Meinke: Maybe everything's fine with Stafford. Maybe it isn't

Glad I’m not the only one noticing how weird it is that the supposedly healthy QB, learning a new offense, and apparently struggling with it during practices according to practice accounts, isn’t playing in any games.

As was pointed out on 97.1 The Ticket this morning, this seems to be the en vogue thing across the NFL this preseason, though. I guess Trubisky, Rodgers, Brady and others haven’t played in the first two exhibition games.

Additionally, the 10 days off without throwing seems highly unusual.

To quote Meinke:

OK, well, it’s true the Lions had two long weeks of practice. It’s also true that there’s a lot they can do with Stafford in those joint practices that they can’t do in a preseason game. But it’s also true the Lions had two long weeks of practice with the Raiders and Giants last year too, and they still played Stafford in three exhibitions. He participated in joint practices with the Colts in 2017 and the Steelers in 2016, and appeared in all four exhibitions in both of those seasons. And they were two of the best seasons of his career.

All I know is Stafford is throwing more inconsistently than I’m used to seeing. He’s also trying to learn a new offense and working with a new center – and the Lions are suddenly saying he requires less work than usual in the preseason? Hey, maybe he really is good to go. Maybe he really has mastered the offense. Maybe there really is nothing to achieve by throwing him out there for 15 snaps in the preseason, and might as well keep him out of harm’s way. Maybe.

But best guess: Detroit is at least conscious of the fact Stafford isn’t quite right yet, and decided to sit him against Houston to protect him from potentially bombing without any of his starting receivers. That would only heighten concerns about the franchise quarterback.

All I know is, if we go into the regular season and Stafford looks as unprepared and turnover-prone as he did in Week 1 last season, it’s a complete indictment of the way Patricia handles him, in the preseason and generally.

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I’m guaranteeing there will be hiccups with learning a new playbook.

That said, I have complete confidence in our starting QB. Very thankful we have him!

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Well, obviously wouldn’t it be beyond stupid to put Stafford out there in a PS game and risk him getting banged up or injured? When you don’t really have a dependable backup guy? It’s not like Stafford is a young fella that doesn’t know what he’s doing, he doesn’t need to be out there. And your backup guys DO need to be out there showing what they can do and also can’t do.

That said, it is also true that Stafford has made some bad throws in camp, like way too high, behind, or in front of somebody. It’s already known that he ain’t the most accurate guy out there, and so you want him working on that as much as possible. But is the benefit worth the risk to put him out there for a series or two? I ain’t seeing it. He won’t be making that many throws to make it worthwhile.

My thinking is that the Lions Defense, is going to be pretty good this year once everyone is back and in there. Stafford isn’t going to have to take as many chances winging it, I don’t think we’ll see the same gunslinger attitude out there, it’s my opinion that he’s making throws in practice to see who’s going to come down with it. IOW, who do I trust. Nothing wrong with putting it out there for our WR guys to go after it, but so can our DBs. Even a bad pass gives somebody a chance to make a play, and that’s good if they are all Lions out there.

These guys are practicing together in controlled situations, with Matt wearing a red jersey. Patricia is seeing what he wants to see in a controlled situation, without risking the health of our most important player.

With us practicing against other teams all week, there’s no reason to see what do/don’t have in games, because you already have seen it all week.

Patrick Mahomes played in three preseason games last year. He’s played in both preseason games this year.

I’d argue he’s as important to the Chiefs’ success as Stafford is to the Lions’ – well, if the Lions have/had any success.

Arguing that there’s no value in a “live-fire exercise” where everything’s not controlled, when you’re learning a new offense and have a new center, seems a bit odd to me.

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And yet, as Meinke points out, we did the same thing with joint practices last season, and Stafford played in the preseason games. Change in philosophy? There must have been, as it seems more relevant for him to play this preseason than it did last. This season bringing a new OC and a new center.

Also, if the argument is “he’s getting all the sharpening he needs in practice,” that makes the 10 days off without throwing even odder. As Meinke says, with all those different factors, you’re giving Stafford less preseason work than, arguably, he’s ever had.


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Didn’t Stafford go nuts a few weeks back and chased down Tavai (rookie) who picked him? You don’t do that if your back is an issue…

There are lots of reports of interceptions…

Maybe they’re keeping him out of preseason so that he doesn’t throw a high profile pick?


All could potentially valid points. Only thing that will reveal the truth is the Cardinals game!

Can’t wait! We’re gonna smash them!

Strangely enough, I’m thinking we need to cut him some slack for the first half of the season. It is a new system and it will take time for him to acclimate to it.

He’s finally having the JBC training wheels off. Expect a few stumbles.

I mean, last year he threw 4 picks in the first game… Just so long as we don’t have that, we should be ok against the Cardinals.

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LOL. This is indeed strange, as I won’t be doing that.

maybe doing that tweaked his back :):smiley:

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