Matthew Stafford: "We Want to Be a Great Offense"
Lions franchise passer Matthew Stafford was on his way to a career year in 2019 before a Week 9 back injury prematurely ended his season.
In eight games, he threw for 19 touchdowns (ranked second in the NFL), just five interceptions and 2,499 passing yards (ranked fourth). He also produced a 106.0 passer rating and a 69.6 QBR -- both good for sixth-best at season's end.
There's no questioning that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell -- in his first year as Detroit's OC last year -- meshed with Stafford, leading to an ultra productive campaign for No. 9.
And this was the case despite the fact that Stafford was tasked with learning Bevell's offense last offseason while his wife Kelly was in the midst of recovering from brain surgery.
"Obviously, right as we were starting to do all the OTAs and everything, where we're going to install offense and all of that, Kelly is going through brain surgery and I'm trying to navigate that and learn the offense as best I could," Stafford said.
"I put a lot of time and effort into that, but at the same time, it's not the same as being there in the meetings and all that. I feel like I had a really good grasp on this offense in the first year and I'm hoping to build on that."
Now, the question is what do Bevell and Stafford have up their sleeves for an encore in 2020.
"We want to be a great offense and the first step to it is making sure everyone is on the same page pulling in the same direction," Stafford said. "I think we've got that. Hopefully we can continue to grow and get better in year two."
Stafford could have a very balanced offensive attack at his disposal this upcoming season.
Detroit general manager Bob Quinn added running back D'Andre Swift via the draft to complement incumbent No. 1 back Kerryon Johnson. He also brought back Detroit's top three receivers from a year ago in Pro Bowler Kenny Golladay, veteran deep threat Marvin Jones Jr. and veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola.
As a result, Stafford -- as long as he's healthy throughout the course of his 12th season in the league -- should be able to continue to play at a high level.
And it's something that must happen in order for the organization to have even a remote shot at turning the ship around after a 3-12-1 finish a season ago.