Originally written on Down and Distance  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Matthew Stafford is looking forward to training camp to dive into his new playbook (AP Photo/Matt York) According to DetroitLions.com writer Mike O’Hara, Matthew Stafford is fully embracing the Detroit Lions new offensive system.  Stafford spent his first five seasons in the league under head coach Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.  Schwartz is now the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and Stafford admits that he spent most of his time with Linehan, now with the Dallas Cowboys as the passing game coordinator, and quarterbacks coach Todd Downing who now works with EJ Manuel in Buffalo. “I spent a lot of time with him – other than with my fiancé, probably more than anybody. In the last five years I’ve had different backups, different receivers, but I’ve been in the meeting room for however many hours a week with that guy and TD (Todd Downing).” Now for the first time in his career Matthew Stafford will be faced with learning a new offensive playbook in the offseason.  He is not alone though since he has Calvin Johnson returning while adding free agent Golden Tate and first round draft pick Eric Ebron as targets.  In a recent conversation with O’Hara, Stafford had this to say, “I think I’ve embraced it. It’s something that is obviously a challenge. I don’t see this as something that I’m on this path by myself, but at the same time, I know the guys on the team are going to look up to me. You never want to see coaches go, or people you’ve been with five-plus years, Shaun Hill included. But sometimes change can be a great thing.  That’s the mindset I’ve taken into this. Frankly, to be successful after the changes, that’s the only mind-set you can have.“ Stafford has proven that he a fully capable of leading a high powered offense but now we will see how he works under new head coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.  We will all find out in less than two short months as the Lions host the N.Y. Giants on September 8th at 7:10pm EDT on ESPN.   Sports-Kings Down and Distance Lead Columnist Kyle Pierce @kylepierce28
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