LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The new face of the Los Angeles Rams franchise, quarterback Matthew Stafford, is inspiring the organization to believe he's one of the missing links to get back to the Super Bowl and win it.
Stafford is starting his 13th year in the NFL, but he says he feels reborn in Los Angeles.
"Parts of the day, parts of me feel like a rookie. I'm walking around trying to learn everybody's name and who does what...trying to perform at a high level in that atmosphere is a challenge, but I'm loving it," he said.
The Rams traded Jared Goff and several draft picks to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Stafford earlier this year. So far, Stafford's teammates are loving him.
Head coach Sean McVay warned his receivers to be ready to catch unexpected throws.
"In terms of how he's moving defenses, what he's doing with his eyes. He made a throw out here today that was disgusting," said wide receiver Cooper Kupp. "He's looking guys off mid-throw or he's throwing across his body...the ball is out before receivers are looking."
The elite Rams defense knows looking at great coverage is now always enough against Stafford.
"Sometimes...we may have really good coverage ahead ... a receiver opens just by his ball placement and that's been very impressive," said cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
"I love competing and getting a chance to compete against our defense is a treat," Stafford said. "They're really talented, they make it tough on you both schematically and personnel wise so every opportunity we get to go against those guys is going to make us better and I hope that they feel the same way going against us."
The other impressive part of his game is toughness. It was on display in the scariest moment of training camp - when he hit his thumb on a helmet. But once X-rays were negative, he was on the field the next day.
"Whether I'm 100% or not, every opportunity I get to call, play and run against our defense and with our guys is an opportunity I need to get and I don't want to waste them," Stafford said.
Defensive star Aaron Donald says he checked up on Stafford after that incident to make sure he was okay.
"He's a tough quarterback, a tough guy...That's the type of guy you want," Donald said.