The Los Angeles Rams just started training camp this past week, but Matthew Stafford has been impressing his teammates every single day. His veteran leadership and the fact that he’s been around the game so long mean that he has seen it all.
Not surprisingly, Stafford’s experience is translating onto the field and instilling confidence in his teammates. He’s already creating a different vibe around Rams camp this year.
Last year, it was the defense winning a ton vs. the offense. Whereas, this year, it’s been going back and forth. For example, when Jalen Ramsey picked off Stafford, the next series Stafford fired back with a touchdown to Cooper Kupp. This is the type of resilience Coach Sean McVay has been looking for in his quarterback.
McVay has already stated that Stafford has looked “better than advertised.” His ability to evade pressure, climb the pocket and just sling it is something that LA hasn't seen in a long time. He has also already been building undeniable chemistry with his wideouts and you can see that on the practice field.
Stafford sustained a contusion to his surgically repaired thumb after hitting it on a helmet following a throw and was supposed to have a day off, but according to therams.com, he stated “it’s our first day in pads and I want to be out there”.
“I want to be out there with these guys, every opportunity that I get to call, play and run against our defense and with our guys is another opportunity I need to get — and I don’t want to waste them. If it was good enough to go, then I’m going to be out there to go.”
What the players are saying:
In a meeting with the media when asked about Stafford, Aaron Donald replied: “He’s playing lights out, I am just excited he’s on our side helping us win. Just watching him, the way he works, and the balls he’s throwing getting it to our wide receivers, I've never seen it done like that so to see it first hand is pretty cool.”
During Robert Woods’ presser, they asked how Stafford has looked and his answer was: “Elite. Really nice touch and accurate QB on the short throws, on his deep throws, so far he’s been really accurate.”
Leonard Floyd kept it short and sweet about Stafford. “Matthew’s been dropping dimes, he’s really good man.”
Of course, Floyd knows all about Stafford having had to face him so many times in the NFC North when Floyd was with the Chicago Bears.
Stafford has continued to throw crazy no-lookers in camp. The media praises Patrick Mahomes for it, but Stafford was one of the first to be doing it. The only reason they didn’t pay much attention to him was probably because he was up there in Detroit. But now being under the bright lights in Los Angeles, he should get the spotlight he deserves. One of Stafford’s no-lookers was to running back Darrell Henderson and that one surfaced on the internet.
Matthew Stafford no-look game always pic.twitter.com/y3Tflc4AiQ— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) August 1, 2021
As breathtaking as this throw was, Kupp mentioned another throw in his presser that he described as “disgusting.” Kupp went on to say “he’s looking guys off mid-throw where he’s throwing across his body I mean the ball is out before receivers are looking.”
Many players have come out and described the way Stafford can manipulate the defense with his eyes and can create guys open has been impressive. All this while going against a Rams defense who was No. 1 in the league in almost every statistical category this past season.
We know it’s early on, but the hype seems to be warranted so far for the Stafford and McVay relationship.