Stafford In Best Condition Of His Life

QB Matthew Stafford

QB Matthew Stafford

Companies constantly roll out new product lines to entice consumers to open their wallets.

TV networks unveil fresh programming each fall to lure viewers.

Georgia’s offense this season will send out Matthew Stafford – version 3.0.

The 6-foot-3, strong-armed quarterback has undergone a physical transformation. The junior is now a leaner 225 to 228 pounds.

“I’m probably in the best condition in my life, I guess,” Stafford said. “It’s good being able to be confident that I’m in good shape and that my feet are fast. Hopefully, it will translate onto the field.”

Stafford has gone from sharing the starting job as a pudgy freshman when he threw nearly twice as many interceptions as touchdowns to taking every significant snap last season when he tossed 19 touchdowns to 10 interceptions to lead Georgia to an 11-2 record.

His dedication to being in the best shape possible sends a signal to coaches about how serious Stafford is to make the most of a season when the Bulldogs are expected to be a top contender for the national title.

“It matters, and it shows the coaching staff and your teammates your focus,” coach Mark Richt said. “To get in that kind of condition, it takes work, it takes discipline, it takes sacrifice. It takes a focus.”

Stafford’s summer included working the Manning Quarterback Camp in Louisiana – where he said he worked out twice with Peyton and Eli – and the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in Southern California.

Former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit, an ESPN analyst, gushed about Stafford after seeing him at the Elite 11.

“I really think that Matthew Stafford, when it’s all said and done with the talent around him and watching and looking at him these last couple of days throw the football, it’s hard for me to imagine a better looking physical specimen in simply getting back and distributing the football than Matthew Stafford,” Herbstreit said on the air.

“This guy is going to have a huge year and when it’s all said and done, maybe the best quarterback and maybe the first pick if he decides to leave early for the NFL Draft.”

Stafford believes he’s slinging the ball around as well as he has as a Bulldog.

“I’m throwing it about as well as I have, definitely since I’ve been here,” Stafford said. “It kind of feels like back in high school when you just feel like you’re on on every throw.”

Richt said Stafford is probably as strong or stronger and much leaner.

“That equates into a quicker (player) and a guy who has more stamina,” Richt said. “Let’s say your in a game and you run for 12 yards and you get your jaw jacked and you run back to the huddle and you’ve got to run the next play. If you’re in better condition, you have a much better chance to recover in time to play full speed again.”

Quarterback Joe Cox, Stafford’s close friend, said part of Stafford’s secret is living with fullback Fred Munzenmaier, who Cox describes as a “health freak and big meat head in the weight room. He cooks up all the meals for the house. They eat right.”

Stafford might weigh 10 pounds less than he did last season, but don’t go by just the numbers on the scale.

“That seems like seven, eight, 10 pounds less but his body looks different, too,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “The baby fat is gone and he’s trimmed down. He really looks good. It’s growing up. He’s not 18. Now he’s 20.”

Bobo said that Stafford should be able to move better in the pocket to make plays and be better equipped to escape pressure.

“You definitely notice it,” tailback Knowshon Moreno said. “Definitely his whole figure changed from when he first got here. He definitely slimmed down and got in shape. It’s definitely awesome to see him in that position.”

– Courtesy of Athens Banner-Herald


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