After an offseason of change, Matthew Stafford is itching to make his Rams debut

By Cameron DaSilva

When Matthew Stafford requested a trade from the Detroit Lions, he knew major changes would be on the horizon. It meant moving to a new city, learning a new offense and getting to know new teammates.

And even with as much work as that has been for the veteran quarterback, he loves where he’s at now with the Rams. Now about seven months removed from the trade, he’s ready to take the field with the guys he’s gotten to know over the summer.

“I’m excited to just go play ball. I love doing this,” Stafford said ahead of making his Rams debut. “A bunch of different changes for me this offseason too – battled through a bunch of things, moved my family across the country. I want to go play some football and do it with a group of guys that I’ve, in a short period of time, grown to just absolutely love and respect. I mean, all these guys on this team are incredible – just the way they practice, the way they go about their business, coaches included. Just excited to go out there with these guys as a team and see what we got.”

The last seven months have probably felt like an eternity for Rams fans anxiously awaiting the debut of their new quarterback, but Stafford is thankful for the time he had to get acclimated in his new city with his new team.

He said he felt like he needed all the time he could get to learn the offense, which he’s going to continue to do, but “it definitely feels like it’s time to go play football too, which is a lot of fun.”

Stafford didn’t play in the preseason, so he has yet to take the field for a game at SoFi Stadium. Aside from joint practices with the Raiders and Cowboys, Stafford has only faced the Rams defense this summer – which, albeit is a very good defense.

But he’s ready to take on a new challenge against a familiar foe in the Bears.

“I feel like I’m excited every time – every time the season starts. We put a ton of work into this. You guys see us out here, practicing in the summer and leading up to it, but there’s so much work that goes into this starting months ago,” he said. “So, it’s just an exciting time to go out there and be able to go play against somebody else. We’ve had a great camp and a nice little start to the week here. We get to go against a great defense every single day. They get to go, hopefully, against what they feel like is a really good offense giving them tests. So, it’s fun to finally kind of get out there and go play somebody else and then see where we are.”

The Rams are favored by 7.5 points over the Bears, so they’re expected to win this game. Stafford has faced the Bears 20 times in his career and went 11-9 in those games, but this is a different defense he’ll be facing, led by first-year defensive coordinator Sean Desai.

“I know a bunch of the guys on their team. I’ve played against a bunch of those guys,” Stafford said. “They’ve got a new defensive coordinator, so that’ll be different and new for us – some new players in some different spots.  I’m used to seeing the Bears a couple of times a year and I’m just going to be wearing a different uniform playing them this time.”

When Stafford takes the field for the first time on Sunday night, SoFi Stadium should erupt with excitement – not only for the fact that Rams fans have a new quarterback to root for, but because it’ll be their first regular-season game at the spectacular new venue.


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