Jim Schwartz: Lions' Matthew Stafford's mechanics OK

  • By Gregg Rosenthal
  • Updated: Jan. 2, 2013 at 11:41 a.m.

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz doesn't sound overly concerned with quarterback Matthew Stafford's scattershot season. And he thinks critics of Stafford's mechanics are missing the mark.

"We'll look at everything very hard, but he doesn't have mechanical problems," Schwartz said, via The Detroit Free Press. "He's very creative as a quarterback, throws the ball from a lot of different angles, and in most ways that is very, very helpful to us. And sometimes that's exactly what he needs to do in order to get it done."

Stafford appeared to rely too much on his wacky sidearm throws this season. His footwork and decision making also struggled. His completion percentage, touchdowns, and yards per attempt fell hard, yet Schwartz cited his lackluster wide receivers and passing yardage total as defenses for him.

This might be a case of coddling his player publicly, but knowing things have to improve privately. Stafford was hardly the biggest problem the Lions had this season, but he undeniably took a step back. He ranks high in yardage and fantasy numbers, but there's no way Stafford has developed yet into a top 10 NFL quarterback.

That's the expectation for Stafford as he enters his fifth season. Frankly, we trust ESPN analyast Ron Jaworski's assessment that Stafford's mechanics were a mess more than Schwartz's public defense.