Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford is growing up.


One of the most popular knocks on Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been his lack of maturation. Whether it was Stafford’s unwillingness to work with a quarterback guru, or Mike Ditka’s unhealthy hatred of the backwards hat.

The point has been clear for years. Matthew Stafford needs to grow up. While things like the backwards hat are debatable, work ethic and the will to be better have always been hard topics to dispute.

With the arrival of Jim Caldwell in 2014, it was made quite evident from the get go that Caldwell top priority was to get Matthew Stafford to the next level. In 2014, Lions fans began to see the early stages of that ascension. Albeit was t not exactly what fans had in mind. The fact of the matter is that Stafford showed improved footwork and more importantly, improved decision-making.

But what can we expect from Matthew Stafford in 2015? Let’s take a look at what Stafford showed Lions fans in the offseason.

In Life

Anybody that is married will tell you the responsibility and maturity it takes to give yourself to someone for the rest of your life is something that is incredibly important. I can tell you a short story of an irresponsible and immature Mike Payton that once asked a girl to marry him. I can tell you that our lack of maturity and readiness is the number one reason it did not work out and the wedding was called off. Of course it all worked out a few years later and we are happily married, but that’s not the point.

The point is Matthew Stafford is showing that he is taking life a lot more seriously now. If this guy has a kid, the Lions could win it all (I hope that’s how things work).

The Will

Matthew Stafford has shown this offseason that he has bigger ideas for the 2015 season. From working to get in better shape, on his honeymoon no less. To setting up private workouts with his receivers and tight ends. It’s all about improving.

I’m sure that Stafford and the Detroit Lions are tired of falling short. For that reason, I’ve seen more drive in everyone this offseason. But Stafford takes the cake, or judging from Stafford’s leaner and more muscular physique, he’s given up the cake.

The Way

The Way is simple. It’s all about Jim Caldwell. After fixing up the likes of Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco, Caldwell has more than show that he has the resume of a “quarterback whisperer” While that’s one of the most ridiculous terms in football, what’s not ridiculous is Caldwell’s acumen.

Jim Caldwell is nowhere near finished with Matthew Stafford. The way I’ve explained it in the past is Matthew Stafford is like a house built in the 1920’s. The electricity has been working the whole time, but not properly. You have to go in and knock some walls down and rewire the entire place to get it to work right. Even then there’s a few more things that need to be done.

I look at Stafford as a guy that never truly learned how to play quarterback in the NFL. He’s been getting by on dumb luck and talent. Jim Caldwell is showing him the way.

Jan 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Team Irvin quarterback Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions (9) after the 2015 Pro Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Look Mike his hat’s on the right way!!

What’s very important for fans to remember is that 2011 Detroit Lions were an anomaly. The chance that Lions fans ever see that Matthew Stafford again are slim to none. But that’s fine. The Lions would be a much better team with improved 2014 version of Matthew Stafford accompanied by a balanced offense. In the end, wins are all that matter. Matthew Stafford is starting to see it that way to.

What do you think? Is Stafford growing up? Or is all window dressing? Leave your comments below and be sure to follow us on Twitter for all your Lions news and original content @SideLionReport and @Lionmike26

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