Free Press sports reporter Dave Birkett goes down when the 2020 Detroit Lions schedule and how it goes for them. Shot on May 7.
Detroit Free Press
They have come one after another in the past 18 months, a wave of rights that would knock almost anyone on the ground.
There was the fractured transverse process in his back which made it difficult to do many things for a month. His wife’s brain surgery, which luckily went well, helped put her life in perspective. No more broken bones in the back, this time in an area that caused Detroit The Lions stopped him for half a season. And more recently, persistent commercial rumors about his future in Detroit and a pandemic that has made a number worldwide.
Through it all, Matthew Stafford said there has never been a time when he thought he would not be the Lions’ quarterback.
“Not really,” he said during a video conference on Thursday. “I’m a little boring in this aspect, I’m just preparing to be here and do my job at a higher level than the previous year.”
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In his first public comments in the spring, Stafford, 32, appeared as comfortable and relaxed as in his previous 11 seasons in Detroit.
He said his back was healthy and “healed,” and after two turbulent years, he was ready to resume football – “if we can find a way to make it safe for everyone.”
“When it comes to how I feel about my body, I feel good,” said Stafford. “I’m not worried about going to play there. If we could put the pads on today and go play, I would.
“Every time you go to play football, there is a risk, especially when you put your pads on and hit. But I’m excited. I hope everything is as safe and as smooth as possible during the off-season and we are allowed to return at some point as long as it is safe. ”
The Lions are three weeks away from a virtual offseason program that Stafford admits it took a while to get used to.
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Normally, players and coaches sit together at Team Allen Park’s facilities, then return to the indoor arena or put their learning into practice.
Because the coronavirus pandemic has shut down all NFL facilities, players have to train and do football exercises on their own, and classroom sessions are limited to two hours online.
“The biggest difference right now is that we’re all talking about it, then we hang up on the Zoom call and I’m chasing three kids and Danny (Amendola) goes and does yoga in his underwear or whatever, and Kenny ( Golladay is) catching bullets from a jug, “said Stafford. “I don’t know what these guys are doing, but we’re not working on the same things at the same time. “
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Stafford has spent time working privately with his receivers, and while this is nothing new – he usually runs summer throwing sessions after the organized portion of the Lions’ off-season program ends – the mechanisms of workouts are.
He has split his time in recent months between his homes in California and Georgia, with a two-week break to visit his in-laws beach home in Florida.
In California, before the pandemic escalated, Stafford spent a few days launching with Golladay and Amendola, two of its main receptors from last season.
Amendola traveled to Atlanta for an additional four or five days of training, and after the April draft, Stafford met for throwing sessions with close end Isaac Nauta and rookies of Andre Swift and Quintez Cephus. Stafford, Nauta and Swift went to Georgia, and Cephus is from Macon nearby.
The players did their best to distance themselves socially during the throwing sessions, said Stafford
“I honestly make a conscious effort to try not to lick my fingers before I receive the ball or throw it,” said Stafford. “All of these kinds of things are things I never thought I should have thought about, but right now I am, and make sure that we just try to limit our contact. Some of our moments in California, we would launch and we would have finished and everyone would just click with crampons at the end, say that you enjoy the race, that you enjoy the launch and that you move on. So we do everything we can to try to stay safe. Obviously, I have three little ones and a pregnant wife at home, so it’s in the forefront of my mind to make sure I stay safe. ”
While Kelly Stafford, who is due to give birth to the couple’s fourth child later this summer, made headlines in February, first for appearing to embrace rumors that Lions would buy her husband before the project, and then for Having said that no one ever wanted to leave, Matthew said Thursday that he barely gave them a thought.
“I pay less attention to them than my wife,” he said. “But it’s something that doesn’t bother me. Look, I’m here, I want to be here. I love being a Detroit Lion, I love leading this team. All this stuff is just here to be there It’s a month of slow news at this point and I’m just happy to be where I am and ready to face this offseason as it is and to try to make the most of the season which I hope will happen. ”
If football returns this fall, Stafford, who was in the middle of one of the best seasons of his career when he injured his back last November, said he would be ready.
He has turned part of his Atlanta home garage into a gym, he locally throws “a little place down the street” and he plans to show up at training camp as usual in late July.
“I am getting ready for it on time,” he said. “If not, okay. I will work a little more before I start. And if that doesn’t happen, I’ll take care of those ramifications when they happen. I love playing football. I don’t know what I would do if I did fall because I think a lot of Americans would probably say the same. But being involved in the game, I love it and I hope it is safe enough for everyone. we don’t have to put people in danger of canceling a game, but at the same time, if we can find a way to make it safe for everyone, I would love to be there obviously as soon as possible. ”
Contact Dave Birkett at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Learn more about the Detroit Lions and sign up for our Lions newsletter.