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Camp Spotlight: Quarterback Matthew Stafford

MATTHEW STAFFORD

Position: Quarterback

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 220

College: Georgia

Experience: 11th season

View photos of quarterback Matthew Stafford from Day 10 of Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.

Outlook: Stafford enters his 11th season coming off a bit of a down year in 2018 for his standards. Stafford battled through injury, and the loss of some top skill position players due to injury or roster juggling the second half of the season, to finish the season with less than 4,000 yards passing (3,777) for the first time in a year where he played a full 16 games,. His 21 touchdowns were his fewest since the 2012 season.

By reaching 3,500 passing yards, however, Stafford joined Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Matt Ryan and Eli Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to post 3,500-or-more passing yards in eight consecutive seasons. Stafford has thrown for at least 3,700 yards and 20 touchdowns in each of the last eight seasons, becoming one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to do so.

Stafford entered camp healthy, and should benefit from a new offense under coordinator Darrell Bevell that’s expected to be more balanced. Stafford has an experienced receiving corps, a good young running back in Kerryon Johnson and a revamped tight end room that includes first-round pick T.J. Hockenson to throw to.

Practice report: It was a good day of work for Stafford as the New England Patriots were in town for the first of three joint practices this week.

These joint practices are good days for Stafford to get a lot of good work in because he won’t play much in the preseason until Week 3.

Stafford started out practice with a bang, hitting wide receiver Kenny Golladay deep along the right sideline in one-on-one receiver vs. cornerback drills with Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore in coverage. The very next rep, Stafford threw a beautiful deep ball down the numbers to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. with Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty in coverage.

In 7-on-7 drills, Stafford was 5-of-6 passing with completions to Golladay (diving catch down sideline), Hockenson, Jones, running back C.J. Anderson and wide receiver Danny Amendola. Stafford’s only incompletion was a ball wide receiver Andy Jones probably should have caught in the end zone.

Stafford wasn’t as sharp in a team period a little later. He missed Golladay and threw incomplete to Anderson, but did complete a nicely thrown ball to Amendola for a decent gain and a 1-for-3 effort in his rep.

The Lions and Patriots ran the two-minute drill to end practice. Each offense was given 1:45 on the clock with the ball on their own 30-yard line down three points. Stafford handled the situation nicely and moved the Lions down to the Patriots' 18-yard line setting up a Matt Prater 36-yard field goal with four seconds left on the clock.

Quotable: “I think that’s a positive for our team at this time,” Stafford said of the number of targets he has in this offense. “We’ve got a lot of guys competing for spots that are talented players, all across the board at every skill position. It’s a lot of fun to go out there and practice and watch those guys compete and do what they do.”

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