Dan Orlovsky was recently quoted in an article with the Detroit Free Press. In it, he went over what Matthew Stafford has been able to do so far at his new position of quarterback for the Lions after being traded from the Dolphins and how he fits into that offense.
Matthew Stafford’s college career was a disaster. He played for three different schools and never had more than 1,000 yards passing in any season. His senior year, he threw just 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. But when the Detroit Lions drafted him with the first pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, Stafford’s career took off.
When most people hear Dan Orlovsky’s name, they think of a quarterback sprinting out of the end zone for a safety for a winless club in 2008.
The football-crazed men and women of Connecticut, on the other hand, know something else: Dan Orlovsky is a football expert. He knew how to play it, and he knew how to play it well. And he knows how to express himself. And, as everyone has discovered over the last three days, he can speak at the highest level possible.
Monday night in Glendale, Arizona, the Los Angeles Rams faced their defining moment. With the Arizona Cardinals behind by two games in the NFC West and having lost to them in Week 3, it was a win-or-go-home situation in terms of having any chance of winning the division. And it was supposed to be a referendum on whether the Rams made the correct decision in dealing for Matthew Stafford.
Last week, we discussed the challenges that Stafford and the Rams face, but ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky had a fiery response in defense of Stafford. When it was all said and done on Monday night, everyone learned a crucial lesson: when it comes to football, always listen to a UConn man.
Getty Images/Christian Petersen/Matthew Stafford
The early 2000s were the University of Connecticut’s golden years, a five-year period in which they controlled all they touched. The UConn women’s basketball team, led by Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, won four championships in five seasons, including three in a row from 2002 to 2004, the final two with Taurasi literally pulling her youthful, inexperienced colleagues over the finish line.
Jim Calhoun’s men’s team won their first NCAA Tournament Championship in 1999, then won it again in 2004, marking the first time that a school’s men’s and women’s basketball teams both won a national championship in the same season.
And UConn’s nascent football team, which was new to Division I-A and the Big East Conference, grew up around a quarterback who remained at home for college.
Dan Orlovsky was the Neil Armstrong of UConn football, the guy who took the Huskies to a place no one in Connecticut had ever imagined the school could go: a bowl game and a victory in the Motor City Bowl in his senior season of 2004.
So, forget about the safety and the Detroit Lions’ 0-16 season. You pay attention when Orlovsky talks. That also applies to Stephen A. Smith.
The Stafford defense of Orlovsky transformed ‘First Take’ into an epic hot take.
The game on Monday night was essentially a referendum on Stafford’s offseason trade from the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and a plethora of first-round draft selections over multiple seasons. It was a significant thing, according to philosopher Ron Burgandy.
But things weren’t looking good for the Rams as Stafford led them to a 3-0 start. They went 5-4 over the following nine games, including a three-game losing run during which Robert Woods was gone for the season due to a knee injury and Stafford struggled as the club sought to bring Odell Beckham Jr. up to speed.
So it’s no surprise that last week’s NFL experts were all over the Cardinals, who are now dominating the division. The topic was posed to Stephen A. and Orlovsky, now an ESPN NFL commentator, on ESPN’s First Take: Who would you rather have on Monday night? Stafford or Kyler Murray?
Keep in mind that Stafford was 0-17 versus opponents with a five-game lead or greater before Monday’s game against the 10-2 Cardinals. 500, 0-9 versus teams with at least 10 victories, and 10-70 against teams with a winning record throughout the course of his career.
Kyler was taken by Smith, as it was by the rest of the globe.
Dan? Dan, however, did not.
Orlovsky went to bat for his old Lions buddy in a big, huge manner in a blazing take that left even the legendary Stephen A. dumbfounded.
“I want Matthew Stafford,” Orlovsky said emphatically. “I’m a team player, therefore I’ll never turn my back on Matthew Stafford.” I’m not the kind of man that wants everything to revolve around Stephen A. Smith, way Stephen A. does. My brother is Matthew Stafford. Matthew Stafford is a teammate, and I’d rather be wrong than turn my back on him.
“I’m looking for the 13th person.” 13th. I’ll say it again: 13th in yards all-time. Kyler Murray isn’t one of them. Matthew Stafford, who ranks 12th all-time in touchdowns, is the player I want. I want the guy who is now fourth in fourth-quarter comebacks and tenth all-time in NFL history.
“Kyler Murray is incredible.” He’ll be a superstar for a very long time. He’s also having a good season. Matthew Stafford is enjoying a better season than he was last year. He’s enjoying a stronger season than last year. You just mentioned Matthew Stafford is second in the NFL in terms of touchdowns. Matthew Stafford, please.”
Dan Orlovsky, take a bow: no one will ever question you again.
Dan Orlovsky was mocked once again by the football world, much like how the other reindeer wouldn’t let Rudolph play reindeer games. You’re well aware of the situation. What’s more, guess what? Dan Orlovsky, a Shelton, Connecticut native and father of four, will always be a UConn Huskie… Dan Orlovsky was absolutely correct.
Stafford was outstanding in Monday night’s 30-23 win for the Rams. Without throwing an interception, he completed 23 of 30 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. On the first play of the third quarter, his long ball, a 52-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson, was a thing of beauty, giving the Rams the lead for good.
Stafford remarked after the game, “I felt good about it.” “There were a few items you clearly wanted back… “However, I thought we handled the game quite well.”
One thing is certain: Dan Orlovsky does not want anything back.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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