Lions' Stafford connects with QB tutor in offseason

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Matthew Stafford

Allen Park — After years of rejecting the need to work with a quarterback guru during the offseason, Detroit Lions signal-caller Matthew Stafford changed his tune this year.

And while Stafford declined to name who he worked with, all signs point to a pairing with Tom House of 3DQB. 

Earlier this week, Browns rookie quarterback Deshone Kizer acknowledged picking Stafford’s brain while working with House. 

“Spent some time out in California throwing with some guys, just working on being as good of a player as I can possibly be — physically, mentally, on the field, off the field, all that,” Stafford said Saturday, the day before the Lions’ first training camp practice.

House, a former MLB pitcher, who has worked with future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Drew Brees, gained Matt Ryan as a client last season, prior to the Atlanta quarterback taking his game to a new level on his way to earning league MVP honors. 
Before the Super Bowl, Ryan explained the process. 

"You're always trying to find ways to get better, and I feel like that was an avenue for me to get better," Ryan said. "It was different-style training — some shoulder work, some core work. And I feel really good. The ball feels really good. It's coming off well."

Ryan and Stafford are good friends and the Lions quarterback sought input before making the commitment. 

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“I definitely talked to him about it and his experience,” Stafford said. “I bounced some ideas off of him. We talk a decent amount and we definitely talked about it and I got advice from him.”

So why now, after years of rejecting the help of an outside expert? Stafford said he felt he owed it to himself and his teammates. 

“I just think I want what’s best for this team, I want what’s best for me as a player,” Stafford said. “If I play well, our team is going to play well. It just goes to preparation and doing everything you possibly can.

“When you’re competing against yourself to be as good as you can possibly be, then why not give everything you got and find different people with different ideas who maybe can help you out?” Stafford said.  “I just thought it was an opportunity and I went for it and enjoyed it.”

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Stafford is coming off one of his best professional seasons, completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He led an NFL record eight fourth-quarter comebacks and was in the MVP conversation until late in the season when a broken finger on his throwing hand sapped his effectiveness. 

Ryan, who came into the league a year before Stafford, experienced a dramatic leap in his performance after working just one year with House. Ryan posted career-highs in completion percentage, yards, touchdowns, interceptions, and passer rating. More importantly, he led the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

Twitter: @justin_rogers