked around waiting to see what would happen. And that's probably why the majority of passes to receivers other than CJ are always high. If Stafford isn't practicing correctly and practicing that every receiver is an open receiver, come game time when they don't just let them catch the ball, he's adjusting at the wrong time.

I have no doubt Stafford can still be better, because he's showed it at times, but he has gotten bad mechanics and bad habits due to this coaching staff. He can be better, but he's had 4 wins over teams above .500. Seattle last season, Bears twice this season and GB this season. Four wins over good teams. That is not best ever yet. If we get a coaching staff that sets him right, then it's possible, but stats alone don't make him the best.


December 25th, 2013, 2:10 am
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
I still say one of if not the biggest problem Stafford has is he's always trying to make the perfect throw instead of making the throw and letting the receiver do their job. It's just like a MLB pitcher trying to aim and pinpoint, when they start aiming instead of just letting the ball fly they get erratic. I don't want him back as the OC but I'd love to have Martz or a similar QB friendly coach work with Stafford on being a QB in the NFL and making the receivers responsible. Martz stressed throwing to a spot and it was the receiver's job to get to that spot, that philosophy turned some QBs with marginal talent into some pretty productive players.

The other big problem Stafford has is his feet. I could give to $#!+$ about his release point and throwing angles. He gets in trouble when he bails on his footwork and doesn't get his weight over his feet. When that happens you see the overthrows or balls in the dirt. This seasons and the second half of last season I saw way too many Jim Everett throws off the backfoot.

Lastly I think to optimize not only Stafford but Calvin as well they need to scale back the passing game and become a more balanced offense. Just look at a balanced offense like Seattle and see Wilson's stats playing in a balanced offense. In that type of offense he doesn't have nearly Stafford's yardage but his TDs are similar and he is much more efficient and that is the name of the game. It's bad enough that the receivers don't know how to run routes and get separation but it is even harder to find space when teams are dropping seven guys into coverage most of the time.


December 25th, 2013, 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
He is the best QB I've seen but until he wins that title will belong to Bobby Layne.

As much as people want to say Stafford has been given tons of talent around him - outside of Calvin the talent on this roster doesn't come close to the days of Barry, Moore, Perriman, Morton. And nobody on the OL comes close to Lomas Brown or Kevin Glover.

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December 26th, 2013, 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
If CJ had held onto the ball there would have been a Layne like win... If CJ doesn't catch so many overthrown passes by Stafford we would not even be having this debate!

You look at the stats and think about how wonderful he is, but they are not in context. The only stat that is in context is the won/loss statistic and he didn't win all of those games.

The thing you have to consider is if Stafford elevates his team or not. In my opinion he does not. I didn't like Farve and I still believe he was overrated, but it can be argued he elevated his teammates. Stafford is compared to Farve because he has a big arm, but that is where the comparison has to end.

Too many are blinded by his talent and think it is the same thing as being good. It isn't. He is an average quarterback with an above average arm that benefits from the talents of an exceptional wide receiver in a pass happy offense in a pass happy league.

Think about it for a moment. Last year Burleson was lost for the season and Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards. Do you think Stafford would have done that if it had been Calvin who was lost for the season instead? Be honest about it! Without Calvin, Stafford doesn't sniff 5,000 yards.

Stafford has lost every must win game I have seen him play, including his final must win game in college. Even two years ago when the Lions posted 10 wins he lost the must win games. The Lions backed into the playoffs. Needing to win to ensure they made the playoffs Stafford and the Lions lost and needed help. He lost that playoff game as well.

His throws are as off target at least as much as Harrington's were with the only real difference is Stafford has receivers that catch most of those off target throws rather than dropping them.

He isn't a bad quarterback, but he certainly isn't that good either. I'd take Landry, Danielson, Hipple and Kramer in their primes against Stafford right now.


December 27th, 2013, 2:04 am
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Post Re: Matthew Stafford: Best QB in Lions History?
pretty sure the lions had clinched a playoff berth with road win vs oakland and home win vs san diego. i went to both games and after the san diego game the players came out and did a lap around the edge of the stands to celebrate with the fans. they lost a mostly meaningless game vs GB in Week 17 - had they won they would have been visiting NYG rather than the Saints. Not sure it turned out to be all that important but to say they backed in to the playoffs after beating OAK, SD would be a stretch


December 28th, 2013, 12:55 am
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