An obvious critique of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's game has been his mechanics.
When he's not performing well, generally his footwork is awry or he's releasing the football from awkward positions. Shortly after being hired by the Lions, coach Jim Caldwell watched every play from the 2013 season to see how he can help his quarterback.
After doing so, he met with Stafford to discuss what he'll do with him during offseason workouts to help improve him for the 2014 season. He then relayed that conversation to TheMMQB.com.
“We didn’t go through film together, but we talked about I saw, and I listened to him, and it was very beneficial,” Caldwell told the website. “We have used a set of drills in coaching over the years that I think has added some consistency to all the quarterbacks we’ve coached. The great majority of poor throws — people look at the arm, and that’s important obviously, but I think footwork is the key. I can pull up any gamefilm and show you how our footwork drills help you. In a nutshell, the feet and eyes work together. If I’m throwing in a particular direction, my footwork is pointing in the same direction — directly at the target.”
In 2013, Stafford threw for 4,650 yards, 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions — the third number being the second-highest mark of his career. Since his 2011 season, when he amassed 5,038 yards, 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, his numbers have slightly declined each year since.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.