User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Lions' Stafford on the spot after change

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Matthew Stafford will be on the spot this year for the Detroit Lions, and the 26-year-old quarterback understands that.

Advertisement
''In the NFL, if your quarterback plays really well, your team generally plays pretty well,'' Stafford said Thursday. ''We're no different than any team. So the better I play, the better we're going to play as a team.''

Stafford has put up some big numbers in his five seasons with the Lions, but he's taken them to the playoffs only once. After a late-season fade last year - with Stafford's turnovers a primary culprit - Detroit changed coaches, and the team seems to be going out of its way to try to surround its quarterback with what he needs to succeed.

Jim Caldwell replaced Jim Schwartz as coach, giving Detroit an offensive-minded leader who has worked with Peyton Manning in the past. The Lions also hired Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator. He worked with Drew Brees as an assistant in New Orleans.

Stafford downplayed the idea that he was the main reason for those hires, but he's looking forward to a chance to take a step forward.

''I think I can always improve,'' Stafford said. ''I've had some really great moments, some bad moments for sure. The biggest thing I want to do is help this team win any way I can. I'm going to be learning a new system, and I want to be coached in that system as well as I can.''

Stafford has thrown for more than 4,600 yards in each of the past three years, but he threw 19 interceptions last season, his most since he was a rookie. The Lions blew a chance at a playoff spot by losing six of their last seven games - and Stafford was intercepted 12 times over that span.

''He's dedicated. He wants to be good,'' Caldwell said. ''He's a worker. I have no doubt that a guy that has that kind of attitude - and obviously, he has ability, both physically and mentally, he has the intellect to do it. I think he's going to be fine.''

Caldwell is optimistic that Stafford can learn a new system fairly easily. He says there are enough similarities between different offenses that a player with as much experience as Stafford should be OK.

''Really, there's probably not going to be too many routes that he's not familiar with in terms of how they're applied,'' Caldwell said. ''The only thing that changes is the verbiage.''

Stafford will have a slightly different group to throw to this season. Nate Burleson was cut by the Lions and replaced by wide receiver Golden Tate.

But Detroit was able to keep tight end Brandon Pettigrew and running back Joique Bell, giving Stafford plenty of options alongside star receiver Calvin Johnson.

''Everybody on our team has a clean slate,'' Stafford said. ''You have to go out and prove yourself to these coaches and get them to trust you.''

NOTES: Stafford said DT Ndamukong Suh's absence from the team's offseason program this week is not a huge issue. ''He's a guy that has trainers that he likes to work with, and he's done it sometimes in the past, and we understand it,'' Stafford said. ''One thing that we know is when he shows up, he's going to be in great shape and he's going to be playing great football.'' ... Caldwell said Suh's absence did not take him by surprise. ''We had conversations,'' the new coach said. ''It didn't blindside me.''

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Roberts: Vegas Money Moves - Week 14
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 14
Sportsbook.ag: 'Boys look for revenge
Sportsbook.ag: Best Bets - Week 14
BetOnline.ag: Browns facing NFL infamy
Sportsbook.ag: Ravens look to upset Pats
Sportsbook.ag: 'Dogs to Watch - Week 14
Lawrence: Trends To Watch - December
Saints S Vaccaro drops PED appeal
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
11-5 L4 Sundays, +1,440 TY
3-0 Sunday, 7-2 Guarantees TY
8-1 L3 Thurs., 17-6 L23 Totals
3-1 Sun., 12-4 G-Plays, 10-4 Totals
3-0 Week 13, 10-5 L15 G-Plays
20-8 L28 Totals, 26-13 L7 Sundays
11-4 L15 G-Plays, 30-16 L9 Sun.
2-0 Thurs., 7-3 Run, 10-5 Totals TY
4 Guaranteed Wins in a Row
12-5 L17 Totals, 27-16 L43 Picks
6-3 Last 9 NFL Selections
10-4 Record Last 4 Sundays
10-4 NFL Totals TY
2-0 Monday, 14-8 L22 Picks
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks - Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
2016 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Don Anthony + 1440
The Gold Sheet + 1079
Michael Black + 540
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 542
Andy Iskoe + 300
Scott Pritchard + 300
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Don Anthony 62 %
The Gold Sheet 57 %
Scott Pritchard 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 670
Brian Edwards + 606
Pat Hawkins + 596
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 816
Micah Roberts + 696
Antony Dinero + 679
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 1095
The Gold Sheet + 867
Paul Bovi + 427
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership