San Francisco -- When asked what he thought of new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter after the regular season concluded, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said he and Cooter "saw football the same way."
The common fan might not know exactly what that entails, but Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame candidate Kurt Warner does.
"It's enormous," he said at a Super Bowl media event. "A lot of people outside don't understand what that means, but we all see the game differently. All the great ones, they see it, but they see it differently."
Warner made the point that a play can be taken from the west coast offense that was Joe Montana's favorite play in the world, and it could be given to Warner or Troy Aikman. And while Montana would love it and say it was the best play ever, Warner would hate it because he doesn't like the west coast system, and Aikman would think it was just OK.
Quarterbacking is about finding a comfort level, and Warner says it's crucial for ultimate success.
"You always want to find a system and a coordinator or a coach that sees it like you do," Warner said. "Calls plays like you see it. It just fits and you feel like you can play at 100 percent of your capacity with your strengths. I just think it's so vital."
Stafford completed 70 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions in Cooter's offense the second half of the season. Cooter's system is one that spreads the ball around and gets the ball out of Stafford's hand quickly. Now Stafford gets an entire offseason to learn the system -- and not on the fly as he did the last two months of this past season.
"You don't see guys that go through different coordinators and ever become great because it's very hard to find numerous guys that see the game and call the game like you play it," Warner said.
As for Stafford's up-and-down or down-and-up season, Warner said when he watches Stafford it's still about improving his technique.
"I think there's things he has to continue to clean up," Warner said. "It starts with his technique. You can never reach greatness and consistency without good, solid technique. You have to be consistent in that, I think, to be consistently great."
Warner joked that his kids at home will throw the football sidearm and they'll say, 'Stafford.'
"You have to throw different ways and I understand all of that," Warner said. "Whether it's finding the right system or finding the right mix of just being able to play within the nature of an offense. Not trying to do much with his incredible physical ability because it's easier to get away with things the more talented you are, and the more you get away with them, the more you think you can get away with them."
Consistent play at the quarterback position, according to Warner, comes from making decisions solely on what a defense gives him, knowing what a defense is giving him, throwing the ball where a defense tells him to throw it, and knowing what the nature of the offense is and staying within that context.
We saw a lot of that from Stafford the second half of the season under Cooter.
"Very talented and he's been very successful," Warner said of Stafford. "But I think to take it to that next level and stay consistent, those are a couple things that if he can get better in those areas, he's going to be better overall and ascend into another level."