Stafford on ‘fast track’ with Lions?

While some UGA fans still hold a grudge against Matthew Stafford for a) leaving school early and b) not winning any championship while he was in Athens, most Dog fans are still rooting for him to succeed in the NFL, just as they do for the many other former Bulldogs playing in the pro ranks.

So for those who’d like an encouraging word about Stafford, columnist Tom Kowalski of Booth Newspapers’ MLive.com in Michigan says Stafford is on the “fast track” to become the Detroit Lions’ starting quarterback when the season opens Sept. 13, despite Lions head coach Jim Schwartz’s warnings that Stafford still has a lot to learn.

So far, Kowalski says, “Stafford has passed every test with flying colors and cleared every hurdle with plenty of room to spare.” While “we are still seven weeks away from the opener and anything can happen,” he says, “people in the [Lions] organization believe Stafford is even better than they thought” when they made him the first overall pick with $41.7 million in guaranteed money.

The Lions are still proceeding with caution, so when training camp opens Friday Stafford will be taking reps as No. 2, Kowalski says, and Schwartz has said he will start only if he’s ready and is the best quarterback.

At this point, Stafford “already has answered one part of that equation. He is ready,” Kowalski says. “Whether he’ll be the “best” QB over veteran Daunte Culpepper will depend in part on whether Schwartz meant “that Stafford has to be the team’s best option to beat the Saints or that he has to be the team’s best option to lead the Lions to the playoffs in two years.”

Kowalksi adds that Lions fans are “as anxious to see Stafford start as much of the Lions’ coaches are — whether those coaches will admit it or not.”

Kinda takes you back to preseason 2006 and the choices facing Mark Richt and his staff, doesn’t it?

25 comments Add your comment

Dawgs

July 27th, 2009
2:07 pm

Cuz

July 27th, 2009
2:15 pm

Bill, Baylie and I have a layover in Detroit on Sunday on the way to the Mayo Clinic. Can you give me Matthew Stafford’s cell number? I want to make sure the Yankee’s, uhh Northern brethren, are treating him right. Thanks.

DawgFan

July 27th, 2009
2:17 pm

I truly hope he does well, but it does sadden me that he got stuck into the cesspool of the NFL. Of course, I still think he’ll have a better career than Sanchez.

Another Dawg

July 27th, 2009
2:19 pm

Would it surprise anyone if an organization like Detroit were dumb enough to start their 41 million dollar baby?

Dawgdays

July 27th, 2009
2:25 pm

We drove through Dublin yesterday on our way back from the beach, home of Heart of Georgia Technical College.

Do the locals call it HOG TECH or did I just make that up???

Sting 'em Buzz

July 27th, 2009
2:30 pm

For his sake, I hope his O-line is up to the task of protecting him.

Saint Augustine

July 27th, 2009
2:36 pm

(((49-10)))HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

SEC observer

July 27th, 2009
2:45 pm

Georgia football players are always on “the fast track” from the moment they commit to the moment they leave school. And the team never does squat while they are there because their best players are always freshmen and sophomores (a few juniors).

The only Georgia players that get where they are going fast are the jail birds. And its the same year after year. You will start reading about one in about a week or two. I guarantee it.

Ashley Schaeffer

July 27th, 2009
2:59 pm

I love women so I’ll take that as a complement… woo!

athensdawg

July 27th, 2009
3:07 pm

sigh…..the love affair with the staph infection continues………..
be sure to tivo every game so that you can write about him during the off weeks.

Cincinatti Bowtie

July 27th, 2009
3:11 pm

Maybe if Stafford put on some arabian goggles he would make better reads on defense…when is the season starting!!!!

Cuz

July 27th, 2009
3:19 pm

The dang Gators beat us again. In the list of top party schools they are ranked second and UGA is ranked fourth. Yet another reason to move the game out of JAX. Unfortunately, the Georgia Institute of Technology was ranked two hundred and twenty fourth behind the “Fighting Amish” of East Pennsylvannia State. Those Amish know how to party like it is 1899.

RxDawg

July 27th, 2009
3:24 pm

haha Cuz. The “Fighting Amish”.

The Grinch

July 27th, 2009
3:27 pm

To Bill Queen

Elton John called and wants his name back. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Who cares...

July 27th, 2009
3:33 pm

…WHO CARES – he is like the former QB for the Falcons – the sooner we quit talking about him the better!

grid_Fe

July 27th, 2009
3:33 pm

I don’t see why some UGA hold a grudge against him. He was never the problem. It was the crappy offensive lines that he played behind that were the problem. Not to mention the mediocre defenses that were giving up 40+ points.

gdawginkalamazoo

July 27th, 2009
4:12 pm

Bill, wtf! I could beat out Daunte Culpepper.

Huh?

July 27th, 2009
4:26 pm

“I don’t see why some UGA hold a grudge against him.”

They are morons. Plain and simple. Sometimes I feel like some big Stafford Super Fan #1 around here, but I’m not. The guy had his faults. Some of those headscratching picks he threw probably took years off my life. I’m reasonable though and know that he nonetheless did a very good job for Georgia. I don’t understand all the hate and vitriol either. Its really embarrassing quite frankly. Makes me think that all horrible things that Techies say about us might be true. It also makes me wonder if we’ll ever be able to get a talent like that to come to Athens again if this is how they will be treated if they leave early. True story.

dan

July 27th, 2009
4:59 pm

At least Stafford won’t have to worry about playing for that idiot Bobo. Seriously the worst play caller I’ve seen at the DIV-I level.

saint simons

July 27th, 2009
5:41 pm

saint simons

July 27th, 2009
5:42 pm

((((( 45 42 ))))) hahahahahahaha

braveswin

July 27th, 2009
5:56 pm

dan, I thought we were pretty good offensively the last few years. I seem to remember the defense being the weak link.That and freaking dropped passes. That’s not the OC’s fault. But I’m sure there are 60 or better OC’s running around looking for work and CMR is too stupid to find them. And don’t forget it was “that idiot Bobo” that coached Stafford to being the #1 pick and 40 odd million dollars richer. You should think before you type

Cuz

July 27th, 2009
8:09 pm

I think Stafford was changing the play at the line far more than we know. I guess we shall find that out now that the Stafford era is over and Joe can be replaced if he does not follow guidelines. I don’t think Staff would have been pulled unless we were down 31-0, oh wait, that did not happen either.

And I was and still am, a Stafford fan. Just like Huh, he took years off my life with those pics. I turned fifty yesterday and fell seventy because of those pickoffs. I wonder if Stafford will buy me lunch during my layover in Detroit on Sunday? Buddy can you spare a Big Mac.

Cuz

July 27th, 2009
8:12 pm

feel, I am a dumb mass of contradictions. Fell seventy sounds like I fell seventy feet because of those interceptions, okay I will take it.

dan

July 27th, 2009
9:47 pm

braveswin,

Dude no Bobo is not. His play selection is so predictable. Running Stafford up the middle on 3rd downs. Those God awful fade routes. Those check down passes that get swallowed up 50% of the time. Watch the play selection in the Florida game in the redzone. Horrendous! Bobo’s an okay position coach, but he doesn’t have it as a coordinator. Bobo has flown under the radar due to having talent on Offense and with the defense struggling. Let’s see what he does when he doesn’t have that talent.

Mark Richt, when he was calling plays, could “feel” what the defense was giving him. He’d throw to Tight Ends, FB’s, on first down and kept the defense honest. To give you an example, Bobo had the best FB in the country in Brannan Southerland. Southerland had 10 TD’s in 2006 when Richt called the plays! He could be such a weapon, but Bobo hardly employed him, and when he did UGA usually won( i.e. the Florida game in 2007). Richt doesn’t have time to train his coordinators to be good, if they don’t have it after two seasons they never will.