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Matthew Stafford excited to play for contender, 'going to do everything I can' to lead Rams to success

Matthew Stafford had to explain his move west to his young daughters, he said Friday, so he and his wife simply told them they were moving to the beach.

Inglewood isn't quite the beach, of course, but it's close enough, and when compared with Detroit around this time of year, you can't beat the weather. And we haven't even mentioned the football upgrades yet.

Stafford is walking into a new chapter in his life, perhaps even the second act of a professional football career that was previously spent solely in Detroit. He'd tasted the postseason a few times, sure, but never were the Lions expected to do what the Rams are projected to accomplish in 2021. And Stafford is at the center of those heightened predictions.

For him, he's just happy to be playing for an immediate contender. Consistent days of 72 and sunny don't hurt, either.

"It's exciting, it's something that drew me as a, I guess, tradeable asset at some point that the Rams were a team that were proven winners, had done it quite consistently over the last four or five years, something that was exciting to me," Stafford said in his introductory press conference. "And obviously being on the other end of that, not having too many playoff chances under my belt is frustrating. It's tough. You play this game for success as a team and you want to win games and be in those big moments, so I'm excited to hopefully have that opportunity.

"That isn't guaranteed to us. Just because it happened in years past doesn't mean it's going to happen again. We've got to go out there and earn it, and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we earn it."

Stafford moves from a rudderless ship to a team directed by an innovative offensive mind in Sean McVay. He said Friday he was encouraged by his initial interactions with McVay, talking shop and building an understanding that he hopes will produce success for years to come.

As for playing length, Stafford isn't considering retirement any time soon.

"I don't want to put an age on it," Stafford said. "I feel like I'm so far from that right now. I'm only 33, I'm a young man. I'll figure that out when I get there. I don't see the end right around the corner or anything like that. I feel like I can play this game at a high level for a long time, so I'm excited to get the opportunity to play hopefully for a long time for this franchise and bring a bunch of success here."

No matter the age, the Rams feel much better about where they are at quarterback than they did in the hours after their postseason loss to the Packers. Rams general manager Les Snead told reporters Friday he still remembers how impressed he was by Stafford back when he was auditioning for NFL teams in 2009, calling it "probably the best pro day from a quarterback standpoint."

"It's stamped in my brain and it's still there," Snead said.

Rams fans will hope Stafford creates memories they'll never be able to forget in the years ahead.

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