Matthew Stafford turned 35 this year. However, based on the comments of the Los Angeles Rams star’s wife, Kelly Stafford, it seems that the Pro Bowl quarterback is definitely feeling like he’s the old man on the squad.
In a recent episode of her podcast, Kelly revealed that her husband is having trouble connecting with the younger members of the squad as the Rams transition to a more youth-centered team.
Sean McVay Speaks Out on Kelly Stafford’s Eye-Opening Comments
Rams head coach Sean McVay has now spoken out about this alleged generational gap within the squad, which has supposedly become an issue for his star quarterback. McVay was quick to play down Kelly’s comments, saying that he believes Stafford’s wife was only joking around:
“No, I’m not concerned because I think if you know Kelly, I took that as more of a joke at the old man,” McVay told reporters (h/t Mike Folorio of PFT). “And I’ll be honest, there’s a couple throws that he made during training camp where I wanted to say, ‘Yes sir,’ to him as well. He’s done a great job being able to . . . I mean, if you watch and if you come out to camp, this guy’s done a phenomenal job of leading, connecting with his teammates. I think it’s one of those deals that becomes a fun narrative in a dead period. And I know Kelly well enough to know that she was probably taking a good old rib at the old man as her husband’s getting older playing, but this guy’s done a phenomenal job and I know how much he loves his teammates and how much they love him. That is the least of my concerns.”
If there’s one thing you can rely on with Sean McVay is that he always does an excellent job at spinning these types of narratives. Well, that and winning a Super Bowl.
The Rams head coach took his praise a notch higher by talking up Stafford’s elite talent level and how the quarterback will play an integral role in whatever success LA achieves this season — and beyond:
“He’s one of the most emotionally intelligent and authentically good people that I’ve been around,” McVay said. “His ability to connect on a personal and a football level with guys, that comes really seamless to him. And so, I think the best part about these locker rooms is you already have a similar common ground where everybody loves football. Those are the types of guys that we want to onboard and then just the way that he carries himself in terms of the way he treats everybody with respect, the way that he’s really intentional about trying to get to know people and ask those types of questions. And there’s a reverence and a respect that he’s earned because of what he’s done in this league. And it’s no different than really the reverence and respect they have for other guys that have been veterans and that have performed at a high level because of the way they go about their work day in and day out. . . .
“If anybody that’s been out there, if you’re saying, ‘He’s not enjoying and he’s not connecting,’ then you haven’t been watching the same things that I’ve been watching. And I think that’s what comes really natural to him and that’s one of the coolest things of being around Matthew is I feel like I learned just watching the way he moves throughout the course of the day in terms of how you want to handle yourself in a manner that’s reflective of elevating people and bringing people along with you.”
As I said earlier, McVay does a heck of a job turning what could have been a negative storyline into an opportunity to sing Matthew Stafford’s praises.
Be that as it may, the fact of the matter is that the Rams are indeed getting younger. Their moves over the past few years have made it clear that the front office is preparing to usher in a new era centered around young talent — if they haven’t already.
That does not mean, however, that Matthew Stafford has lost his value. The Super Bowl champion QB is still one of the best in the business, and he still remains one of the most important players on Sean McVay’s roster. For now, at least.
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