When Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had a chance to defend himself Thursday against Ndamukong Suh, he did what he often has done. He decided to pass.
Suh, Stafford’s former teammate for five seasons who joined the Los Angeles Rams this year, called Jared Goff the best quarterback he’s ever had in an Instagram post this week. Suh’s comments were largely seen as a slight against Stafford, who tried to diffuse the issue.
“Jared Goff’s playing pretty good right now,” Stafford said. “So I get it. It’s not something I’m going to waste a lot of my own time thinking about.”
When he was asked directly if he viewed Suh’s comments as a slight, Stafford said he not.
“No, I don’t,” Stafford said. “I don’t pay attention to it at all.”
Stafford was then asked if Suh was one of the top defensive tackles he has played with.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t get into (rankings). It’s so not my lane.”
Suh — a notorious quarterback hunter — posted a picture on Instagram of him seemingly staring at Goff and wrote: “If only you weren't my QB. Nah can't do that to the best QB I've ever had @jaredgoff," along with goat, football and muscled-arm emoji.
The Lions drafted Suh No. 2 overall in 2010 and he played with Stafford until joining the Miami Dolphins as a free agent in 2015. He signed with the Rams in March after the Dolphins released him.
Suh returns to Ford Field for the first time when the Rams visit the Lions on Dec. 2.
Stafford also was asked about a slew of criticism leveled at him Thursday by former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason as a guest on WXYT-FM (97.1), including why Stafford needs to be more of a “locker room leader” instead of a “locker room lawyer.”
“I respect his opinion,” Stafford said of Esiason. “Whatever he wants to say, he can say. He’s not in our locker room, not with our guys, not with me ever. So I don’t put too much credit into that. I just go about my day.
“Listen, guys. There’s people that are going to say good things, they’re going to say bad things about us every day. If I spent all my time worrying about what he said or Suh posted or (things like) that, I’d be doing a disservice to the guys in the locker room, and I’m trying to get all those and myself as ready to play as I possibly can. And worry about all that other stuff doesn’t help me do that, so I don’t do it.”
Stafford has put up gaudy passing numbers in 10 seasons in Detroit. But he also has a losing record (61-68) as a starter and is 0-3 in the playoffs. He sidestepped a question about whether he needs to be make more impassioned or declarative statements in public about ending the Lions’ losing.
“My opinion of what I say in our locker room to our team to our players isn’t for public consumption,” he said. “And that’s just how I feel about it. And that’s probably not going to change. That’s who I am, that’s how I feel. …
“We’re in that locker room for a reason. We’re part of the team. I appreciate everybody who pulls for us and all that. But at the same time, those guys and I have to be on the same page and I’m going to talk to them directly if I have to talk to them. And that’s kind of how I feel about it.”
Contact Carlos Monarrez at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.
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