There’s certainly no shortage of accolades that we as fans can come up with for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has remained a steady presence for the team since being drafted first overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.
But how would his teammates describe him? According to backup quarterback and new teammate Chase Daniel, there’s something magical about Stafford – he’s a wizard.
“For me, it was just seeing in the first month or so just how smart he is,” Daniel said. “He’s a wizard, man. It’s impressive. His recall of plays, the photographic memory, all that stuff that you want in a quarterback, is impressive, and it makes you want to work harder.”
However, Daniel isn’t new to being wowed by Stafford. The two of them grew up in the same area of Texas, and even played against one another as high schoolers on the baseball diamond. They also later worked as counselors at the Elite 11 quarterback camp prior to their NFL careers.
Daniel was signed by the Lions as a free agent to a three-year, $13.1 contract after having spent the last two years with the Chicago Bears, which included leading them to a Thanksgiving Day win over Detroit at Ford Field last year.
“Staff just continues to blow my mind on some of these throws, whether it’s watching it in the film room or we’re seeing it live,” Daniel said. “I mean, he’s got a live arm and (offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell) keeps calling (downfield shots). Bev is aggressive.”
Stafford and Daniel are now the elder statesmen over quarterback David Blough, who started for Detroit last year as an undrafted rookie following Stafford’s injury.
“Shoot, I remember when I was that young,” Daniel said of Blough. “It was a long time ago and he’s just going out there trying to make plays and doing such a good job. I mean, he’s got a better grasp of the offense than me, so I’m really the one playing catch up. If anything, he’s the one mentoring me on the offense.”
“Blough is a baby, and, you know, Staff and I are sort of grandpas right now,” Daniel said. “We’re going on 12 years and he’s going into his second. We still joke with him that he’s a rookie until six weeks in, until he gets that accrued season. He doesn’t like that too much, but he’s a good sport.
“We’ll talk about old Texas high school football, old legends, or maybe someone we played in 2010 or 2011,” Daniel said. “(Blough) is just like, ‘Who is that? I was in grade school.’ It’s pretty funny to see his reactions.”
– – Quotes via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News Link – –