When the New Orleans Saints played the Detroit Lions in Week 7 of the 2014 NFL season, Saints quarterback Drew Brees had an opportunity to watch Matthew Stafford up close and personal, and apparently he liked what he saw.
Unfortunately for Brees he had to watch Stafford throw two touchdowns in the final 3:38, including the game-winning pass to Corey Fuller with 1:48 left in the game as the Lions stormed back for a 24-23 victory.
While in Ann Arbor, MI for the NFL’s franchising boot camp, Brees spoke about Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and had nothing but good things to say about him and how he has picked up Joe Lombardi‘s offensive system. Stuart Zaas from DetroitLions.com documented the following comments from Brees.
“I feel like he picked it up very well,” Brees said. “Just watching his command of the system and some of the check-with-me stuff – he seemed to do a very good job with it. I was impressed.”
Brees believes Stafford can throw the ball with the best of them.
“He’s a lot more talented of a thrower than I am,” Brees continued. “I’m serious. The dude can sling it. He is ultra-talented.”
Stafford’s stats declined in 2014 as he threw seven fewer touchdown passes than he did in 2013, but part of that could be because he was in a new system. Brees thinks that Stafford, with a year of Lombardi’s offensive system behind him, can lead the Lions offense to a big season.
“I think he’s going to continue to evolve and develop as a playcaller, Brees said. “It always seemed like he was cool, calm and composed, in control of the situation. I feel like he learned a lot from Pete Carmichael and Sean Payton, who I think are two of the best playcallers I’ve ever been around down in New Orleans.
“I think his pedigree and his experience all point in that direction – and I know how much he cares about the game and about doing his job well, being great at it and making everyone around him better.”
As a fan of the Detroit Lions, comments like this from a veteran quarterback like Drew Brees is music to my ears. The only question is whether or not Stafford can take the next step forward like Brees did under Lombardi’s system and win a Super Bowl.
Heck, let’s not get greedy, how about one playoff win and we can go from there.
(Featured image via Sean Gardner/REUTERS)