Matthew Stafford may never make it to “Dancing with the Stars,” but the Detroit Lions are doing their part to fine-tune his footwork.
Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said that quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter has worked “a lot” with Stafford this off-season on footwork and progression drills.
“Like most quarterbacks, when his feet are right, the passes are usually right,” Lombardi said. “As he gets comfortable with the progressions and the timing, so much of it is dependent on the timing of the routes and where (his) feet should be, and he’s still learning a little bit of that, but he’s grasping it pretty quickly.”
Stafford’s mechanics have come under increased scrutiny as his passing numbers have slipped in recent years, and experts pointed to sloppy footwork as a primary reason.
“He’s really remarkably bright,” Lombardi said. “I’ve heard that he was a smart player, but the speed and ease with which he picks things up he has even surprised me — and I had high expectations coming in. So I think he’s doing really well.”
Stafford has finished in the top 10 in each of the last three seasons. He has new weapons to throw to in Golden Tate and Eric Ebron, but OC Scott Linehan was replaced by Joe Lombardi, who may emphasize the run a bit more. Still, Stafford is locked in as a top 5 option given all the weapons at his disposal, and has upside from there if he can develop consistent mechanics in the pocket.