Nate Burleson is the best.
We have made mention of Nate Burleson a lot since his retirement. We were excited to see him named as co-host for NFL Network’s new morning show “Good Morning Football.” We were thrilled when he named Matthew Stafford the most clutch quarterback in the league under 30 years old. Now, Burleson has done it again.
On Monday’s episode of “Good Morning Football” Burleson got to do his victory lap on his take on Stafford being clutch. As we all know by now, Stafford led the Detroit Lions on a game winning drive with just 37 seconds left on the clock and now leads all NFL quarterbacks with 19 game winning drives since 2011.
WATCH THE “GOOD MORNING FOOTBALL” SEGMENT HERE
After his co-hosts offered half-sincere apologies for laughing at him back in August when Burleson originally defended Stafford, Nate doubled down on the Lions quarterback, noting that he thinks Stafford took a new step this year.
“Here’s the thing that I noticed yesterday when watching the game—and this is a former player of the team, as a fan and a friend of Stafford—he’s grown up.”
Nate fawned over Stafford’s command and veteran leadership on that final drive of the game, noting—as a positive—how he his yelling at Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron were signs that Stafford was assuming his role as the new veteran leader in the locker room.
“I saw a young Matt Stafford take control in fourth quarter moments. Now you have the veteran Matt Stafford that understands ‘we win or lose, it’s on my shoulders.’”
Interestingly enough, head coach Jim Caldwell doesn’t quite see it the same way. “He’s always been that way,” Caldwell said of Stafford’s passion. “He has always been a great leader.” Caldwell did offer up an explanation, however, of why Stafford’s confidence is suddenly more visible. “I think any time you’re in a system for a length of time where you start to get a better feel for those sort for things, I think that’s a natural sort of occurrence.”
So what does this new, veteran Stafford mean for the Detroit Lions? Burleson thinks the sky’s the limit. When asked whether Stafford could lead the team to a division title in 2016, Burleson said, “100 percent, they have a shot.”
(h/t to commenter Snow_Lion for sharing this video in the comment section)