Leadership, passion and character are qualities that cannot be measured and
will not show on a stat sheet. However, these characteristics often translate
into victory. These characteristics are also the main reasons Michigan State
quarterback Drew Stanton was the Lions' second pick in the 2007 draft.
Stanton's physical skills caught the eye of several National Football League teams. However, his tremendous intangibles helped him become the 43rd selected player in the draft.
Despite the wealth of positive personality traits belonging to Stanton, some of his physical traits – mainly his mechanics – will need to be worked on. He still has a long way to go in his development.
"He's just a guy that's come out on the first day," said head coach Rod Marinelli of Stanton when the now-finished mini-camp began. "(Offensive coordinator) Mike (Martz) will work with him."
The work has already begun. Martz has started teaching Stanton the basics of the footwork, setup, hand placement and delivery he preaches to all of his pupils.
And already, it has paid some dividends. Stanton's passes grew sharper, more
accurate yet maintained velocity as the camp wore down. While there is still ample work to get done before the season begins, the process of shaping Stanton into what Martz envisioned when he was drafted has begun.
"There are a lot of things," said Stanton. "From your feet to your eyes to the way I hold the ball. All those things that he's taught all the quarterbacks that have had success; now I just need to really hammer it home and get it through repetition."
As the off-season work continues, Martz will continue to alter Stanton's technique, as he does with all of his quarterbacks; attempting to mold the young prospect into a future starter.
"Yeah, he's changing everything," said Stanton. "It's a lot - but you can see the success rate when you start doing what he's telling you. I've just got to keep doing that and then progress and get better with it."
The success rate Stanton can see in himself should be encouraging. For
additional motivation Stanton needs to look no further than the success such
quarterbacks as Kurt Warner, Trent Green and Marc Bulger have had with Martz.
However, Stanton doesn't appear to be looking too far ahead, taking his
‘training' one-day at a time.
"You try and digest as much as you can from the night before and bring it out to the practice field," he said. "Everyday you've just got come out here and try and get better and get more consistent - especially with the things that I'm trying to work on."
Stanton possesses the qualities that cannot be coached, and has the right coaches to give him the qualities that can be – this combined with his desire and willingness to work will only aide Stanton's development.