Some Detroit Lions fans might want quarterback Matthew Stafford to become less of a risk-taker, but the strong armed signal-caller is not about to go into his shell on the eve of the 2014 season.
Speaking to me for a Sky Sports interview that can be seen during the NFL season, Stafford said:
“I’m aggressive, for sure. But I’m confident in my ability to put the ball into places that will help us be successful. There’s a fine line between making calculated risks and taking chances. It’s a tough line to stay on but I do that to try to help us win. Every time you get the ball in your hands you have to be confident in your abilities.”
Stafford came under fire in 2013 after the Lions lost six of their last seven to crash out of the playoff race after a strong start. The Georgia product still amassed 4,650 passing yards and 29 touchdowns but also tossed up 19 interceptions.
This past off-season saw plenty of stories written about how Stafford needs “fixing.” But the sixth year quarterback accepts that kind of attention is par for the course in the NFL.
“Quarterback is a tough position to play,” Stafford admitted. “There are a lot of mental and physical challenges. Everywhere you go, the eyes are on you. Some of it is not my favourite part of the game but it comes with being an NFL quarterback.”
Stafford will be pulling the strings at Wembley Stadium when the Lions face the Atlanta Falcons at the end of October and he fully accepts it could be a shoot-out between two high-powered attacks.
The Pro Bowl passer said:
“If history repeats itself, it could be exciting for British NFL fans. Us and the Falcons have scored a lot of points in the last couple of years. We’re excited about playing in London – it’s a unique opportunity. The NFL are doing more and more of these games every year and I know it’s going to be interesting and fun. I’m sure the crowd will be great. It was cool to meet some of the British NFL fans around Super Bowl earlier this year. Being in America, you don’t really know what the people in London feel about football but they were excited. They were huge fans, they knew everyone on our team and they knew everything that was going on with the Super Bowl. It was a cool experience.”
You can watch the Matthew Stafford interview in full on Sky Sports during the 2014 NFL season. You can also read about his career to date and his hopes for 2014 in the gameday magazines sold at Wembley Stadium this autumn.
Categories: American Football in the UK