Drew Stanton will make his first-career start this Sunday at San Francisco.
Stanton: “I found out this morning walking into the team meeting. Coach Schwartz pulled me aside and said that I was going to get my first opportunity to start.”
This is a significant opportunity for Stanton, who has had preseason opportunities, but has also been held back by injuries.
In 2007, he was placed on Injured/Reserve with a knee injury; last season he suffered a thumb sprain during practice prior to the third preseason game and this season he suffered a knee injury at the end of the third preseason game.
Stanton on the opportunity: “It’s huge. I’m getting an opportunity to get in there and get comfortable and being on the same page with (my teammates) is going to be vital. It’s comforting to know that and to get in there and have a week of preparation and be on the same page. (I’m also getting to) talk and communicate with Dom (Raiola) and get the fine-tuning down (with) the precision of routes and what I’m expecting and what they’re expecting from me.”
Stanton is well-known in Michigan, growing up in Farmington Hills and attending college at Michigan State. Over that time, he has developed the reputation of not being afraid to run for a first-down – something he has had to curb a little bit since becoming an NFL quarterback.
Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan wants to see Stanton have patience in the pocket and run through his progressions, but he also knows that running is a significant part of Stanton’s game. The hope is that there will be an effective balance between patience to throw and taking an opportunity to run.
Stanton: “I think you just have to constantly remind yourself that the plays make themselves. If they’re there, take them. If they’re not, don’t try and force something.
“I think that comes with just having confidence but also throughout the week of preparation having an idea of what you’re going to get—knowing when to take your shots, knowing down and distance, and being on the same page with the offensive coordinator and what he’s thinking on any given play.”
This start will give Stanton the opportunity to put what he has practiced into a live game situation and truly gauge where he is in terms of development.
It is also a chance for him to put on tape what he is capable of as an NFL quarterback.
Stanton: “Matthew is the future, there’s no doubt about that, but if I can stay around here and prove to these guys that I can play in this league (it will benefit me). I also look at it from the standpoint that it’s a resume that I’m putting out there every time I step on the field. There are 31 other teams that could be in the market for a quarterback at any given time, and I take that approach and that’s why all the hard work is put in.”
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