THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford twice was asked during his weekly press conference Wednesday questions that put him in a position to compare the talent on the teams he played on with the Lions to his current Rams team.
Stafford had no interest in doing so.
Instead, Stafford expressed gratitude for his 12 seasons in Detroit, while also emphasizing this week was about helping his current team win another game.
"I'm extremely happy to be here, I pinch myself getting the opportunity to play for this team with these players and these coaches. As far as comparing it to Detroit, I'm not going to do it," Stafford said after Wednesday's practice. "I just know that I'm having a blast playing a bunch of football with some great players and great coaches. I loved my time in Detroit. I loved all the experiences I had. Some of them were tough but they helped mold me into the player and the person I am today. I spent some really meaningful time in my life, both on and off the field in Detroit. And I really enjoyed all of it. So, I'm having fun what I'm doing right now. I had a great experience for 12 years in Detroit. That's kind of how I want to leave it."
In those 12 years with the Lions, Stafford set franchise records for most career passing yards (45,109), most career pass completions (3,898 completions), most career passing touchdowns (282), most career game-winning drives (38) and most consecutive completed passes in a single game (14).
Then in late March, he was traded to the Rams and has thelped lead them to a 5-1 record through the first six weeks of the 2021 season.
Though he no longer plays for the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009, Stafford has continued to receive support and well-wishes from Lions fans with his continued success with the Rams.
"I appreciate that very much," Stafford said. "I can see how it'd be very easy for people to feel the other way, and for people to take some happiness in any kind of success than the former players having away from their building is really just a testament to them. I mean, that's the kind of people they are in Detroit, great people you know, both in the organization and in the city itself."
Studying tape of the Lions defense this week, Stafford said he might find himself saying he knows certain players' strengths and weaknesses more than normal "a little bit," but the bigger takeaways for him are seeing younger players develop such as cornerback Amani Oruwariye and safeties Tracy Walker and Will Harris.
"It will be a challenge for us this week," Stafford said.
The week of preparation will be fairly routine for Stafford.
He'll get a chance to see some familiar faces pregame.
"But at the same time, once the ball is snapped, I'm doing everything I can to play as good as I can and help our team win," he said.