Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was described as struggling to connect with his teammates "because he's so old." Now, his wife Kelly Stafford is walking those comments back.
"It's kind of crazy. So, Matthew's been in the league a long time. He's like, 'The difference in the locker room has changed so significantly.' They have a lot of rookies on their team, they're very young. But he's like, 'I feel like I can't connect,'" Kelly Stafford said on her podcast last Tuesday.
She went on to describe how the rookies are seemingly uninterested in camaraderie and don't enjoy the same pastimes as her husband's former teammates. She added that the generational divide led him to wonder whether he should be "the dad" and confiscate their phones in the interest of team chemistry.
On Thursday, she expressed regret about the episode in an interview with Local 4's Christy McDonald, calling it "probably the worst thing I've done when it comes to [Stafford]."
Putting the situation in perspective, she said the comments didn't have the desired outcome.
"That was tough. I say all the time, probably not the best if your wife's name is in the media, if it's talking about sports. I felt pretty bad last week. I put my foot in my mouth pretty good last week."
Her goal was to shed light on a feeling that might be familiar to fans:
"I spoke on a topic that I think, it's relatable, to the fact that it's hard to relate to someone who is 10 years younger than you. And I do think that's entirely true. But I'm not in an NFL locker room, I'm not spending every day with these teammates.
Stafford is 35 years old and entering his 15th NFL season. In his not-so-old age, he is utilizing a literal "face book" as he attempts to learn the names of his teammates who call him "sir" when he attempts to make conversation, according to his wife.
For Rams head coach Sean McVay, the comments weren't a concern at all. He saw the humor in them and ripped a joke of his own, while expertly bringing the focus back to football.
"I think if you know Kelly, I took that as more of a joke at the old man," he told reporters on Tuesday. "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. He's done a great job being able to ... I mean, if you watch and if you come out to camp, this guy's done a phenomenal job of leading, connecting with his teammates."
Stafford has an opportunity to kill the age jokes when the Rams open the regular season with a visit to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 10. It's slated to be his first game since missing the last half of the 2022 campaign with a neck injury.