The Detroit Lions quarterback position has largely been a position of disappointment. They have been trying to break the curse of Bobby Layne. When Bobby Layne was traded to Pittsburgh in 1958, he stated, “(Detroit) will not win for 50 years.”
It looks like they found their man, the man being Matthew Stafford. He has already cemented himself as the greatest quarterback in franchise history and the only thing left to do is bring the Lombardi trophy to Detroit.
The Detroit Lions parted ways with Brian Callahan, who served as the quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons. During that span, Stafford amassed 8,773 yards and a 65.5 completion percentage. He also threw for 53 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
The new man in charge of the quarterbacks’ room is George Godsey. In 2017, Godsey came over to Detroit from the Houston Texans where he spent three seasons, one as the quarterbacks coach followed by two seasons as the Texans’ offensive coordinator.
He was a defensive assistant for the Lions last season and has history with new Lions head coach Matt Patricia as they worked together in New England. Godsey served as an offensive assistant in 2011 for the Patriots before coaching the tight ends for two seasons.
For what it’s worth, Godsey was a four-year quarterback at Georgia Tech from 1998-2001. The familiarity with Patricia and his previous year of experience in the Motor City, combined with his potential as a young, enthusiastic coach brings a lot of energy and hope to the quarterback position.
Matthew Stafford does not need much introduction to NFL fans, especially, Detroit Lions fans. He is the all-time leader in completions, yards, touchdowns and passer rating in Lions history. He has shown strength, durability and the blue-collar, hardworking attitude that perfectly symbolizes the culture of Detroit.
His hard-nosed grit only endears himself more to fans and his teammates. His ability to lead the team down the field for game-winning touchdowns or field goals brings a calming attitude and mentality to the team when they find themselves behind in the fourth quarter.
He finds himself in sixth place on the fourth quarter comebacks list with 26 behind Tom Brady (42), Ben Roethlisberger (32), Drew Brees (30), Eli Manning (30) and Matt Ryan (27). Stafford also has 32 game-winning drives in his career.
Jake Rudock is unproven with a great deal of potential, as he has shown to have success in the month of August, although it was against preseason defenses. He only appeared in one regular season game in 2017 when Stafford injured his hand against Baltimore. Rudock only attempted five passes and completed three with one interception.
During the preseason, he did perform well in the so-called “dress rehearsal” third game of the preseason against New England where he went 10-for-13 for 113 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Coming out of Michigan, Rudock is a local fan favorite to some Wolverines fans, and may end up paying off in the future as an asset to acquire more draft picks.
Alek Torgersen comes out of his rookie season as a relative unknown. He played with the Atlanta Falcons during the preseason with little production (40 percent completions, no touchdowns and two interceptions).
The Atlanta Falcons waived Torgersen on Sept. 2. The Washington Redskins signed him a few days later and released him a month later.
Detroit signed him to the practice squad in December. The Lions then signed him to a reserve-future contract on Jan 1, 2018.
He played his college ball for the Pennsylvania Quakers. In his final two seasons at Penn, he threw for 4,227 yards, 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
The Future (Is Now)
With Stafford turning 30 on Feb. 7, the window for the Lions to win with him is closing. General manager Bob Quinn has stated the importance of drafting or signing a quarterback in every draft class. A sentiment brought over from New England (i.e. Matt Cassel, Jimmy Garoppolo, Ryan Mallett and Jacoby Brissett). Not only to plan for Stafford’s eventual departure, but also investments for future draft picks.
Quarterbacks that could be added to the roster in the draft or as undrafted free agents include Ryan Finley (NC State), Clayton Thorson (Northwestern), Nic Shimonek (Texas Tech), Riley Ferguson (Memphis) and Danny Etling (LSU).
Stafford appears to have at least another six or seven years of his prime left. Possibly a few more if he is able to maintain his body and the offensive line can limit the number of hits he takes. Detroit fans hope he can be the one to get them off the list of teams to never win a Super Bowl. They would probably even take a division title or two and a playoff win to start.
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Featured image by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
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