"We've been practicing quite a bit," Stafford explained to the Detroit Free Press. "There's obviously a difference between practice and the game, there's no question. But Calvin and the decision makers need to do what's best for him and make sure that he's feeling as good as he can possibly feel come Game 1. ... We can talk and get a lot of things done verbally and on the practice field."
The Lions are wary of Johnson overworking in the preseason after injuries cost him two regular season games in 2013.
Stafford hooked up with Golden Tate for a 28-yard strike on the opening drive of the game. On the ensuing series, he found Kris Durham for a 4-yard pass in the end zone. He was limited to three series with the first team and completed 9 of 10 pass attempts for 88 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Stafford got the start and played just one series with the first stringers. He completed a short pass to Golden Tate for a gain of 14 yards and another short pass to Khris Durham for a gain of 4 yards in the opening drive. He completed 2 of 4 pass attempts for 18 yards, as his first drive resulted in a field goal.
"He is getting better," Caldwell told the Detroit News. "His command of the offense has been good."
Caldwell said it was obvious how much work Stafford put in before coming to camp. "I was impressed when he came back that first of all he did not miss a beat," Caldwell said. "He’s a very, very smart guy. You could tell he’s worked at it even during the summer.
"In every facet when he came back, I could see improvement — footwork, accuracy, timing, command of the offense, all of those things. Now we get a chance to see if we can put it together a little bit more, add a few more things, keep progressing and then get some real challenges from our opposition as we start preseason."
"He's done it before, he has a good understanding of it, and he even does some now," coach Jim Caldwell said. "That's kind of part of the package because he's got to have a little bit of autonomy from time to time to get you in the right play. You may be able to call a play, but he's out there on the field. He can see it happening. He can see the defense, so there's some times we have some overriding checks and things of that nature that we'll utilize."
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Nike Youth Team Color Game Jersey - Light Blue Shop Now!