Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez preview the Detroit Lions’ home game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Ford Field.
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press

Matthew Stafford seemed unfazed by criticism levied against him by CBS analyst Boomer Esiason on Thursday, but that didn’t stop Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia from coming to his quarterback’s defense on Friday.

Asked about comments Esiason made on WXYT-FM 97.1 criticizing Stafford’s passive play and laid-back leadership style, Patricia said the whole topic was “ridiculous.”

“I think the only thing I’ll say on this whole ridiculous topic is just I’m very blessed and lucky to have Matt Stafford as my quarterback, and everybody else in the league would be in the same boat,” Patricia said. “He’s a phenomenal quarterback, he’s a great leader. He certainly is the heartbeat of our team and he’s a great guy to be around.”

Esiason, who played 14 NFL seasons with four different teams, said on The Valenti Show” that the Lions need to hold Stafford more accountable in his 10th NFL season, and that he needs to show more fire on the sideline like Tom Brady.

“I want Matt Patricia to hold him accountable,” Esiason said, via 97.1. “‘It’s not going to be all about you in the fourth quarter, son. I need you to be careful. I need you to be energetic.’ One of the reasons why I think Tom Brady screams a lot on the sideline is because I think he tries to whip himself up into a frenzy, and I don’t see that from Matthew. I see a lot of Eli Manning in Matthew, like, ‘Oh, it’s OK.’ No, it’s not OK. It’s your team and you have to get your guys to believe in you and that you’re going to win.”

Patricia said he had not heard Esiason’s comments and that they don’t “really affect us because people don’t really know what goes on inside this building, which is how I like it, and I enjoy that part of it because it is private to us.”

But he also praised Stafford’s competitiveness.

“We’re grinding through this thing every single day trying to get ready for an opponent,” he said. “It’s great to be able to have a quarterback that as a head coach I can go to at any point in time and say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ Or, ‘What does this look like to you?’ Loves the game, loves to talk football, always trying to get better. Competitive. So I don’t know what else you can ask.”

Stafford has thrown for nearly 36,000 yards in his NFL career and holds Lions records for passing yards, touchdowns, completions and attempts.

He’s just 61-69 as a starter, however, and is 0-3 in the playoffs.

On Thursday, Stafford downplayed Esiason’s comments and another slight by his former teammate Ndamukong Suh, who said in an Instagram post that Jared Goff the best quarterback he has played with.

“I respect his opinion,” Stafford said of Esiason. “Whatever he wants to say, he can say. He’s not in our locker room, not with our guys, not with me ever. So I don’t put too much credit into that. I just go about my day.

“Listen, guys. There’s people that are going to say good things, they’re going to say bad things about us every day. If I spent all my time worrying about what he said or Suh posted or (things like) that, I’d be doing a disservice to the guys in the locker room, and I’m trying to get all those and myself as ready to play as I possibly can. And worry about all that other stuff doesn’t help me do that, so I don’t do it.”

More Detroit Lions news: 

Aaron Rodgers: ‘I’ve long enjoyed matching up with Matty’ Stafford

Detroit Lions mailbag: Does Trubisky win playoff game before Stafford?

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