Former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford admitted he feels he let down the franchise that drafted him back in 2009.
“Definitely. I sit there and go, ‘Man, I wish I could’ve gotten it done,’” Stafford told NBC Sports’ Peter King at Los Angeles Rams camp this week. “I mean, it would’ve been amazing to have a Super Bowl parade down Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Didn’t happen. Tough pill to swallow as a competitor and somebody who touches the ball on every single offensive play. You definitely look back and wish you’d done a few things different here or there in some games, that maybe change the outcomes of seasons.”
In 12 seasons with the Lions, Stafford only made the playoffs in three seasons, and didn’t advance past the Wild Card round in any of those three seasons. Despite that, Stafford didn’t take the bait from King to slight his former team. In the past, we’ve heard from players like Calvin Johnson and even Barry Sanders say the constant losing took a toll on them, forcing them to want out. But with Stafford, it wasn’t the losing that made him request a trade at the end of the 2020 season, but simply not desiring to be part of a rebuild.
“It’s tough to lose. Everybody knows that. For me, it wasn’t so much that as it was just kind of knowing where the organization was going,” Stafford said. “It was going through a big change with new head coach, new general manager. Gonna be a lot of new players as well. I just felt like the timing was right.”
King also asked if football could be fun again for Stafford this year with the Rams, and the former Lions quarterback quickly corrected him.
“I don’t think I ever lost it. I love playing this game. I love competing,” Stafford said.
Per usual, Stafford nailed his media obligation. Now we’ll have to see if he can live up to expectations in Los Angeles on the field.