Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Matthew Stafford Showing Off Skills for Lions

A couple of things jumped out at me while reading an article from the Detroit Free Press about the Lions' #1 draft pick Matthew Stafford and how well he is doing in practice. The first thing was the quote from the coach that said they didn't know he had such a perfect release (paraphrase). Isn't that what the vetting process and personal workouts and film review of his college career is supposed to determine? You have to find out about his leadership skills, work ethic, etc. from his coaches and teammates, but the one thing you can determine is how he throws the ball!
Secondly, the photo associated with that article and this shows that there is room for improvement in his "perfect" release. Take a look at his left wrist. Breaking your wrist out does not help to creating the most aerodynamic or accurate delivery and very well may expose you to injury. Keep both wrists as straight as possible throughout your delivery.
There may be others, but Troy Aikman is the only other top-notch QB that I have seen throw the ball without the threads in his fingers or fingertips. Aikman kept them in his palm, but Stafford doesn't have them in his hand at all and this will lead to more inconsistencies than a QB that has a consistent reference point on the ball. He could also improve the quickness and consistency of his motion by keeping the ball over his elbow and not letting the tip of the ball go as high into the air as this picture shows. Keeping a strong, straight throwing wrist and putting the ball out in front of your face before release is the best, most consistent and compact way to deliver the football.

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