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The Journal Gazette

Friday, August 10, 2018 1:00 am

Stafford's goal today: Execute at high level

MICHAEL WAGAMAN | Associated Press

NAPA, Calif. – Because he isn't likely to play more than a series or two in today's preseason opener, Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford has a few modest goals for the Lions offense.

“Just execute and communicate at a high level,” Stafford said Wednesday. “Get out there and communicate and make sure everybody's on the same page. At the end of the day, on offense if everybody's communicating on the same page you're going to have a chance to be successful. That's the biggest thing, go out there and make sure that we're just playing good, sound football.”

The Lions spent the past two days conducting joint workouts with Oakland at the Raiders' training camp facilities in the heart of Napa Valley wine country.

After Tuesday's 21/2-hour practice, which was highlighted by a multi-player brawl that ended a team scrimmage session, the Lions packed up to travel to a hotel 75 miles south of Napa where they were staying until today's game.

Detroit first-year coach Matt Patricia declined to say how much Stafford and the rest of the Lions starters will play.

“I'm just trying to get through today's practice and make sure I get everybody going in the right direction,” Patricia said prior to Tuesday's practice. “We'll find out on Friday.”

The Lions' first offense had an uneven day against the Raiders during the team scrimmage.

They were flagged for three penalties and sputtered on their initial drive before Stafford found wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. for deep completions.

“I feel physically good,” Stafford said. “Obviously another year in the system is going to hopefully help me expand my ability within the system to get us into the best plays possible. I feel very comfortable at the line of scrimmage doing our thing, but I can always be better. I'm always trying to find ways to improve and to get the ball to those playmakers at a higher clip.” 

Although he won't be on the field very long today, Stafford is relishing playing in a game after mostly practicing against Detroit's defense before the two workouts with Oakland.

“It's a good change-up,” Stafford said. “We have to go out and prepare for another defense a night before. You don't have a ton of time to look at them. You just go out there and try to execute your stuff as well as you can.”