Patriots Legend: Matthew Stafford ‘Not Tough Enough’ for New England

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford throws a pass against the Patriots.

The New England Patriots have been one of the toughest organizations in sports for the last two decades, and that environment apparently didn’t appeal to Matthew Stafford.

Stafford apparently nixed any thoughts of a deal from the Detroit Lions to the Patriots, even though the team was reportedly involved in the talks to try and land him. One former Patriots legend didn’t want Stafford in the first place, though. As Tedy Bruschi said on Ordway Merloni and Fauria on WEEI Radio, he didn’t believe Stafford could hack it in New England in the first place.

Bruschi said:

“He’s not tough enough to play here. He’s just not tough enough. I don’t think he’s tough enough to be coached hard. Do you realize the mental toughness that Tom Brady had to have for 20 years to deal with Bill Belichick and that coaching? Tom’s been pressured every single day. Does Stafford grab you as a guy who could handle that? I just don’t think so. He went to Sean McVay and his little best friend relationship and that’s fine. Go have fun over there.”

Obviously, count Bruschi as someone who doesn’t think Stafford could handle hard coaching. The quarterback just went though the Matt Patricia experience in Detroit and may not have enjoyed it.

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Tedy Bruschi: Rams Paid Too Much for Matthew Stafford

Bruschi can be counted as glad that the Patriots didn’t seriously engage the Lions in talks for Stafford or end up bringing him in. The reason? Not just Stafford, but the price that was paid in the trade to get him.

“The price that they payed for Matthew Stafford was ridiculous in my opinion, two ones and a three for a player who has never won a playoff game? This goes into the arrogance of offensive coaches. It’s like ‘OK no, my system, my coaching. I’ll fix this guy and I’ll bring him in here and this is the type of upgrade I need.’ What you’ve done is you don’t have a first round pick for the next six years.”

Indeed, the price for Stafford was a steep one, and many aren’t sure how the deal will work out from the Rams perspective and acknowledge the risk they made with making the deal.

Stafford, reports indicated, had preferred to land in Los Angeles, so the move helps him out as well as Brad Holmes’ former team when it will become official in the new league year in March. For Detroit, the Lions get a young quarterback who is still in his prime as well as multiple first round picks, which can only help the Lions in their restructure.

Now that Stafford is in Los Angeles, he will get his ready-made contender and should be able to have a great chance at winning. Goff will join a young team that isn’t devoid of weaponry and could also be better than many think in 2021 though most consider the Lions to be in the midst of a rebuild. Goff was far from terrible in 2020 with 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air.

When the deal is finally made official, it’s tough to see how Detroit hasn’t made out with this move, something Bruschi would likely agree with.

Matthew Stafford’s Toughness Can’t Be Questioned

Though Bruschi isn’t sure that Stafford could have handled New England, reality says he is probably wrong. Stafford endured a tough market in Detroit that places plenty of blame at the feet of their quarterback. Additionally, he went through multiple rebuilds without complaining and also managed to survive different coaches as well. In terms of physicality, Stafford was one of the toughest guys in the league and played through pain. Mentally and physically, it’s tough to see how Bruschi is right here.

Nevertheless, he doesn’t believe that Stafford could stand up to the punishment of tough coaching.

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