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Lions want Matthew Stafford to take more control


Jim Caldwell watched Peyton Manning make his notorious audible signals for years in Indianapolis, and new Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi listened to Drew Brees "kill" plays constantly at the line of scrimmage in the past seven seasons in New Orleans.

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Now that both men work with Matthew Stafford, the plan appears to be to give their young but inconsistent signal-caller more autonomy before the snap.

"A lot of it's built in as far as the kills, the checks, all the alerts," Stafford said after minicamp Wednesday, per the Detroit News' Josh Katzenstein. "But there's some freedom for sure to change routes and do things like that."

While Stafford had some ability to make adjustments in the past, the new staff wants the quarterback to be more prolific in exploiting mismatches with Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate or Reggie Bush.

Caldwell said he will "certainly" encourage Stafford to take more control at the line.

"It obviously kind of gives you the chalk last," Stafford said. "And that's what you're looking for when you play quarterback."

Speaking of getting new looks: With the Lions focused on fixing Stafford's footwork and mechanics, Caldwell has added a "ladder cam" at practice, which exclusively films what the quarterback sees during drills.

"The big thing is that we can look at his mechanics -- every little detail of it," Caldwell said of the old-school technique. "That's his camera, and what we do with that is just try to hone in and just try to perfect his craft."

"It's kind of a unique perspective," Stafford added, per the Detroit Free Press. "Maybe the NFL will put it out with their (all-)22 coaches tape and all that. They'll get a ladder cam for the games, too, so fans can figure out what we're reading on every play."

You hear that NFL Game Rewind? Yes, we'd love that angle, too.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the heroes debate the Super Bowl windows of Brady and Manning.


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