And as strong as Matthew Stafford finished last season, Lions coach Jim Caldwell made somewhat of a bold statement Thursday when he discussed the start of the 2016 season and how much his quarterback knows about the offense he's about to run.
“Matthew is better than he was at the end of last year right now,” Caldwell said. “I continue to say that I think he’s certainly going to continue to improve.”
Caldwell implied that Stafford understands OC Jim Bob Cooter’s offense better now that he has had a full offseason to learn it, as opposed to the piecemeal installation that took place over the second half of last season.
Under Cooter, Stafford threw 19 touchdown passes and two interceptions in the final eight games of last season. He completed 70 percent of his passes with a QBR of 73.1 -- better than Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. He was the #4QB over the final eight weeks. Stafford, of course, will be without Calvin Johnson this season but the team signed Mohamed Sanu in the offseason and most recently Anquan Boldin to go with Golden Tate. Stafford is 17th on our QB list with a 12th round ADP. We think if this offense is for real, Stafford could push for a QB1 ranking.