When asked what he thought of the offseason program, Head Coach Jim Schwartz first commented that he didn’t feel the offseason was over.
Schwartz: “To me, training camp is still part of the offseason. Anything that’s not part of the regular season is part of the offseason.”
He cited personnel moves as a key piece of this year’s offseason program, but the No. 1 thing the Lions got out of it, he said, was the further growth and development of second-year quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Schwartz: “He was here March 16 or 17, whatever day the first day of the offseason 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. He went into that day (the first day of the offseason program) as the starting quarterback.”
Last year as a rookie, Stafford wasn’t able to work with the team until early May. With the full offseason this year, Stafford was able to focus on football without the distractions every rookie encounters.
Schwartz: “His whole objective was just to learn and to get better and get better, not anything else. Not trying to find an apartment, not trying to find his way around the city, not trying to earn a starting job. He’s our starting quarterback.”
Additionally, the value of a full offseason with Detroit’s offensive skill players shouldn’t be overlooked.
Schwartz: “I think that’s probably been the biggest thing in this offseason is Matt’s ability to work with Calvin Johnson. His ability to go out there and throw with Nate Burleson and Bryant Johnson and (Dennis) Northcutt and Derrick Williams and all our wide receivers and tight ends. Just getting out there and doing it on a daily basis has made a big, big improvement of where we are offensively.”
Tags: Jim Schwartz, Matthew Stafford
Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 5 Comments »