NFl Notebook: Stafford wins debut
The NFL notebook …
DETROIT ó Matthew Stafford took his first snap as a pro and perfectly executed a play-action pass.
The problem: Keary Colbert dropped the ball.
Welcome to the Detroit Lions, kid.
Stafford threw a touchdown, an interception and had some passes dropped in his pro debut that Detroit rallied to win 27-26 over the Atlanta Falcons on Jason Hanson’s 47-yard field goal as time expired.
“They’re going to drop some balls just like I’m going to miss some,” he said. “I was excited. I felt like I had a good day.”
Stafford, the No. 1 pick of the NFL’s first 0-16 team, completed half of his 14 passes for 114 yards.
Schwartz plans to start Stafford in the second exhibition game, but told reporters not to read into anything regarding the QB competition.
“They don’t put preseason games on your tombstone or your resume,” Schwartz said.
Detroit’s Daunte Culpepper was 5-of-6 for 41 yards and moved around enough to show he’s healthy after a knee injury.
PANTHERSSPARTANBURG, S.C. ó Jon Beason believes the Carolina Panthers will have to sign a veteran to fill the void at defensive tackle. Beason, the Panthers’ middle linebacker and leading tackler the past two seasons, was candid Saturday when asked about Maake Kemoeatu’s season-ending torn Achilles’ tendon. The injury left the Panthers with Nick Hayden, who has two games of NFL experience, as a starter Behind him is undrafted rookie Marlon Favorite.
– Steve Smith participated in some 7-on-7 drills, but stayed out of 11-on-11 work and avoided contact. He first returned to practice Friday from a right shoulder injury.
PHILADELPHIA ó Michael Vick flicked his wrist and fired tight spirals deep downfield.A two-year layoff sure didn’t hurt Vick’s arm strength.
He showed off his skills Saturday in his first NFL practice with the Philadelphia Eagles since completing his prison sentence.
“He throws the ball as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen,” said wide receiver Danny Amendola, a second-year pro who spent last season with the Dallas Cowboys.
Wearing a No. 7 red quarterback’s jersey, Vick took part in limited drills with the offense. He worked in one-on-ones, seven-on-sevens and red zone offense. Vick mostly observed Donovan McNabb during the two-hour session.
ELIALBANY, N.Y. ó New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning officially became the NFL’s highest paid player.
A little more than a week after reaching a tentative agreement, Manning signed the six-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2015 and pay him an average salary of $15.3 million starting next season.
Manning is guaranteed $35 million under terms of the $97 million extension. News of the deal first broke on Aug. 5.