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Stafford Speaks Out Following Being the #1 Pick

(on his emotions): “I’m extremely excited. This is a dream come true for me and my family, I’m so glad that they’re here to share it with me, it means a lot to me. I’m excited to get to Detroit and start things going. ”

(on how he found out he got selected): “I got a call from my agent Tom Condon and I was hoping for good news, that’s for sure, and good news came so that was great and I was extremely excited. I got a call shortly thereafter from the president Tom Lewand and the head coach, coach Schwartz, and it was just great to hear from them and how excited they were to have me. I’m just looking forward to see what Detroit does with the rest of the draft picks and see who I’m going to be a rookie with.”

(on knowing if he would go to the Lions): “I had a pretty decent feeling, but at the same time, if Tom Condon hadn’t gotten the deal done it wouldn’t have worked out, and I have to give a lot of credit to him and the Ford family. To be able to work this deal out in such a short amount of time you have to give a ton of credit to them and I’m just extremely happy that they have the confidence in me to choose me. It means a lot to me and I’m just truly blessed and excited.”

(on the importance of finding out last night): “I think any time before the draft would have worked, but it was nice to have a nice sleep last night knowing I was going to go number one today to Detroit. It meant a lot to me for sure.”

(on his impression of Detroit): “I actually haven’t been into the city. When I went on my visit, those are like 24 hours – you’re in, you’re out and you’re gone – I got a chance to be at the facility, I love the facility, the coaching staff was great to me while I was there, so it’s fun and I’m excited about it.”

(on what he will do with his money): Save it. I’m excited to get up there and move into a place, hopefully close to the facility where I can be as close as possible so I can be there a bunch.

(on Detroit’s cold climate): “It’s going to be different. I’ve lived in warm weather my whole life, but we’re in a dome luckily, so that’s nice.”

(on being prepared for the NFL): “I think I’m prepared, I’ve been through a lot in my football career. Obviously in college you win more football games than you do in the NFL and you don’t lose as many. Every guy has to adjust to that coming from college to the pros, but I feel like I’m ready for the challenge. I’ve played in a lot of football games and I know what it takes to win. I’m anxious to learn what it takes to win at the NFL level. It’s going to be a learning process but something that I’m really excited about.”

(on knowing his new teammates): “I met Kevin Smith, the running back, when I was there on my visit – he was there working out. I’ve texted Calvin Johnson here and there a couple of times and obviously played against him when I was a freshman and it was his last year. He’s a heck of a player. It’s going to be a fun time, I’m excited to get in there and start working out”

(on the pressure of being no. 1 pick): “Everybody has their own opinion, and the number one thing I learned a long time ago is that you can’t try to please everybody. The number one thing I have to do is go in there and try to work hard for my teammates, my coaches, the owners, the team and get wins, because winning cures a lot of stuff and hopefully that’s what I can do.”

(on his new contract): I was extremely surprised, you know, I didn’t know any of the numbers going in. I didn’t know what he was negotiating off of or anything. I just thank the Ford family for trusting me that much and putting their name out on the line for me because, you know, that’s a lot of positive pressure for me. I like that. It’s something I have to live up to and I have to prove that I’m worth, and that’s exciting for me.

(on being involved in the community) Absolutely, that’s something we did a lot of at Georgia – a ton of community service. That’s something I’m passionate about, and I look forward to getting to Detroit and finding something that means a lot to me, to give back to the community.

(on the pressure of being the new franchise player): You know, this game is a funny game and you look last year at some of the guys that came in and made big impacts on a team. But football’s a game of 11 guys on offense and 11 on defense. It’s not one guy here and one guy there. I’m just a piece of the puzzle, you know. They have 8 picks in this draft and we’re all going to step in there and give it everything we have to try and make the Detroit Lions a better football team. I’m excited about the challenge and stepping in. Quarterback is obviously a big position, but I’m going to work my butt off to try and get ready.

(on the Lions turning around their success): We’re going to give it everything we’ve got that’s for sure. I know Coach Schwartz is harping on getting better every day. And that’s the attitude that were going to have to take and the goals that we’re going to have to set.

(is the turnaround intimidating?): I don’t think so. I’m a competitive guy. I love a challenge. If you look at past years, two years ago, Miami won one game, and last year they’re in the playoffs. It obviously can be done. It’s something that is going to take a lot of work and dedication to accomplish, but it definitely can be done.

(on what he did before the Draft) I actually just hung out in my hotel room with a couple of my buddies and my Dad, and went down and ate lunch with my Mom my sister and my grandmother and had a great time. It’s definitely fun to be able to relax and sit back and know where you’re going to be picked. It makes sitting in that green room a little better.

(on whether he wants to duplicate Matt Ryan’s rookie year): Oh absolutely, I mean why not. That guy’s a heck of a football player and deserves all the credit in the world. He’s a great player. He’s made everybody else on his team better which is something a quarterback has to do. That’s something that I think every quarterback strives to be – is great. I think he’s definitely a great example for all the young guys coming in this year.

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