Matthew Stafford has had a tumultuous offseason thanks to the firing of head coach Jim Schwartz. The young quarterback must learn a new system and adapt to a new coaching staff for the first time since he became one of the top passers in the league. You wouldn’t guess as much in hearing from Stafford though, who is excited about the changes and the potential for a rebound in Detroit.
“I think I’ve embraced it,” Stafford told Mike O’Hara at the team’s website when asked about the team’s changes. “It’s something that is obviously a challenge. I don’t see this as something that I’m on this path by myself, but at the same time, I know the guys on the team are going to look up to me.”
Stafford piled up more than 4,600 passing yards for the third straight season, but it wasn’t enough to get the Lions into the playoffs. The team stood at 6-3 after nine games in the season, but proceeded to lose six of their final seven tilts in a collapse that costs the coaches their jobs. That’s not a fact lost on Stafford.
“You never want to see coaches go, or people you’ve been with five-plus years, Shaun Hill included. But sometimes change can be a great thing. That’s the mindset I’ve taken into this,” Stafford said. “Frankly, to be successful after the changes, that’s the only mind-set you can have.“
Fans of the Detroit Lions will soon learn what kind of changes are to be employed for the team and how they’ll affect the talented but erratic Stafford and the equally talented but erratic Lions squad in 2014.