If a coaching candidate wants to lead the Detroit Lions, he better bring Matthew Stafford’s favorite donuts to the interview.
Detroit fired Jim Schwartz after another disappointing season, and the organization has been interviewing potential replacements. Stafford was asked by the Lions front office to sit down with Jim Caldwell during his recent interview, and according to the team’s website, he expects to be speak with every coach who is interviewed.
"It’s something, however much they ask me to be a part of it, I’ll be a part of it," Stafford told WJR-AM on Monday (via the team’s website). "I’m not knocking on the door. They asked me to sit in on that one, and as more and more interviews happen, whether I’m in town to sit with them and talk or whether we talk on the phone.
"I’m sure I’ll have some involvement in that process."
Stafford said he and Caldwell did not discuss his performance or mechanics during the interview (a topic that should have been addressed by either man).
"Actually, none of that happened," Stafford told WJR-AM (via the team’s website). "Honestly, it was just he and I sitting down and talking. He told me he watched basically every play of our season. He picked my brain about our team, and I picked his about his philosophy in coaching and all that kind of stuff."
Stafford is Detroit’s franchise quarterback, so it makes sense for him to be involved in the process. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was involved in the hiring of coach Marc Trestman prior to this season.
However, it sends a clear message to a potential coach that the Lions fully support Stafford, which could make it difficult for a new leader to challenge the quarterback and help him improve.
Since Stafford’s breakout season in 2011 when he threw for 5,038 yards, 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, he has struggled. Stafford had 4,967 passing yards in 2012, but threw only 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Last season, Stafford finished with 4,650 yards, 29 interceptions and 19 interceptions. Detroit lost six of its last seven games to miss the playoffs, and Stafford threw 12 interceptions and 10 touchdowns during that stretch.
Nevertheless, the new coach must impress Stafford in order to get hired.
Better bring the donuts.
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