Stafford named starter
ALLEN PARK Rookie Matthew Stafford was named the starting quarterback today by coach Jim Schwartz. Stafford, the overall first pick out of Georgia, beat out veteran Daunte Culpepper for the start. Schwartz said it was a very tough decision because all three quarterbacks including Drew Stanton had played so well.
Stafford will not have to be looking over his shoulder each time he throws an interception or makes a bad decision. This isnt an internship, this isnt a trial basis. Hes our starting quarterback, Schwartz said.
The coach set the criteria months ago. The starter had to be the best quarterback and the most ready to play. I thought in both of those cases, (Staffords) command of the offense is very good, his command of what defenses are doing is very good. What he needed to do is play, Schwartz said.
I think he had a very good preseason. The stats might not bear that out, stats also dont bear out touchdown receptions that are taken away by holding penalties. He was on the field for 15 snaps with Calvin (Johnson). In those 15 plays you saw what a dynamic that brings to our offense and the big plays that were there because of that. I was very pleased with what he did in the preseason going back from rookie minicamp and straight through. I think hes proved every step along the way hes ready, Schwartz added.
The Lions open the season on Sunday in New Orleans. See Tuesdays Oakland Press for more on Stafford.