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Matthew Stafford traded a winter jacket for a t-shirt and shorts year-round when he was acquired by the Los Angeles Rams after 12 years with the Detroit Lions. Aside from the change of weather, Stafford is now with an organization that is heading in the opposite direction as his former employer.
Ahead of Stafford’s first game against the Lions, the veteran signal-caller refused to compare his short time in Los Angeles to his 12-year stint in Detroit.
“Everyone wants me to say, ‘I circled the Rams.’ I asked for a trade, not knowing anywhere where I was going to be. There were a bunch of different spots where I thought I could go. I ended up here,” Stafford said. “I’m extremely happy to be here, I pinch myself getting the opportunity to play for this team with these players and these coaches. As far as comparing it to Detroit, I’m not going to do it. I just know that I’m having a blast playing a bunch of football with some great players and great coaches. I loved my time in Detroit. I loved all the experiences I had. Some of them were tough but they helped mold me into the player and the person I am today. I spent some really meaningful time in my life, both on and off the field in Detroit. And I really enjoyed all of it. So, I’m having fun what I’m doing right now. I had a great experience for 12 years in Detroit. That’s kind of how I want to leave it.”
In the first six weeks with Stafford under center, the Rams offense has been phenomenal, playing a big part in their 5-1 start. That’s quite a change for Stafford, since winning wasn’t a common theme in Detroit; the Lions had just two seasons where they won 10-plus games with him operating the offense.
With Jared Goff being on the opposing side with the Lions, there could be interesting crowd reactions to both quarterbacks. That led Stafford to speak about quarterbacks being booed during games, something he says everyone has experienced.
“It’s happened to me there. It’s happened to every quarterback probably in the league at some point or another in their career,” he said. “Sometimes it’s motivating, sometimes you just don’t want to hear it. You want to go out there in the halftime or at the end of the game, and figure out what you did wrong and how we can go out there and be better the next time. I know that every player on every team in the NFL is doing everything they can and go out there and play at a high level. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. It’s disappointing. I understand fans want to see a touchdown on every drive and all that kind of stuff. It doesn’t happen that way all the time, but as players we just keep it moving.”
Even though Stafford is enjoying his time with the Rams thus far, it’s clear that he doesn’t want to diminish what he accomplished with the Lions before he arrived in Los Angeles.