Before Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes wowed onlookers with no-look passes and sidearm heaves, Matthew Stafford did the same — only to a much different reaction.
Stafford was famous for making off-platform throws from every arm angle early in his Detroit Lions career, and often caught heat from fans for doing so.
Asked about that reaction Thursday with Mahomes due in town this weekend, Stafford smiled and shook his head.
“That’s the way it goes,” he said. “He’s completing them for touchdowns, so that helps.”
Mahomes became the youngest MVP in NFL history last season when he threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns.
On one of his most memorable passes in a game against the Baltimore Ravens last December, Mahomes scrambled out of the pocket to his left, then back to his right and threw across his body to wide receiver Demarcus Robinson while keeping his eyes trained downfield.
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On another, the right-handed quarterback used his left hand to toss a pass to Tyreek Hill as he scrambled to his left trying to avoid a sack against the Denver Broncos.
When a reporter suggested Stafford was the trailblazer for such throws, he said “there were many before me who did that.”
“I don’t really pay too much attention to (the reaction),” Stafford said. “To be honest with you, I just enjoy watching him play. He’s a good player.”
As high-risk as some of Mahomes’ throws are, Lions safety Quandre Diggs said they don’t necessarily provide opportunities for opposing defenses to create turnovers.
“I think he’s perfected it, though,” Diggs said. “I think he’s only missed one and at the end of the day he’s not going to do anything to put his team in jeopardy. He hasn’t thrown an interception all year so at the end of the day, he protects the ball and he knows how to take control of that offense.”
They both have roots in the West Coast offense, but Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid have more personal ties, too.
“He’s actually related to my wife in a roundabout kind of way,” Reid said. “They’re distant cousins, I guess.”
Reid said he and Bevell have known each other for more than two decades, since Reid was an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers and Bevell was playing down the road as the quarterback at Wisconsin.
“We used to joke with him because he was older than Brett Favre, who was starting for me in the National Football League,” Reid said. “But it was probably because he got on a (Mormon) mission. He’s a sharp kid and a good football coach.”
Bevell was recruited to Wisconsin (and before that, Northern Arizona) by Brad Childress, who worked with Reid both at NAU and later with the Philadelphia Eagles.
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Both have similar philosophies offensively, and both expressed an admiration for each other’s work. Reid said in a conference call Wednesday that Bevell “has done a nice job” calling plays for a Lions offense that ranks 12th in yards per game and 15th in points.
Bevell said Tuesday that he spent time this offseason studying Reid’s high-powered Chiefs offense as he prepared for his return to play-calling with the Lions.
“I think everybody stops during the offseason and takes a look at the guys that are doing the best stuff,” Bevell said. “He’s always been one of those guys that you study. He has the West Coast background for me as well, so that’s always one that I gravitate to. He has different personnel than we have, but you’re always looking for schemes and ideas and little wrinkles that you can add to your system. Definitely something that I took a look at during the offseason.”
Contact Dave Birkett at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Read more on the Detroit Lions and sign up for our Lions newsletter.
Published at Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:39:52 +0000