Stafford feels invigorated as he reports to 1st Rams’ camp

Jul 25, 2021, 7:06 AM | Updated: 7:28 pm

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Matthew Stafford has had four months to acclimate himself to the Los Angeles Rams, but the fresh start he has after 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions definitely hit home Sunday.

Instead of reporting to the Lions’ hotel in Dearborn, Michigan, Stafford glanced to his left and saw the Pacific Ocean in the distance as Rams quarterbacks and rookies reported.

“It’s a bunch of new experiences for me — where we’re playing, where I’m living, my teammates and coaching staff,” he said. “It’s definitely invigorating. It’s a challenge for me and something that I’m looking forward to.

“Not many people in my position get the chance to move to teams that have had a bunch of recent success, and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

Stafford, the top overall pick in the 2009 draft, spent 12 seasons in Detroit but requested a trade during the offseason after another coaching change. The Rams traded Jared Goff, two first-round draft picks and a third-round selection to Detroit for Stafford when the new league year began March 18.

Goff led Los Angeles to a Super Bowl spot in 2018 and three playoff berths in five seasons, but the No. 1 overall pick from 2016 struggled the past couple seasons. The Rams were 11-7 and reached the divisional round last season, but coach Sean McVay was critical about Goff’s play during the second half of the year.

Enter Stafford, who is hoping to lead a team to a playoff victory and beyond for the first time in his career. He led the Lions to the postseason three times, only to see them eliminated in the wild card round.

When it comes to his familiarity with the offense, Stafford said he feels comfortable with his progress but knows that he needs to ramp things up leading into the season opener on Sept. 12 against Chicago, including building more of a rapport with McVay.

“I think there’s quite a bit to learn from him and I think he appreciates some of the experiences that I’ve had,” Stafford said.

Stafford did some throwing sessions with his receivers since the end of minicamp six weeks ago and has watched film from offseason workouts. He acknowledged there will be struggles during training camp, but he doesn’t feel like the learning curve is as steep as it would be without having time to work with the offense during the spring.

Stafford isn’t the only major storyline involving the Rams offense when practices begin on Wednesday. Finding a primary running back has also become a priority after Cam Akers tore his Achilles tendon in an offseason training session.

Darrell Henderson has the most experience with Raymond Calais and Xavier Jones also returning. The Rams drafted Jake Funk in the seventh round and also signed undrafted rookie Otis Anderson Jr.

“I think I have a lot of belief and a lot of trust in the guys that we have that we’re going to have a successful running game,” Stafford said. “Really, the biggest gut punch was for the kid. You feel for him more so than I do us as a team.”

More AP NFL: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

UK police chiefs apologize to Hillsborough disaster families

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s police chiefs promised a “cultural change” on Tuesday as they apologized to families of the victims in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy, the U.K.’s worst sports disaster which saw 97 people killed during a crush of soccer fans at an overcrowded stadium. “For what happened, as a senior policing leader, I profoundly […]
1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce celebrates after the NFL AFC Championship playoff footbal...
Associated Press

Brother vs brother: Kelces prepare for Super Bowl showdown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Donna Kelce is going to have to pull out that now-familiar custom jersey — the one with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s front stitched to Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce’s back — one more time this season. At least this time, she’ll get to see her boys in […]
1 day ago
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks back to the sidelines during the second half of...
Associated Press

Analysis: NFL wasn’t at its best in conference championships

The NFL didn’t put on its Sunday best for the conference championships. Before the San Francisco 49ers ran out of luck and quarterbacks, they were burned by a fourth-down catch by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Devonta Smith that wasn’t even a catch. Although Kyle Shanahan could have thrown a challenge flag, the league’s replay assist […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after a play duining the second half of an NBA basketball ga...
Associated Press

Analysis: All-Star reserve voting will lead to some snubbing

Brace yourself. There’s going to be some angry people in the NBA on Thursday night. With good reason. The votes from the coaches are now in, and on Thursday, the NBA will reveal the 14 players — seven from the Eastern Conference, seven more from the Western Conference — who got picked to be reserves […]
1 day ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, drives to the basket on Atlanta Hawks center Cli...
Associated Press

Lillard scores 42 as Trail Blazers hold off Hawks 129-125

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 42 points, Anfernee Simons hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 34 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Atlanta Hawks 129-125 on Monday night. Dejounte Murray had 40 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Hawks, who played without star point guard Trae Young (ankle). […]
1 day ago
Baylor guard Keyonte George (1) looks for the basket past Texas guard Arterio Morris (2) during the...
Associated Press

Rice, Allen lead No. 10 Texas over No. 11 Baylor 76-71

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Sir’Jabari Rice scored 21 points and Timmy Allen added 18 to send No. 10 Texas to a 76-71 win over No. 11 Baylor on Monday night, ending the Bears’ six-game win streak and keeping the Longhorns in a share of first place in the Big 12. Rice made four 3-pointers in […]
1 day ago
Stafford feels invigorated as he reports to 1st Rams’ camp