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Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford"

Posted: 8/1/2014 3:35 PM

Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


http://sports.yahoo.com/news/n...-073829961.html

Time to make some noise in the playofffs.

Great article.   Love the last sentance "It's long past time for them to win"

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – So here are some of the options when matthew stafford, who's merely thrown for 90 touchdowns and nearly 15,000 yards over the last three seasons, takes a snap here at detroit lions training camp.

He can look to his best guy, or anyone's best guy, in calvin johnson, a 6-foot-5 target that caught 12 tds in just 14 games last year, which was great, unless you compare to the 16 he hauled in 2011.

He can skip that and go to his newest guy, a true No. 2 receiver in the freakishly strong Golden Tate, who snagged 64 passes for Seattle last year. "He catches everything," Stafford marveled later. Every pass that way, draws attention away from Megatron.

"When Golden starts doing what he does," Johnson told reporters earlier this week, "they can't double both of us."

view gallery .

QB Matthew Stafford has good options to pick from when moving the Lions downfield. (AP)

They also can't cover everyone underneath, which is why Stafford can always target one of his oversized tight ends, 6-5 Brandon Pettigrew, who caught 83 passes a couple years back, or 6-4 Eric Ebron, a gifted athlete and first-round draft pick out of North Carolina.

Then again, he can just hand it off or look to open space for the rejuvenated reggie bush, who delivered 1,006 yards rushing and 506 more receiving as he caught 54 balls. of course, there's always joique bell, a bulldozer of a back who came on late in the season as the go-to guy, especially near the goal line.

On a calm, sunny afternoon here in training camp, Stafford did all of those things, reinforcing a single, obvious, undeniable truth about these Lions: they are loaded on offense. Completely loaded, at least with skill position players.

"We definitely pass the eye test," Bush said.

"We have a ton of talent," Stafford agreed.

"It's a shame there is only one football," Bush noted. "There are a lot of weapons out here and it's going to be exciting."

[ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: sign up and play free fantasy football!]

Exciting, yes, it should be. It also needs to be more, as in productive, victorious or, most important, playoff-bound.

View gallery .

Reggie Bush cracked the 1,000-yard mark rushing last season. (AP)

Forget Detroit finishing 7-9. Forget all the fourth-quarter collapses that cost it the NFC North. Forget the fumbles and bad penalties. Forget the half-century Super Bowl drought. Forget the zero playoff wins since Barry Sanders. Forget that the team is breaking in its new head coach, Jim Caldwell, and two rookie coordinators.

The Lions need to win now because with this much skill racing around the practice fields behind the team facility here, with this much firepower on offense, and with more than enough talent on the defensive side, particularly theNdamukong Suh anchored line, there are no excuses.

Detroit has holes, issues and questions, but so does just about everyone. And no one is asking for a Super Bowl this season. The playoffs? A division title? Something?

What it can't be is another wasted year, not with Johnson and Bush getting older, with Suh potentially heading out of town as a free agent, with a core group that is this strong still having so much to prove to the rest of the league.

"I think about it every day," Stafford said.

It's bad to squander seasons as a championship window closes. It's worse if you never figured out how to get it open in the first place.

"We definitely have the team here," Bush said. "We have the guys. When you look at us on paper, we look really good. Now it's about nurturing that talent level, using it the right way, making sure the players are doing the little things right, on and off the field."

In other words, following Caldwell's decree that the self-inflicted wounds have to end.

After starting 6-3, the Lions carried a lead into the fourth quarter in nearly every game down the stretch only to kick it away. They finished on a 1-6 skid. Four of the last five losses were by three points or less. If they won just half of the games that sat in their hands, they would've taken the division, hosted a playoff game and Jim Schwartz is probably still the coach.

"Coach Caldwell harps on [us] all the time," Stafford said. "It's fundamentals and techniques."

Caldwell, who arrives with head coaching experience in Indianapolis, and two Super Bowls won as an assistant, carries himself with class, confidence and character. Players talk of just trying to be better people when they're around him. He always commands respect and perhaps that allows him to find a way to get more out of everyone by avoiding micromanagement.

"He treats us like men," Bush said.

view gallery .

Calvin Johnson is hard to miss on a football field. (AP)

Part of that is demanding better. The Lions have long boasted a strong offense. It also didn't mean much in the end. When Caldwell and coordinator Joe Lombardi, who arrives from the New Orleans Saints, first met with the group they brushed off all the big stats and pointed to the win-loss record as proof of how much better they needed to be.

"They came in matter of fact and told us," Stafford said. "And we knew it … the coaches are just matter of fact. It's just nice. What you see is what you get, no hidden agendas. We are all here to win football games."

That requires more than a fantasy football roster of an offense, of course. Still, it's awfully nice to have it.

In Detroit, every tool is available: prime-time players all in their prime, too many options for a defense to defend, a fresh philosophy from a fresh staff to maximize all these game-breakers.

"We have talented guys," Stafford said.

It's long past time for them to win.

#NONEpride

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Posted: 8/1/2014 3:44 PM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


The excuses ran out a long time ago, no playoff win this season then he is a bust. Plain and simple, 1st overall pick and has made an insane amount of money with no wins of significance to show for it.
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Posted: 8/1/2014 4:01 PM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



iggy14 wrote: The excuses ran out a long time ago, no playoff win this season then he is a bust. Plain and simple, 1st overall pick and has made an insane amount of money with no wins of significance to show for it.

On the bright side, we have gotten lot's of condesending tweets from his bimbo GF calling people bad fans for expecting them to not play like a clown show and WIN....

Those are always nice....

This has been a playoff team since 2011.  Anybody that says we haven't had enough talent to make the playoffs is delusional.

As the article points out, all we had to do is close the deal in 1/2 the games down the stretch and we owned the Division.

Every team has holes, but it is the team that executes in the game that wins.   This isn't the talent starved teams of the Millen years and 1st two years under Schwartz.   To Mayhews credit he has built a talented team.  I don't agree with every move he has made (especially two high 1st round TEs) but there is no denying this team is 10x more talented than it was when he took over.

Time for this team to get it done.
#NONEpride

Last edited 8/1/2014 4:05 PM by Jadedandnolongerdissappointed

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Posted: 8/1/2014 4:25 PM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


Shawn Merriman and Lorenzo Neal going on record as picking the Lions to win the division? Did you watch the video? Wow!
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Posted: 8/1/2014 6:33 PM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



iggy14 wrote: The excuses ran out a long time ago, no playoff win this season then he is a bust. Plain and simple, 1st overall pick and has made an insane amount of money with no wins of significance to show for it.
Yeah, not sure playoff wins or losses make you a bust.  What if your defense sucks or you're a QB that just hands the ball off to your RB's every play and win, does that mean that QB isn't a bust?

Matt isn't a bust, he's kind of a choker though with poor mechanics..but only because he's been allowed to be.

But yes, Stafford needs to improve now or he'd be on the verge of being a bust.

Last edited 8/1/2014 6:38 PM by scottallen222

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Posted: 8/1/2014 7:19 PM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


I don't think I could ever call Stafford a bust. If he doesn't win a playoff game this year...eh don't think so either.

The biggest thing is making this team a winning one. He needs to show he can do that more consistently obviously.

In terms of playoff wins...age 26 seems to be a good year to do it. Eli Manning won his first playoff game (and then some) at age 26. Peyton Manning won his first playoff game at age 27 (his 6th year in the NFL). John Elway won his first playoff game at age 26. Alex Smith at age 27. Troy Aikman at age 26.
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Posted: 8/1/2014 7:47 PM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



SportyCliche wrote: I don't think I could ever call Stafford a bust. If he doesn't win a playoff game this year...eh don't think so either.

The biggest thing is making this team a winning one. He needs to show he can do that more consistently obviously.

In terms of playoff wins...age 26 seems to be a good year to do it. Eli Manning won his first playoff game (and then some) at age 26. Peyton Manning won his first playoff game at age 27 (his 6th year in the NFL). John Elway won his first playoff game at age 26. Alex Smith at age 27. Troy Aikman at age 26.
Real good info, Sporty. And yeah, sometimes even the down stuff, such a Matthew has dealt with in the last two seasons, can not only inspire you to greatness, but if you're willing (as I think Matthew is) it gives you great understanding about yourself, and how you NEED to grow. That's been my story personally and professionally... I hope it is Matthew's too. I think it probably will be.
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Posted: 8/1/2014 9:05 PM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


I also can't agree there are "just no excuses".

What happens if week 1: Calvin breaks his leg, Stafford takes a hit that jams his finger and it lingers all season, Ebron is your typical rookie TE and Reggie & Joique suffer from the lack of CJ and each look like Jahvid Best in the games he wasn't running free for 200 yards?

I'm not trying to pass on bad vibes here. Just saying...stuff happens in the NFL.

To me, if we are forcing a new game plan week 1 and, as everybody says, Stafford is made by Calvin...it's going to be very hard to blame him. Sorry. Of course he shouldn't look putrid....but, the "excuses" sometime ARE legitimate. Hence, lets wait and see.

AS IT STANDS: Yes, I agree, NO excuses whatsoever. Tate ALONE changes that, IMO. But, talk to me in 2-3-4 weeks after injuries and hits start to happen.
"He was the backup last year. He was a backup the year before that.He's been a back up his whole career. I don't think anybody would be surprised if I thought he was a backup".

Martin Mayhew on Dan Orlovsky. Detroit Free Press, 2.21.09

Last edited 8/1/2014 9:08 PM by VinceLombardisGhost

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Posted: 8/1/2014 9:26 PM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



VinceLombardisGhost wrote: I also can't agree there are "just no excuses".

What happens if week 1: Calvin breaks his leg, Stafford takes a hit that jams his finger and it lingers all season, Ebron is your typical rookie TE and Reggie & Joique suffer from the lack of CJ and each look like Jahvid Best in the games he wasn't running free for 200 yards?

I'm not trying to pass on bad vibes here. Just saying...stuff happens in the NFL.

To me, if we are forcing a new game plan week 1 and, as everybody says, Stafford is made by Calvin...it's going to be very hard to blame him. Sorry. Of course he shouldn't look putrid....but, the "excuses" sometime ARE legitimate. Hence, lets wait and see.

AS IT STANDS: Yes, I agree, NO excuses whatsoever. Tate ALONE changes that, IMO. But, talk to me in 2-3-4 weeks after injuries and hits start to happen.
Good stuff Vince, yeah Detroit has been snake bit many many times...all this sht sounds great, but NOBODY from the Coach down has proven a damn thing here Jack!

There is only a little question that we have the team to win it all...if it weren't for that pesky Defense, Suh is tied to the dock but could set sail any time.

We have unproven CB's, we are thin @ DE, AND we have no sure thing at Kicker.

Like I say let the team-players PLURAL, and Coach PROVE it. let them show the world the "got it"

anybody can talk a good story, and get us ramped up, but WE fall for that BS every year.  IF THEY CAN, THEN there are no excuses as Vince eluded to here.
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Posted: 8/2/2014 8:59 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



iggy14 wrote: The excuses ran out a long time ago, no playoff win this season then he is a bust. Plain and simple, 1st overall pick and has made an insane amount of money with no wins of significance to show for it.

Let me ask you iggy does the same apply to Ndamokung Suh or Calvin Johnson? I mean they are both #2 overall picks that make an insane amount of money. But we have no playoff wins so if we don't win a playoff game this year does that make them two busts?

Don't get me wrong I agree that a playoff win is where the bar should be set. But what if we just made the playoffs & lose in our first playoff game? Does Stafford pass the bust test then?
"Oh that's great"
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Posted: 8/2/2014 9:04 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



RickOShea wrote: Shawn Merriman and Lorenzo Neal going on record as picking the Lions to win the division? Did you watch the video? Wow!

I pick the Lions to win the division too. In fact I have them advancing in the playoffs. I think this season, record wise, will be like 1991. However I don't want this team to have to go through tragedy (Mike Utley) or some other unfortunate loss in order to be inspired to make a run. All things being equal I think we win the division this year.
"Oh that's great"
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Posted: 8/2/2014 9:42 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


I'm getting the impression lately from our coaching staff that they're trying to simplify things here with Stafford. I always wondered whether Linehan's system, despite being awfully similar in a lot ways, overly complicated the matter. If dumbing it down here (for lack of a better word) is what they feel is the correct course?.. then so be it.

I think less is better with Stafford anyways, as I've said a couple times before. And judging by some of the most recent comments I'm hearing from the coaching staff.. it seems they're leaning that way also.


*Suh,Megatron,Best,Broyles*

Last edited 8/2/2014 9:45 AM by LionsSlashWings

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Posted: 8/2/2014 10:38 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


Well whatever the system was in 2011 is what the system needs to be because that is where Stafford's production level needs to be...at the very least
"Oh that's great"
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Posted: 8/2/2014 10:58 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



BigWillieStyle wrote: Well whatever the system was in 2011 is what the system needs to be because that is where Stafford's production level needs to be...at the very least
The root has always been the same... the Pro Style Offense. Coach Richt in Georgia, Linehan & now Lombardi. Where I suspect the difference will be at the QB position this time around is:

- where as Linehans' was a Shot-gun read & react (see receiver open, throw the ball)..it's your judgment call Matt.

- Lombardi's is big on timing routes and it's no wonder we've seen Stafford under centre more. My guess is they want Stafford to do less thinking. Look to your 1st read and take it if it's available. Don't wait, don't think too much.


*Suh,Megatron,Best,Broyles*
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Posted: 8/2/2014 11:43 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


"No excuses" for Stafford?.....that's not fair.

As was discussed in another thread, we have to realize Stafford is good - but not great. That can be said of at least 2/3 of NFL starters.

If he cuts down his turnovers, I don't know if we can ask for much more. He does that? The Lions WILL be in contention, going into December. That's the FIRST goal.
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Posted: 8/3/2014 2:02 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



BigWillieStyle wrote: Well whatever the system was in 2011 is what the system needs to be because that is where Stafford's production level needs to be...at the very least
It's called a good #2 WR (Titus pre-meltdown) and it is the only season in the past three that we didn't lead the NFL in drops.  It's called the catch the damn ball system.

Let me guess.  You aren't here for the Alcohol or Tobacco...
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Posted: 8/3/2014 9:06 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 





---------------------------------------------
--- BigWillieStyle wrote:


iggy14 wrote: The excuses ran out a long time ago, no playoff win this season then he is a bust. Plain and simple, 1st overall pick and has made an insane amount of money with no wins of significance to show for it.

Let me ask you iggy does the same apply to Ndamokung Suh or Calvin Johnson? I mean they are both #2 overall picks that make an insane amount of money. But we have no playoff wins so if we don't win a playoff game this year does that make them two busts?

Don't get me wrong I agree that a playoff win is where the bar should be set. But what if we just made the playoffs & lose in our first playoff game? Does Stafford pass the bust test then?

---------------------------------------------

Does the same apply to Suh? Yes, I wouldn't say he's a bust obviously, but he isn't worthy of a 2nd overall pick ( No DT is). Suh also hasn't shown up in big games and is the 2nd most overrated player in the league behind Cutler. You pay players big money to show up against the top clubs, and make impact plays.. Suh hasnt helped the team in the most critical games.

As far as Megatron goes, he needs to be better in big games. We have seen him carry this team so many times in the past that I somewhat give him a pass. If he can't perform better in crunch time, than there is no doubt that his great career will be tainted.

A QB has the ability to will their teams to win and Stafford hasn't done that-- not against good teams at least. Yes, he is bordering on being a bust.. Not a Ryan Leaf or Harrington type bust, but a bust in relation to his draft slot and his contract. If Stafford and Co. Don't win a playoff game then it should be a complete rebuild IMO. This includes firing the entire F.O, trading Stafford and Megatron, and letting Suh walk. The excuses have run out, and that includes Megatron and Suh.

Last edited 8/3/2014 9:09 AM by iggy14

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Posted: 8/3/2014 9:16 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



What happened when Andrew Luck lost Reggie Wayne and only had T.Y Hilton to throw to? He won, no excuses were made.. He got the job done.

The Pats lost Gronk, Hernandez, Mayo, Wilfork, just to name a few. They didn't make excuses, they just went to the AFC championship, Every team deals with injuries, you just have to find a way to win.

Haven't even played a preseason game and the hypothetical excuse train is already in motion.

---------------------------------------------
--- VinceLombardisGhost wrote:

I also can't agree there are "just no excuses".

What happens if week 1: Calvin breaks his leg, Stafford takes a hit that jams his finger and it lingers all season, Ebron is your typical rookie TE and Reggie & Joique suffer from the lack of CJ and each look like Jahvid Best in the games he wasn't running free for 200 yards?

I'm not trying to pass on bad vibes here. Just saying...stuff happens in the NFL.

To me, if we are forcing a new game plan week 1 and, as everybody says, Stafford is made by Calvin...it's going to be very hard to blame him. Sorry. Of course he shouldn't look putrid....but, the "excuses" sometime ARE legitimate. Hence, lets wait and see.

AS IT STANDS: Yes, I agree, NO excuses whatsoever. Tate ALONE changes that, IMO. But, talk to me in 2-3-4 weeks after injuries and hits start to happen.

---------------------------------------------
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Posted: 8/3/2014 9:27 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 


i think it's interesting that the pro-stafford crowd is already priming their excuses for stafford. 

during the season, the cry was "we need ONE, just ONE legitimate receiver to play opposite of calvin."

we got golden tate.  at first, everyone felt the offense was complete.  

then the draft rolled around, and the pro-stafford crowd started saying we needed to trade 3 picks to get sammy watkins.  we really needed a yet another option apparently.

we got ebron.  at the time, everyone, and I mean everyone, even wolf cub and VLG, were saying now the offense was complete and stafford had no excuses.

now it's training camp, and all the national writers are looking at this loaded offense and saying that stafford has no excuses.  and yet, we are seeing the groundwork for future excuses for stafford in case it doesn't all come together.  i don't think the day will ever come where some of you will blame stafford for the team's failures.  it will always be someone else's fault or failings.
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Posted: 8/3/2014 11:19 AM

Re: Article says "No excuses for Matthew Stafford" 



LionsSlashWings wrote: I'm getting the impression lately from our coaching staff that they're trying to simplify things here with Stafford. I always wondered whether Linehan's system, despite being awfully similar in a lot ways, overly complicated the matter. If dumbing it down here (for lack of a better word) is what they feel is the correct course?.. then so be it.

I think less is better with Stafford anyways, as I've said a couple times before. And judging by some of the most recent comments I'm hearing from the coaching staff.. it seems they're leaning that way also.
Bingo, spot on again, and I couldn't agree more.
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