Matthew Stafford is considered one of the leaders in the locker room for the Los Angeles Rams, especially with the roster having a large number of inexperienced players. But this year is presenting him with a different challenge, given the youth on Los Angeles’ roster. On one of her recent podcasts, his wife Kelly Stafford revealed that the veteran signal-caller is struggling to connect with the Rams’ young players.
“It’s kind of crazy. So, Matthew’s been in the league a long time. He’s like, ‘The difference in the locker room has changed so significantly.’ They have a lot of rookies on their team, they’re very young. But he’s like, ‘I feel like I can’t connect,'” Stafford said on her podcast, “The Morning After With Kelly Stafford, as transcribed by Turf Show Times.
Stafford is entering his 15th season in the NFL and his third year with the Rams. Ahead of his age-35 season, Stafford notices that more players are on their phones rather than doing activities together in the locker room.
“In the old days you’d come out of practice, you’d shower, and people would be playing cards, interacting,” she added. “Who knows what they’re doing, but they’re doing something together. Playing pingpong, they have a tournament going on. They’d at least be talking. But now they get out of practice, and meetings during training camp, and they go straight to their phones. No one looks up from their phones. Matthew’s like, ‘I don’t know … am I the dad? Do I take their phones? What do I do here?’ He’s like, ‘I want them to see me not as a coach.'”
Since winning the Super Bowl in his debut season with the Rams in 2021, Stafford has been part of a ton of roster turnover in the last two seasons. Just this offseason, the Rams parted ways with Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, Greg Gaines, Taylor Rapp, and Nick Scott, among others from the Super Bowl squad.
Along with moving on from some of the veterans on the team, the Rams added 14 rookies via the 2023 NFL draft. Nearly half of the roster is made up of either first or second-year players.
When Stafford entered the NFL as the No. 1 overall pick of the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL draft, the first-generation iPhone was less than two years old. Fast forward to now and the experienced quarterback is seemingly turning into a grizzled veteran who is out of touch with the youth.