Matthew Stafford has been working diligently this offseason away from the spotlight. Likely out of respect for keeping the privacy regarding the health situation of his wife Kelly, Stafford hasn’t addressed the media since returning to offseason workouts a few weeks ago.
On Wednesday night, Stafford broke his silence by joining The Mitch Albom Show at the Taste of the Lions event.
It’s a huge year for Stafford. After a disappointing 2018 season, he enters 2019 with a lot of pressure and a new system to learn. And Stafford made no bones about it, the system new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is bringing in is a big change for him and the entire offense.
“It is way different,” Stafford admitted. “It is like learning a new language. It really is.”
But Stafford is optimistic that the learning process is going well, partially due to Bevell’s teaching methods.
“This is my fourth different coordinator and fourth different ‘language’ to learn, but it’s been good. I think guys are really diving in, and he does a good job of teaching it.”
The question is how long it will take. Last year, we saw the Lions’ defensive transition bleed well into the regular season. To say Detroit went through some growing pains in the first month or two of the season would be an understatement. And Stafford knows it’ll take some time for the offense, as well.
“It takes a while. It takes reps. It’s not so much time,” Stafford said.
Former Lions offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz suggested it takes halfway through the first season for the offense to get into “full efficiency”
It takes 8-10 regular season weeks for most “new” offenses to get into full efficiency. https://t.co/b7vVaRZfhw— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) May 6, 2019
But Stafford doesn’t seem to agree. He told WJR that he doesn’t even think it will take games to get used to the system. Detroit’s intense practice style should get them ready by the regular season.
“I think, obviously, you get a ton of work in practice, and, especially the way we practice here—it’s high intensity all the time, it’s game-like situations as much as we can possibly do it—and that really helps us.”
The reps will officially begin next week as the Lions begin Phase 3 of the offseason with Organized Team Activities on Monday.