Detroit Lions franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford has some of the best arm talent in the entire NFL, and his physical tools are top-five in the league right now. Unfortunately, his mechanics need some serious work, and this has led to some inconsistent play throughout his career (such as this year’s collapse). You can only imagine how great Stafford would be if someone came in, worked with him, cleaned up his footwork and throwing motion, and also improved his decision-making. I can’t help but think that with the right guy mentoring him, Stafford would make the jump from “very good” to “elite”.
According to MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke, however, Matthew Stafford isn’t interested in having a QB tutor to help him fine-tune his game. It’s a disappointing statement, and some fans are questioning Stafford’s desire to get better. A huge knock on Jim Schwartz has been is inability to work with QBs, and I highly doubt that he’s had a significant impact on Stafford’s progression as a QB. Schwartz has basically allowed Stafford to free-wheel at QB, and it usually works out well due to Stafford’s immense physical gifts. He’s also doing a much better job of making pre-snap reads, but it’s the reads through his progressions that need work.
The next coach in Detroit pretty much has to be a Marc Trestman kind of coach who is among the best at working with quarterbacks, because the Lions and Stafford desperately need that. He may not want a QB guru (most great QBs have one, most namely Tom Brady), but he needs somebody who can help work with him and give him a kick-in-the-pants every now and then. That guy is going to have to be the next head coach, so this is a hire that the Lions will have to get right.