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Post-Practice Quote Sheet: QB Matthew Stafford 07-31-10

Posted Jul 31, 2010

LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD

On the difference between his first and second training camp
"It’s a big difference. Obviously coming out here Day 1 as a rookie is a whole lot different than coming out Day 1 as a second year guy. We’ve got a lot of good guys around here and I know a lot of the guys here so it makes it that much easier and obviously being in the system another year is great for me as a quarterback. You’ve got to know it in and out and having a second year in it makes me a lot more comfortable.”
On the anticipation of DT Ndamukong Suh joining the team
“We’re all excited to see him. I think he’s going to be a great player for us for a long time and as soon as his deal gets done he’ll be out here. I know he’s probably just as anxious as anybody to get out here. I know I was last year and he’ll be excited and having a good time when he gets here.”
On when he knew the team was his team
“I think during the (2009) season it progressed and being here throughout the offseason you get a chance to interact with these guys everyday and they get a chance to interact with me – they get to understand what I’m about and I understand what they’re about and it just makes it a whole lot easier on us. Last year, it was a little bit of a different case.”
On the importance of the running game
“It’s a big part of it. To be a good offense you have to be good at both run and pass. When (the defense) plays cover-two, we’ve got to be able to run the football. When they load the box we’ve got to be able to hurt them with the pass. It’s something that we’re working on and I think once we get some guys’ spots up front and we really know who’s going to be there and what they can do, what they’re capable of, that will help us out there too.”
On the performance of RB Kevin Smith
“(His performance) was great. I thought he looked really good out there today and hopefully he can stay on track, keep building, and whenever he’s ready to go I’m sure they’ll clear him and he’ll be ready to go.”
On how much of the offense has changed to suit his game
“I don’t know if it was tailored to me as much as to some of the new guys we have. You know, we have Tony Scheffler, Nate Burleson in here, and Jahvid Best – some guys that can do some things – as well as the guys we’re bringing back from last year. That’s what we’re really building our offense around. It’s my job to get them the ball, but these guys can do special things and get open in certain ways and that’s what we’re trying to do is find their strengths and use them.”
On whether he has more freedom with this year’s offense
“Yeah, I think so. It’s Day 1 of training camp obviously, but in OTAs and mini-camp I was given the chance to check in-and-out of plays a lot more. I think Coach Linehan is getting a more comfortable with me and I’m getting more comfortable with him and his system. The better we can get on the same page, the better this offense is going to be.”
On whether certain ‘bread-and-butter’ plays are starting to develop
“That’s something that we’ve got to find. We’ve got players – obviously everybody knows Calvin (Johnson) can go over-the-top on guys and we’ve got a running back that’s a rookie that looks pretty good and looks like he can break some big runs and things like that so we’ve just got to find ways to put these guys in the best position possible and let them go do their thing.”

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