Lions OC: Matthew Stafford to take a few more chances

While Lions play-caller Joe Lombardi remains knee deep in Detroit's game tape from a season ago, one theme has already emerged from his studies: It's time for more big plays from Matthew Stafford.

"Our biggest thing is, in order to win football games, you've got to first not lose them, and I thought that he played smart football, and sometimes to a fault," Lombardi said Tuesday, per Ashley Dunkak of CBS Detroit. "We'll look for him to maybe take a few more chances this year with the football. He's got the arm to do it. He's got the receivers to throw it to."

Speaking at a town hall meeting with season ticket holders, Lombardi talked about Detroit's passing game taking a "big jump" in his second year at the wheel, largely because of what he sees from his strong-armed quarterback.

"We as coaches, certainly after looking at the season of film, we've been able to dial in a little bit better, hey, what is he most comfortable and most successful at?" Lombardi said. "So we'll be able to tailor the offense a little bit more to what he likes and what he's good at."

Stafford possesses a deep well of physical talent, but Lions fans know better than to expect perfection. While last year's 60.3 completion percentage was the second highest of his six-year career, Stafford still commits frustrating gaffes on a weekly basis.

Stafford, if anything, dialed back on some of his game-changing, gutsy -- and sometimes fatal -- tosses in 2014, showing more ability to manage the ball in an injury-riddled offense. It's fair to expect more big plays come September if Calvin Johnson can stay healthy across from Golden Tate, with second-year tight end Eric Ebron making a leap.

Still, these are the quiet offseason months when players everywhere are talked about as being merely a few corrections away from glory. That's rarely true -- and especially of seventh-year passers -- but Stafford gives Lombardi plenty to work with under center.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content


See all the Action

Replay every game all season.