Now that he’s finally a big Hollywood star, former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford joined NFL Network’s coverage of the 2021 schedule release on Wednesday night. As a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Stafford is already seeing his star rise, and he spent time analyzing the Rams’ schedule for the upcoming season.
Obviously, one of the more noteworthy dates on the Rams’ schedule is their Week 7 home game against the Lions—Stafford’s first game against his former team. Perhaps not so coincidentally, it was former Lions coach Steve Mariucci who asked Stafford about his feelings facing off against his former team.
“It’ll be different,” Stafford said. “It’s something I’ve never obviously experienced. I’ve played for the same franchise for 12 years. So this will be a new one for me. Obviously (I have) a bunch of great friends (on the Lions), and on the other side of the ball, an organization I care a lot about. But that weekend I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure that we come out on top.”
It’s a classic Stafford answer. He gives the other team credit and praise while making clear it’s his goal to win on Sundays. But there’s also no reason to believe he’s putting on a show. By all indications, the Lions and Stafford split amicably with the trade earlier this offseason, and the franchise quarterback has expressed his gratitude for Detroit’s conduct every step of the way.
Given this franchise’s rocky relationship with some past players, it’s good to see them manage a personal relationship well, especially with a high-profile player like Stafford.
See you on October 24, Matthew.