Dilfer: Lions’ new coach needs to curb Stafford’s 'recklessness'

Dilfer: Lions’ new coach needs to curb Stafford’s 'recklessness'
January 9, 2014, 3:30 pm
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One of the critical factors in Marc Trestman’s selection as Bears head coach was the organization’s belief that he and his staff were up the job of truly developing Jay Cutler, with Cutler early on being termed “franchise quarterback” by Trestman’s boss, GM Phil Emery.

[RELATED: Cutler deal works for both sides now and in the future]

Longtime NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, believes that the exact same criterion should be part of the qualifications to be met by another incoming NFC North head coach.

The Detroit Lions are interviewing almost exclusively offensive coaches to change from the defense orientations of Jim Schwartz, Rod Marinelli and Dick Jauron, the Lions’ last three head coaches. And the issue is far more than just teaching technique to quarterback Matthew Stafford, like Cutler an acknowledged physical talent but, like Cutler, given to aberrant play and reckless passing.

[MORE: Lovie Smith now in a position to do the Bears some good]

“The issue is wisdom,” Dilfer said Wednesday on an ESPN conferece call. “The issue is being able to create a set of boundaries that says, ‘Matthew, I appreciate your immense talent and immense competitive fierceness and all the things you want to do. I’m going to create a set of boundaries that’s going to allow those things to come out but to minimize the recklessness for which you’ve approached the job.’

“If I’m [GM] Martin Mayhew and I’m listening to these coaches being interviewed, that’s what I’m listening for. Not that, ‘Hey, I can use this footwork, and you’ll stop throwing the ball sidearm.’ Or ‘I’ll teach him this, and his eyes will be better.’ That’s not that hard. That’s really not that hard. What’s hard is finding a coach that has the wisdom [to] create an environment that allows his natural ability to surface, at the same time minimizing the recklessness. And that’s great coaching. And that guy’s out there, but they have to find him.”

[RELATED: Bears guard Kyle Long cracks Kiper's All-Rookie team]

Like the Bears believe they did for Cutler in Trestman.

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