After passing for over 5000 yards and throwing 41 touchdowns last season, many fans are wondering if Matthew Stafford can improve on a season that few in NFL history have matched. It appears Stafford is already answering that question with his work ethic thus far this off season.
Training camp is just beginning and Stafford is already showing his teammates, his coaches, and the media that he can be even better in 2012.
Lions’ center Dominic Raiola has been impressed with Stafford’s physical improvement this off season, as well as his approach to the game. He had this to say about Stafford:
“We all know he has a cannon. He can make every throw on the field. But he’s faster, quicker, good footwork, more instinctive and mentally he has his playbook down pat. He had it down pat I think from when he came in here.”
Raiola isn’t the only person impressed in the organization with Stafford’s physical improvement. Head coach Jim Schwartz says Stafford has really grown up since entering the league in 2009.
“No. 1, he’s a lot stronger. No. 2, he’s a lot leaner. He’s bigger, but he’s leaner. He still had some cherub in him, he still had some baby in him when he was a rookie. But now he’s a lot different.”
Stafford has improved physically and mentally, but has his improvement transitioned on the football field? Tim Twentyman, lead writer for detroitlions.com tweeted this about Stafford’s play so far in training camp.
I don’t think Matthew Stafford has thrown an incomplete pass all practice. He’s working like a surgeon.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) July 27, 2012
That’s the best news Lions’ fans have heard all summer considering the arrests that the organization has had to deal with this off season.
It appears the Lions scored big when they drafted Stafford. Not very many quarterbacks can overcome back to back injury plagued seasons in their first two years in the NFL, let alone pass for 5000 yards. Although Stafford has established himself as an elite quarterback, he continues to improve and he is setting an example for his teammates with his work ethic that will hopefully be contagious throughout training camp.