Stars aligning for Stafford, Lions
The Matt Stafford-Bobby Layne-Detroit Lions connection gets more eerie by the day.
Stafford, you know, attended the same Dallas high school as Layne (Highland Park) and is a candidate to replace Layne (52 years later) as quarterback of the Lions. Legend has it, of course, Layne cursed the Lions on his way out of town after leading the team to the 1957 championship.
Turns out, Stafford, like Layne, led Highland Park to a Texas state championship a title that was the school's first since 1957.
It's weird, it's crazy, Stafford said of the similarities Thursday at the NFL combine. It's kind of ironic how it all came together. Obviously, there's a lot of time between now and draft day and who knows what can happen. That would be something that would definitely be interesting, something that you guys can probably write a lot about.
There's two months until the draft and no telling what the Lions will do with the No. 1 pick, but Stafford has to be the front-runner for now. He won't throw or lift during workouts Sunday, but will run the 40 and take part in other drills.
Already, he met with most of the Lions' decision makers for dinner Thursday he had salmon and asparagus, and joked that he didn't have a steak (the meeting was at Shula's Steak House) because I didn't know what I was going to weigh so I just wanted to make sure I was good. (For reference, he measured just over 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds.)
Just trying to get to know each other, Stafford said of the meeting that included Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, coach Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. That was the main gist of the meeting and the dinner. I had a great time. I really felt like I clicked well with some of the people there. But it was a lot of fun.
As for going to the Lions, where he might start the season as a backup to Daunte Culpepper, Stafford said he would love the challenge of resuscitating an 0-16 team.
My philosophy on that is I'm going to do everything I can to be as ready as possible to play wherever I go, he said. If they don't feel that I'm ready to go and I have to sit behind a veteran for a while and maybe learn some of the things that I need to learn then that's fine. But I'm going to make it as hard as I can on coaches to try to keep me off the field. I've always wanted to get in there and play as soon as I'm ready and that's my plan going into wherever I play.