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Rams GM denies Matthew Stafford has an issue ‘connecting’ with young teammates despite wife's admission

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford doesn't seem to have a chemistry issue with his younger teammates after all, general manager Les Snead said Wednesday.

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead does not see veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford struggling to connect with his younger teammates in the locker room, despite what Stafford’s wife said during a recent episode of her podcast. 

During last week’s episode of her podcast "The Morning After With Kelly Stafford," she revealed that Stafford is apparently having issues connecting with the young players on his team, saying they "go straight to their phones" after practice. 

"In the old days, you'd come out of practice, you'd shower, people would be playing cards, people would be interacting. Who knows what they're doing, but they're doing something together. They’re playing ping-pong, they have a tournament going on. They're at least talking. He said now they get done with practice or get done with meetings during training camp, and they go straight to their phones."


"No one looks up from their phones," she continued. "Matthew's like, 'I don't know ... am I the dad? Do I take the phones? What do I do here?' and he's like, ‘I want them to see me not as a coach.’"

Snead addressed the notion that Stafford might be struggling to connect with his team on Wednesday, telling the media it is a non-issue. 

"First of all, I don't think Matthew has a problem connecting with his teammates. And when you're in a football building, especially when training camp starts, you go down to Irvine. The locker room is small and you're squished in there and it's a very intimate workplace," he began. 


"If you listen to hall of fame speeches, a lot of times the players will not necessarily mention missing games or things like that. They'll say they miss the relationships that are built in those locker rooms and in and around the locker rooms, like even with equipment people. But every year is different. Each team is different."

Snead explained that players will go through "different phases" throughout their career but said the organization is "intentional about engineering a cohesive collective."

"That chemistry is very important, especially in a 32- team league when it's hard to out talent people, it's hard to out healthy people, it's hard to out scheme people. So all the variables, chemistry being one of them, is very important to try to give you that edge in that season."

Head coach Sean McVay also dismissed the notion on Tuesday, saying he took Kelly Stafford’s remarks more as a dig at the "old man." 

"I'm not concerned because I think if you know Kelly, I took that as more of a joke at the old man, and I'll be honest, there's a couple throws that he made during training camp where I wanted to say, ‘Yes sir,’ to him as well," McVay said. 

"I know Kelly well enough to know that she was probably taking a good old rib at the old man as her husband's getting older playing, but this guy's done a phenomenal job and I know how much he loves his teammates and how much they love him. That is the least of my concerns."

Stafford is entering his 15th season in the NFL. He is coming off a spinal cord injury that sidelined him towards the end of last year. The Rams will open their season at Seattle on Sept. 10. 

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