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Jim Schwartz: Matthew Stafford's mechanics are OK

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz doesn't sound overly concerned with quarterback Matthew Stafford's scattershot season. And he believes critics of Stafford's mechanics are missing the mark.

"We'll look at everything very hard, but he doesn't have mechanical problems," Schwartz said, via The Detroit Free Press. "He's very creative as a quarterback, throws the ball from a lot of different angles, and in most ways, that is very, very helpful to us. And sometimes that's exactly what he needs to do in order to get it done."

Stafford appeared to rely too much on his wacky sidearm throws this season. His footwork and decision-making also struggled. His completion percentage, touchdowns and yards per attempt fell hard, yet Schwartz cited lackluster wide receivers and passing yardage total as defenses for Stafford.

This might be a case of Schwartz publicly coddling his player but privately knowing things have to improve. Stafford hardly was the biggest problem the Lions had this season, but he undeniably took a step back. He ranks high in yardage and fantasy numbers, but there's no way Stafford has developed yet into a top-10 NFL quarterback.

That's the expectation for Stafford as he enters his fifth season. Frankly, we trust ESPN analyast Ron Jaworski's assessment that Stafford's mechanics were a mess more than Schwartz's public defense.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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