Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Transcript from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's conference call
Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Can you give your thoughts on the rematch?
"We're excited about it. It's playoff football. The Saints are playing great. Their offense is clicking on all cylinders. We're definitely going to have our hands full. It's going to be a fun atmosphere."
Is it daunting to come into the Superdome at night?
"Definitely (Saints defense) has played great. They play well at home. That's what they've fought here for to get the home game. It's something that you'd love to have in the playoffs, love to have in your back pocket. It's something you would love to have for the fans. The team gets into the game early and gets them excited."
What do you take from the last game a month ago?
"We can't shoot ourselves in the foot. We can't hurt ourselves in penalties. We had over 100 yards of offense called back. Those yards would have let to points. We had a field goal blocked. We did some things that were really unfortunate. You do that against another team that is playing good football, it's going to be tough to win."
The Saints seem to pride themselves on having a lot of looks and formations on defense. Do you see that more in them than in some other teams?
"Yes, they do. They are very multiple. They're a team that's out there to try to give you a bunch of looks, something you can't hone in on. You have to be ready for everything, all looks and all coverages. That's part of the fun of it as a quarterback, trying to get the ball out and get it to the right guys."
How much do you think that yourself and your team having no playoff experience will be a factor in this game?
"I think we're going to treat this week like every other week. We're going to go out there and get to know the Saints as best we can the last four, five, six games we played and go out there and execute. It's going to come out to who executes, who makes the plays and who doesn't on Saturday night. Hopefully we prepare well enough during the week that those plays happen for us."
The first time Drew Brees threw for over 5,000 yards it was covered from week six on. Then you do it and I don't think your name got mentioned once in this Dan Marino chase at all. Can you talk about it?
"I don't know. Obviously Drew's had a great year. He played outstanding football. He broke the record, did a great job, got his team in the playoffs and they're playing great football. He deserves a lot of credit. As far as throwing for 5,000 yards and not hearing much about it, it doesn't matter to me much. It's about winning games to tell you the truth and then it's really what it's all about."
Even though it wasn't on your list of goals, how did it matter?
"I know our team is explosive. I know we can throw the football. I think the biggest goal is on our team just like everybody is to have a chance to go out and win the Super Bowl and we were able to throw for a bunch of yards this year, it helped us win games and it was important. I didn't realize how few people had done it. I grew up a couple years removed from high school and college seeing them throw for 5,000. I didn't realize how rare of a thing it was. It's cool to be in that club for sure, but we're looking forward to this week and."
Is there any concern that the ebbs and flows of the Green Bay game might have taken a lot out of you guys?
"I think if you can't get excited and get ready for the playoffs, there's something wrong with you, especially going against a great team like the Saints. In an away game, it's a fun environment. If you can't get ready to go this week, something's not right."
What was the defense able to take away from you guys last time as well as why they defended Calvin Johnson so well in that first matchup?
"Malcolm Jenkins kind of stalked him all over the field. When they play single (coverage), they lean the defense to him, ran guys out of coverage to cover over routes. They did a great job. Everybody has a little bit of a different plan. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a different plan from them this time. Every time we face teams, we see something different. You have to be ready for everything, expect everything and for guys to step up. Last game we had 100 and something yards receiving called back from Nate (Burleson) and Titus (Young) and some other guys for penalties and things like that. Those guys stepped up and got open. We just have to make sure that we cut the penalties out."
Have you talked about because the Lions have a reputation about making silly mistakes, have you talked about it more this week?
"Not so this week. We feel like that's behind us. After the last time we played the Saints we realized you can't do that, you can't do that to yourself and make mistakes and give the other team free first downs and still be successful in this league."
Link to original article