Warner likes Stafford's talent, not his technique

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Matthew Stafford will make his 81st consecutive start Sunday.

San Francisco — Kurt Warner, the NFL Network analyst and former quarterback, had a lot of good things to say about Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

But, in explaining that Stafford still needs to be more consistent with his throwing technique, Warner shared a funny story.

“My kids are at home, and they’ll throw it side-arm and underhand and (say) like, ‘Stafford!’” Warner said during an NFL Network event at the Super Bowl media center. “So, they say it because they see that kind of stuff, too. And again, you have to throw different ways, and I understand all that. But the more consistent you are with your technique, first of all, the more consistent you’re going to be playing the game.”

Warner, the two-time NFL MVP, said Stafford is “very talented” and “very successful,” but he’d be better if he was more consistent.

Meanwhile, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders shared one thought about Stafford that could be construed a number of different ways.

“Ain’t Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler the same dude?” Sanders said.

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Warner also said Stafford can benefit from being on the same page as his play-caller, which seemed to be the case with offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter after he replaced Joe Lombardi during 2015. According to Warner, among the most important things for a quarterback is for the coaches to base the system on his strengths.

“You always want to find a system and a coordinator or a coach that sees it like you do, calls plays like you see it, so it just fits and you feel like you can play at 100 percent of your capacity with your strengths,” Warner said.

With a strong second half in 2015, Stafford finished with the second-best season of his seven-year career by most metrics. The next step is to avoid relying too much on his “incredible physical ability,” Warner said.

“It’s easy to get away with things the more talented you are, and the more you get away with them, the more you think you can get away with them,” he said. “It leads to a lot of inconsistencies when you think you can get away with something, as opposed to making decisions solely on what a defense is giving you, where they’re telling me to throw it, what the nature of the offense is. Staying in that context leads to consistency and consistent greatness.”