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Matthew Stafford ignores outside criticism of his play

Matthew Stafford is taking the earmuffs approach to handling the criticism that's mounted following his uneven 2013 season.

"(You) learn not to pay attention to everything," Stafford said Thursday, according to MLive.com. "Obviously, there are a lot of things that are written. You guys got to fill the papers up, fill the airwaves, and I understand that. But football is on the field.

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"There's definitely room for improvement, not only for myself but as a team. That's what this time of year is about. Going out there and working on yourself. Getting to know your new teammates, new coaches, new system."

The 2013 season was a difficult one for Stafford. His 4,650 passing yards and 29 touchdowns couldn't mask the inefficiencies in his game: He completed just 58.5 percent of his pass attempts and threw 19 interceptions -- the worst marks since his rookie year.

Stafford's stumble likely played a role in both the internal housecleaning in Detroit (head coach Jim Schwartz, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and QBs coach Todd Downing all out) and the arrival of coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, coaches with a history of success working with high-profile quarterbacks.

This is a hugely important season for Stafford. He remains a key figure in the organization and has a pay check that reflects that (and then some). Another down season will prompt the questions to begin.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast", the guys discuss "Draft Day," then break down who got better (and who got worse) in the AFC East.

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