With a month having gone by since the conclusion of the regular season, Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan is looking forward to healthier players when they return for the 2010 offseason program on March 15.
After the first two weeks of the season, injuries plagued different starters week-to-week, making it difficult for his young skill players to develop as a unit.
Linehan: “Of the pieces that we have, we’ve got a ways to go there because we were never able to consistently have Matthew (Stafford) and Calvin (Johnson) working together. We had our ups and downs with both of them staying healthy.”
This offseason will be big for Stafford and the other members of last year’s draft class. Players don’t report to their teams until the first week of May and then they can’t come back for the offseason program until late May depending on their college’s graduation date.
That leaves rookies with approximately five weeks of total offseason work, something that makes transitioning into the NFL that much harder.
For a quarterback in particular, getting that time with teammates to gel together is invaluable.
Linehan: “It’s him building a relationship with players and getting that trust factor. It’s still going to be valuable to him building his rapport with the offensive line, Brandon (Pettigrew), the backfield – all those guys.”
Working together, going over specific play types and just getting a feel for one another will undoubtedly have tangible results in 2010.
Though players are coming off injuries, the lone factor of having this time to work with the coaching staff is still beneficial.
Additionally, both the players and coaches will be working with one another having already spent a season together. Last year, the majority of the coaching staff was new as well.
Linehan: “I’m excited about the second go-round because you’re not putting together a playbook working with guys you’ve never worked with. Having that continuity going into this offseason and knowing what we have and knowing where we’ve got to get to be at a different level than we were a year ago – that’s exciting.”
Tags: Brandon Pettigrew, Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, Scott Linehan
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