Matthew Stafford: Seeing other QBs thrive with new teams makes you feel good
Matthew Stafford is set to play his first NFL game for a team other than the Lions when the Rams host the Bears in Week 1 of the 2021 season and that will start a significant new chapter in his NFL career.
Stafford put up some big numbers with the Lions and showed he was tough enough to play through a variety of injuries, but the team was never able to find success in the postseason. Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times asked Stafford in a recent interview if he’s thought about how players like Rich Gannon and Carson Palmer “were able to redefine themselves” after changing teams later in their careers.
Stafford said he did think about it while adding a more recent example of a quarterback changing teams.
“Absolutely. There’s no question,” Stafford said. “Different scenario, but even Tom Brady last year, going to a new team and a different coach and a new way of doing things, and having success. That’s something that makes you feel good after you make a decision to move on. I asked to move to another team, and then you look around and see there’s other people who have done it and have been successful. I’m going to have to work my tail off to make sure I’m ready to go, and catch up to the speed of everybody else who’s been in this offense for four or five years. It’s a lot of work for me, but at the same time it’s exciting, knowing I’m getting the opportunity to do some things I’ve always wanted to do.”
There are other examples of successful second or third acts in NFL careers as well as plenty of bids that fizzled out once the player put on a new uniform. Seeing where Stafford’s move to the Rams falls will be a leading storyline of the 2021 season.