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Stafford hopes to keep hot hand in Cooter's offense

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Matthew Stafford finished the 2015 season afire.

In the final eight games of the year, Detroit's quarterback posted a completion rate just over 70 percent, threw for 2,179 yards with a 7.4 yards per attempt average, and 19 touchdowns to just two interceptions.

Those are the numbers of an upper-echelon quarterback. They also represent the best eight-game stretch in Lions franchise history.

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"It's going to be a long break," Stafford said Tuesday of the layoff between the end of last season and the start of the 2016 season, via the Detroit News. "Hopefully I still got the hot hand."

Sure, the schedule lightened up down the stretch last season and Calvin Johnson got healthier, but it's not a coincidence that Stafford's play made huge leaps once offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter got full control.

"We just see (football) the same way, talk about it the same way and that's not to say we like the same stuff all the time," Stafford said of Cooter. "He likes some stuff that I'm not comfortable with, and I'm comfortable with some stuff that he doesn't like, and that's the way it goes. You pick your battles and go from there."

With no Megatron to distort defenses in 2016, the comfort level and improvement from the Cooter-Stafford combo must rise even more to keep the offense afloat. With offseason workouts beginning this week, the tweaking to that potent offense is already underway.

"We're going to get it exactly the way we like it," Stafford said.

If the mind meld between Stafford and Cooter grows, the quarterback could be in for a big season, even without Calvin Johnson.

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