Matthew Stafford’s final Lions interview includes his thoughts on Matt Patricia, Jim Caldwell, and Jim Schwartz

For 12 years, Matthew Stafford gave his all both on the field for the Detroit Lions and off of the field for the Detroit community.

Now, Stafford will be heading to the Los Angeles Rams, where he hopes to lead an already talented team to a Super Bowl in the near future.

In the days following the news he was being traded to the Rams, Stafford sat down for what Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press to talk about a wide range of topics, including his thoughts on three of his former coaches.

From Detroit Free Press:

Tell me something about the coaches you’ve played under here.

Jim Schwartz gave me my chance. He’s the guy that believed in me, a guy who stuck his neck on the line for me multiple times. He’s a brilliant defensive mind and a guy that cared about me as a player and who I cared about as a coach.

Jim Caldwell? I still remember when he was coming in for his visit, I got a chance to sit down and talk with him. And he blew me away. I wasn’t expecting that. Just his presence. Unique. He’s a great person, and that came through when he talked and in how he treated people.

Would you liked to have played for him longer?

Yeah, I loved playing for him. I know that the Fords were trying to do the right thing they were trying to make the next step. They were shooting their shots to try and make us what they thought we should and could be. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out with really any of the coaches. Otherwise, they would still be coaching.

And Matt Patricia?

He and I had a good relationship, no matter what anybody wants to say. I could go into his office and talk to him, he could get me on the phone whenever he needed to. I think we both grew in that relationship. I have a lot of respect for him and who he is, as a football coach and an unbelievable mind.

The hardest part was not winning enough for all of them. And that’s a tough pill to swallow. As the quarterback you have a huge effect on every game. And the fact that I wasn’t able to help us win enough games to keep those guys around longer is tough.