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Lions QB Matthew Stafford has a fan in opposing NFL coaches

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has plenty of fans in Detroit, but he’s also got a few fans across the NFL – notably opposition coaches.

Ahead of this weekend’s matchup against the Oakland Raiders, coach Jon Gruden had high praise for Stafford and talked about his abilities and attributes.

“He’s feeling it right now, no question,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “I think he’s comfortable with his receivers, I think he’s really gelled with Darrell Bevell, the coordinator. They do a lot of things now. They can stretch you with no-back formations, they’ve got some really good play-action passes and screens. Stafford’s a lot more athletic than most people think, he can scramble….so, we have a lot of respect.””

Gruden wasn’t the only opposition leader to praise Stafford. Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Klingsbury has been a fan of him for years dating back to his early career in high school and college.

“He is one of the most talented throwers I’ve ever seen, from high school days to Georgia and now,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said ahead of the season opener. “I love the way he plays. Love his toughness. Everybody that I know that knows him raves about the type of character he has. I’m a big fan of Matt, and I’ve really enjoyed watching him over the years.”

Klingsbury had a front row view of Stafford’s performance against his squad in Week 1, watching him throw for 385 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

“He’s been a great quarterback for many years,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “He’s got a big arm.”

Against their divisional rival Minnesota Vikings, Stafford completed 30 of 45 passes for 364 yards and four touchdown passes, catching the eye of coach Mike Zimmer.

I think Stafford is playing outstanding,” Zimmer said. “Maybe the best I’ve ever seen him. He’s throwing the ball into a lot of tight windows, he’s pulling the trigger, he’s still scrambling like he has. I feel like he’s making the right reads, getting the ball out quick.”

Last week, Stafford threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns against the New York Giants, improving the team’s record to 3-3-1.

“He’s one of the best passers in the league,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. “When receivers are running around one-on-one, he gives them a chance.”

Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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