Mike Ditka to Matthew Stafford: "Wear your baseball cap frontwards instead of backwards all the time."
The NFL Scouting Combine is just few days away, and former Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints coach, Mike Ditka, had some words for Detriot Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Speaking to the Detriot Free Press, the ESPN analyst said that Stafford is the face of the Lions and that his image matters.
“I think when you look at him you see all the touches of greatness, in my opinion. Then you see some plays and go, ‘Wow! Why’d he do that?’" he said.
Specifically, Ditka commented on Stafford's habit of wearing his baseball cap backwards.
“I think he can make all the throws. He’s a smart kid. I wish he’d put the baseball cap on frontwards instead of backwards all the time,” he said.
Ditka's remarks sparked criticisms from sport blogs. Yahoo Sports editor Frank Schwab responded that Stafford isn't sloppy because he wears his hat backwards.
"Stafford needs to listen to a quarterbacks coach explaining footwork and arm angles way more than he needs a fashion consultant," Schwab wrote.
Mike Ditka might have a personal preference about wearing hats. But as a coach, he has a point.
Ditka further explained his point, saying, “If you’re the leader of the football team, I think you’ve got to stand up and be that leader, assume that role. A lot of it is what you do on the field, certainly. But I think a little of it has to do with appearance, too. You know, respect the game, respect your team. That’s all."
Stafford isn't the first to be criticized for wearing hats backward. Ken Griffey Jr. was also criticized by ex-Yankees manager Buck Showalter. The same thing happened to Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick. So, it's probably just a comment - something that would be proven wrong if the Lions win more games.
“I’m not knocking him. I’m just saying that’s the first thing I would tell him if I inherited him. When you’re going to go do an interview, put it on like it’s supposed to be on, not backwards, sidewards, whatever way they put them on anymore,” Ditka added.