Lions' Patricia: Matthew Stafford is my quarterback
Allen Park -- With outside speculation swirling the Detroit Lions could consider dealing quarterback Matthew Stafford this offseason, coach Matt Patricia was offered the opportunity to shoot down those rumblings and declare Stafford the team's leader going forward.
"I’ve kind of said all year, Matthew Stafford is an unbelievable quarterback," Patricia said. "He’s our quarterback. He’s been fighting, battling, playing hard and leading this team throughout the entire course of this season. We'll obviously, keep working, progressing and trying to grow and get better next year. Hopefully, we’ll do some things to help him.
"Again, I have the utmost respect for him and everything that he does every single day and the way he works. He’s my quarterback and we’re grinding every single day to get better. I appreciate that relationship a lot and I appreciate the way that he works. It’s been great, from the standpoint of growth between he and I being able to have a chance to meet, learn and talk football and all that. It’s just a relationship that’s real important to me. That part of that has been positive."
That's some lofty praise, but it was noted to Patricia he didn't definitively state Stafford would be the team's quarterback in 2019.
"We’re in a situation where Matt Stafford is our quarterback," Patricia said. "That’s what it is. I think he’s unbelievable competitor. I think he’s a great player. I’ve got to do everything I can to try to help him as much as possible."
Assuming Stafford is the Lions signal-caller next season, which continues to be likely considering the financial ramifications of going a different direction, Patricia was asked the importance of the franchise quarterback having input in the team's personnel and scheme going forward.
"Certainly, guys that have been around here for a long time, that have different experiences or maybe different views or seen different changes go through, those are going to be great opinions to listen to and have a voice," Patricia said.
But the coach also said it's important not to limit input to one player, or even a handful of players. The coach said it's important to consider the opinions of every player's experiences when attempting to make the best decisions for the Lions going forward.
"I would say, for me, all of our players, their voices and their opinions are important," Patricia said. "It’s important all the pieces are heard. Everybody should have a thought."