LIONS INSIDER

Matthew Stafford looking forward to preseason opener

Posted Aug 8, 2014

Veterans don’t usually get too excited about preseason football, but quarterback Matthew Stafford is looking forward to Saturday’s opener vs. Cleveland.

Veterans don’t usually get too excited about preseason football, but quarterback Matthew Stafford is looking forward to Saturday’s opener vs. Cleveland.

It will be an unveiling of sorts for this new Detroit Lions offense and its field general.

Stafford has essentially had to start over with a new head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback coach and says all the change has kind of rejuvenated him.

“It’s just different,” Stafford said Friday after practice. “I’m being coached differently. Our drops are different. Our reads are different. The plays are totally different. So it was kind of nice to scrap everything and start from new with the way they wanted me to do it.

Matthew StaffordQB Matthew Stafford (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Stafford has embraced the changes from the very beginning and his improvement has showed throughout camp in one essential area.

Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi noted Thursday that Stafford has not thrown an interception in any 7-on-7 or team period so far in training camp.

“I appreciate Joe for jinxing it,” Stafford said with a laugh.

“Obviously the focus of the offseason was trying to make sure we’re smart with the football and we’ve been able to do that. That’s not just me, it’s the o-line blocking. If a ball is close the receiver knocking it down. That kind of stuff. It’s been an emphasis and we’ve done well so far.”

Fans will be able to tell right away how different this offense is from previous years, according to Stafford. There will be multiple formations and lots of shifting and most fans will notice the difference right away.

Stafford said he wants to see players getting in and out of the huddle and execute at the line of scrimmage and “just get our feet wet and execute at a good clip.”

He is the key to the whole operation on offense and the pressure is on him to play well and limit the turnovers this season. The pressure won’t start for real until Sept. 8 vs. the New York Giants, but the clock is ticking to get this offense fine-tuned so it can hit the ground running when the regular season starts.

“All of the pressure is always going to be on him,” Lombardi said of Stafford. “Like all competitive people, and he’s a highly-competitive guy, they put more pressure on themselves than anyone else does. It’s fair.”