As a rookie, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had to fight for the starting job and find a place to live and adjust to a new city. This year, Stafford hasn't been encumbered by anything more than getting in synch with his teammates.
"I think the biggest improvement that we made in the off-season was at the quarterback position because Matt Stafford went through an entire off-season," Detroit coach Schwartz said Friday. "He was here March 16th or 17th, whatever day the first day of the off-season program was. He was here every single day. He was throwing on the field. He was working out. He was studying film. He was in the playbook -- all those different things."
Center Dominic Raiola also noticed how a year has helped Stafford and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan work better together.
"I think it's not so much more Chinese now that they're talking to each other," Raiola said. "They understand each other better, Scott and Matt. I think it's a huge advantage having that year under his belt."
Stafford is certainly a quarterback to watch heading into the 2010 season. He struggled some as a rookie, but showed plenty of heart and gave the Lions reason to hope for the future. The Lions have upgraded their offense around Stafford and while he won't be a consistent fantasy starter, he'll have some big games. If he's your backup QB, you'll like the depth he brings to your team.