6/19/2009

Stafford Talks Hair

By NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

January 20, 2011

Things are getting hairy for Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL draft.

Stafford has an endorsement deal with Axe Hair, and while doing a series of radio interviews Wednesday to promote its products, he talked about the Detroit Lions’ quarterback competition.

Coach Jim Schwartz has said the arms race between Stafford and veteran Daunte Culpepper will begin during next week’s minicamp and go into training camp.

Stafford said Wednesday he had not talked to the coaches about when he will play, but he sounded eager to compete for the starting job.

“I would love to start Game 1,” Stafford said when asked for his ideal scenario on ESPN Radio's Galloway and Co. in his hometown of Dallas. “I think every player that plays in the NFL would love to play every game, and that’s just how I am, and that’s how I attack this season.

“I know there’s going to be a learning curve, and if I don’t start Game 1, I’m not going to get down on myself. I’m going to go out there and try to win a job at some point. I’m in here to win it, though.”

Stafford said the biggest transition from college to the NFL was learning the offense, but it hasn’t been as tough as he thought it would be.

“As far as the mental side of the game goes, I’m keeping up with the other guys and doing a pretty good job of giving myself a chance to compete,” Stafford said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. “The first day I got on the field, I was struggling to call plays, and then now I feel I know exactly how to call them and what we’re looking to do against the defense.”

Stafford said his goal this season is to learn as much as he can. “Hopefully that’s playing and learning through playing, rather than sitting. I’m a competitive guy, and I want to be playing the game rather than watching, as anybody does. I want to get a grasp of what this league is like and hopefully get out there and help this team win some games.”

As for Axe Hair, Stafford said the company had done a great job of giving him “girl-approved hair” and promoted the Web site axehair.com. Guys can upload their picture.

“You can see if your hair is girl-approved,” Stafford said.

There is also a link to facebook.com, where fans can enter to win a trip for two to Los Angeles to hang out with Stafford at the ESPYs on July 19. There are some glamour shots of Stafford and his, uh, girl-approved hair.

What help does a guy need with his hair when he was a star quarterback in high school and college?

“I had to step up my game, and they were there to help me,” Stafford told Galloway and Co. “In college, I used to wash my hair with a bar of soap. It’s a little different now.”

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