Matthew Stafford admits he ‘definitely’ let down Lions

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Matthew Stafford is no longer with the Detroit Lions. As such, we’re not going to cover his activities with the Los Angeles Rams; check Rams Wire for those updates. But when Stafford talks about his time in Detroit, as he did with NBC’s Peter King in this week’s must-read Football Morning in America column, it’s something Lions fans need to know.

Stafford opened up a bit about the end of his time in Detroit. He once again owns up that he asked for the trade and is grateful the Lions’ new management and ownership agreed to help him even though they didn’t need to do so.

“It’s tough to lose. Everybody knows that,” Stafford told King. “For me, it wasn’t so much that as it was just kind of knowing where the organization was going. It was going through a big change with new head coach, new general manager. Gonna be a lot of new players as well. I just felt like the timing was right. It was well within their rights to tell me that it wasn’t, and I would’ve understood.

Just really appreciate them for at least entertaining the idea and then obviously going through and together making that happen. It’s something that as a player, you want to have chances at it. Luckily, they were great and sent me to a place that’s got a bunch of great players and a bunch of recent success.”

King then turned to the lack of success in Detroit, and if Stafford feels at all like he let down the Detroit franchise.

Stafford’s answer was a lesson in self-awareness and a de facto apology to Detroit fans.

Definitely. I sit there and go, ‘Man, I wish I could’ve gotten it done.’ I mean, it would’ve been amazing to have a Super Bowl parade down Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Didn’t happen. Tough pill to swallow as a competitor and somebody who touches the ball on every single offensive play. You definitely look back and wish you’d done a few things different here or there in some games, that maybe change the outcomes of seasons, but I’m focused completely forward now.

It’s nice to read that Stafford owns up to not being better in his time in Detroit. He certainly did a lot of very good things for the Lions franchise in his 12 years, but he knows the lack of postseason success will always come up quickly. Acknowledging that he tried but didn’t quite get it done is a nice bit of Stafford taking some of the blame.

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