With the NFL 2014 spring training underway it’s time to take a look at the quarterback slot of the Detroit Lions. Matthew Stafford in 2013 became the Lion’s all-time leading passer. That great accomplishment disappeared in the Lion’s closing stretch of the very disappointing 2013 season.
Stafford in 2013 and his passing surpassed Hall of Famer Bobby Layne’s record for the team as Stafford threw for 17,457 yards while he was intercepted some 5 times in their late season skid, and those losses dropped them from contention for the playoffs.
This 2014 Stafford is seeking to return to the form he had during his only season to reach the playoffs in 2011. In that season, he threw for 41 touchdowns on 5,038 yards while being intercepted only 16 times. A problem he must solve is that he has thrown more interceptions each season since that 2011 showing. It's possible that with Detroit getting a new coaching staff, he will return to his excellent performances with the Lions.
The new head coach for the Detroit Lions is Jim Caldwell. As an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens, he was hired by the Lions after they fired Head Coach Jim Schwartz after he ended the 2013 season with 7 wins and 9 losses. Their new offensive coordinator is Jim Lombardi and he the last five seasons was the quarterback coach for the Saints of New Orleans and quarterback Drew Brees’. He can likely assist Stafford get back on track and raise his completion and yardage statistics over the last two season stats which had decreased.
During the 2012 and 2013 season, Stafford and the Lion threw the ball an awful lot, primarily because their running team could not produce the needed yardage and they were cited as being one of the NFL’s worst ground rushing teams.
With the addition last year of Reggie Smith and the improvements seen from tailback Joique Bell, their 2014 running game improvements has the potential to put less pressure on quarterback Stafford.
This season, offensive coordinator Lombardi, a student of Saints Coach Sean Payton’s heavy pass scheme, will have plenty of talent to work with. The Lions still have Calvin Johnson, an All-Pro wide receiver, and Golden Tate, who was with Seattle last season when they won the Super Bowl. Also in the draft this season, the Lions got tight end Eric Ebron in the first round and then resigned Brandon Pettigrew at tight end.
This past Tuesday, the Lions began their training camp with the 90 players on the roster and Friday the 1st of August will be their first practice in full pads. Then Detroit plays their first preseason game on the 9th of August 2014 with the Browns in Cleveland. Thus, you football fans who bet on pro football, check out the preseason odds at SBG sportsbook for the odds on that opening game of the Lions' preseason.