Kurt Warner: Matthew Stafford has work to do


Matthew Stafford made his first Pro Bowl last year, but his 2014 game tape wasn't nearly as impressive as many hoped under Jim Caldwell and coordinator Joe Lombardi.

"I thought (Stafford) was up and down," NFL Media's Kurt Warner told the Detroit Free Press. "I think the thing is in the past we've seen his tremendous athletic ability. I mean, the guy can make every throw and he's special with what he can do with his arm. But the one drawback was, with all of that, he made a lot of bad decisions. He would force balls because he just felt physically he could do it."

Stafford completed more than 60 percent of his passes for just the second time in his six-year career and had a career-low 12 interceptions. However, he also earned just 4,257 passing yards -- a four-year low -- and didn't run a fluid offense.

Reining in his poor mistakes sucked away some of what made Stafford a playmaker.

"This year, I think you kind of saw the opposite," Warner continued. "You didn't get to see as much of the upside with the physical part of it, but you got to see a guy that was able to manage games and step back from making those bad decisions, which to me excites me because it tells me that he can do that."

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More familiarity with Lombardi's offense, paired with a healthier offensive line and receiver unit in 2015 could allow Stafford to mesh the smarter decision-maker with the gunslinger.

For Warner, cleaning up his fundamental could allow 27-year-old to take the next step in his development.

"There's still things I think he can clean up with (his fundamentals), and I think if he does, because what I believe as a quarterback is that the more movement you have in your technique, the more opportunity there is to miss," Warner said.

"That's what you kind of see with Matthew Stafford. He makes some incredible plays, even with his arm in different positions. But the consistency's not there that you need at the position to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league and I think that's where cleaning up the technique will help."

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