Matthew Stafford has been down in Miami this week to promote, among other things, AXE Hair, and he took some time out of his busy schedule to catch up with Pride of Detroit to answer some of the questions you guys submitted for him a couple weeks ago. In the interview Stafford shared his thoughts on last season, the future, and Jim Schwartz, just to name a few of the topics covered. Check it out:
Pride of Detroit: How big is the difference - if there is one - between preparing for games in college and games in the NFL? What types of things do you now do in the NFL (i.e. watch more film, spend more time practicing, etc.) that you didn't do as much or at all in college?
Matthew Stafford: It's spending more time in the film room because there's no class. Pro practices are very similar to college. In the pros, it's especially important to put last week behind you and focus on the upcoming game.
POD: On a related note, how long does it take for a quarterback and a receiver to truly get on the same page and develop a rapport with one another? Is it just a matter of playing together long enough that it will naturally happen or can you go out on the field and throw passes in the offseason to speed up the process?
MS: Building a rapport is extremely important; every situation is different, but getting a chance to play with another receiver for multiple years is how you gain success in this league as an offense.
POD: In hindsight, do you think you came back from your shoulder injury too quickly in order to play on Thanksgiving, just four days after you injured it against Cleveland?
MS: I probably could have sat out that game, but as a competitor, I really wanted to be in there. Wish I could have played better.
POD: The Lions' Thanksgiving opponent this year is going to be either the Jets or Patriots. Would you rather play a friend in Mark Sanchez or one of the biggest names in football, Tom Brady, in the nationally televised game?
MS: Mark Sanchez because he's a buddy of mine and it'd be a lot of fun to play him on national TV on Thanksgiving.
POD: What would you attribute as the reason for your struggles with throwing interceptions in your rookie season? Was it more about inexperience, trying to do too much, not having enough time to throw the ball, or something else?
MS: It was just poor decision making and inexperience. I was not taking what the defense was giving me and trying to do too much.
POD: Which injury affected your play more - the shoulder or the knee? Also, how is the injured knee feeling right now and when do you think you will be back to 100% health?
MS: The knee injury affected my play more, and I'll be back 100%.
POD: Now that your rookie season is out of the way, what surprised you most about being an NFL quarterback and the process of adjusting to the NFL?
MS: It was a huge adjustment and life-changing event to move to a new city with new teammates and a new playbook.
POD: Although you have only been in the league for one season, which teams do you like playing against the most and what is it like playing against people you may have idolized growing up (i.e. Brett Favre)?
MS: It was crazy to play against Brett Favre; he came into the league when I was two years old.
POD: How do you hope to improve as a quarterback in the offseason, and do you have any individual or teams goals that you will set for the 2010 season?
MS: I hope to be more patient and efficient as a passer in 2010.
POD: Are there any players you played with or against in college that you would like to see the Lions draft this year?
MS: I played against Dez Bryant and I think he's a great receiver who would make a great addition to our team.
POD: Just how intense is Jim Schwartz? Is he always as intense as he looks on the sideline during games? Also, how is he different from Mark Richt, your head coach at Georgia?
MS: Schwartz is intense - not always, but when he needs to be. Coach Richt was a little more laid back than coach Schwartz.
POD: Aside from continuing to add more talent, what is one thing the Lions need to work on in the future to become a better football team?
MS: We need to stick together, build continuity, and keep the core group of players together and build on that.
POD: Tell us about the AXE Hair Action Challenge.
MS: Everyone loves Hair Action - you know, when a girl can't resist playing with a guy's hair - but a lot of guys aren't getting as much as they could be. I know first-hand that AXE Hair products are the first step to getting Hair Action, so I teamed up with AXE Hair to help guys everywhere get more Hair Action too. I'm challenging guys and girls to enter the Hair Action Challenge: February through March, I'm issuing a new challenge on AXE's Facebook page and people can upload photos and videos of their best Hair Action moments to win great prizes like tickets to major sporting events in 2010. Check out Facebook.com/AXE for videos of me getting Hair Action and take the challenge!
POD: Suppose you had a time machine and could take any player from NFL history who is not currently a Lion and add him, in his prime, to your offense. Who would it be?
MS: I'd like to bring Barry Sanders back.
POD: What do you think your rating in Madden 11 should be?
POD: Outside of football, what is your favorite sport to watch or play?
MS: NBA Basketball to watch, golf to play
POD: What was your best throw of the 2009 season?
MS: The one to beat the Browns.
POD: What is your Super Bowl prediction?
MS: I think the Colts will pull it out.
Thanks to Matthew Stafford for doing the interview and thanks to the folks at AXE Hair for setting it up.