For those that are keeping track, the NFL season is now only 10 days away, which means that Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has less than two weeks to try and “gel” with his young team.
The 35-year-old QB has been making headlines thanks to some rather interesting information coming out of training camp. You would think that the inside information on Stafford would have leaked from a TMZ or another outlet like it, but this story actually originates from his wife’s podcast, The Morning After with Kelly Stafford.
With the NFL soon to cut their rosters down to 53-men-per-team, the Rams are expected to have one of the younger rosters in the league. Of course, Matthew Stafford is coming back for his third season with the Los Angeles team after missing a significant amount of time last season, and winning a Super Bowl in his first season with the team.
Stafford entered into the NFL in 2009, so to put it politely, he’s no “spring chicken.” Not only has his age given him some injury issues later in his career, he’s also apparently struggling to connect with some of his teammates. His wife Kelly said on her podcast:
“It’s kind of crazy. So Matthew’s been in the league a long time. He’s like, ‘The difference in the locker room has changed so significantly.’ They have a lot of rookies on their team, they’re very young. But he’s like, ‘I feel like I can’t connect.’
In the old days you’d come out of practice, you’d shower, and people would be playing cards, interacting… But now they get out of practice, and meetings during training camp, and they go straight to their phones.”
I could see where Stafford, who left the University of Georgia in 2009, is finding that the younger generation is more challenging to connect with. And apparently the disconnect is going both ways, so much so that Matthew literally had a “Facebook” made so he can better prepare to converse with his teammates:
‘They say ‘sir’ to him and sh*t. He’s like ‘No, we’re on the same level here, we’re both playing in the league. Let me get to know you.’ He said it’s so different and so hard to get to know these guys. He had a book printed out.
He had the equipment guy get a book printed of all their faces, and all their names, cause he’s like ‘I need to know their names, we need to talk, so I’m gonna find their names and I’m gonna say ‘Hey so and so how was your weekend?’ So they know I know them and maybe we should get to know each other so there’s chemistry on the field.'”
Update: #Rams QB Matthew Stafford admittedly has a tough time connecting with his younger teammates on the team.
"I don’t know how to lead people I have no connection with. I have to somehow find a way to connect with them."