Finally! I'm back in the groove where I'll be posting nightly again, so watch out boys! The BS will be flying higher than the QB rating of anyone playing the Lions!!
Honestly, things had just been pretty hectic, combined with not seeing the games, and after seeing the results, not wanting to... yup. DetFan1979 was in a funk.
Then, honestly, I got a few emails from loyal readers and it perked me back up. It's been long enough since I've written, that the ideas are flowing smoothly like a RB through the Lions Dline, LB, and Secondary into the endzone untouched.
First off, I'm going to hearken back to a series I did off and on through the ifseason where I looked at the various position groups, and broke them down. (kinda like the opposition has been doing weekly)
I'm starting off with a Doozy. Yup: Quarterback.
When the Ifseason was ending, and we were heading into the disaster, I mean, filmseason - the Lions had 3 QB's:
Jon Kitna (incumbent)
Dan Orlovsky (the invisible man)
Drew Stanton (the oft injured still-a-rook)
At the time, based on preseason play, and past performance, it seemed best that Kitna would lead the team for one more season while Stanton learned. But, as we know, things often end up far different from what they seem.
Current QB's: (Drew Henson was released today, and I expect him to be re-signed to the practice squad in a time honored Lions tradition of always re-signing the same guys. I mean, they just re-signed Avieon Cason for what, the 20th time?)
Daunte Culpepper (LoveBoat Captain)
Dan Orlovsky (the invisible boundary lines)
Drew Stanton (didn't embarass myself too bad)
Of the 4 Qb's to take the field thus far, I think Dan Orlovsky takes the trophy for me at this time, and should be the starter again when he comes back from the thumb injury. What?? Dan O? Why???
Let me extrapolate:
Jon Kitna was more of the 'my head is still ringing' Kitna than he was the 'tough leader' Kitna of seasons past. He was also acting worse than a spoiled 3 year old throwing temper tantrums on the sidelines, yelling at everyone and everything, stomping his feet, and throwing his pacifier...I mean, mouthpiece. Kitna DIRECTLY lost the GB game. Pure and Simple. It wasn't a blowout til he threw three consecutive picks. No leader, no plays, no dice. His injury was a good excuse for what has turned out to be a spineless coaching staff when it comes to benching veterans, to bench thier veteran.
Daunte Culpepper looked like...well...looked like a guy whose been out of football for a year or so. He did look more like the Minnesota pre-loveboat Culpepper than the Miami/Oakland version, but it is still too early to tell. And while the coaching staff is starting him this week on the road at Carolina, I still think this would have been a good opportunity for more reps for Stanton in game-time settings, giving way to DanO or Daunte when the time was right in a couple of games. There isn't a lot of long-term upside to Daunte, but in reality (as I'll discuss in a minute) that is really of no moment. If he can get the job done, let him keep it...for now.
Drew Stanton looked like a traditional rookie QB out there. More eager to run than pass, holding onto the ball too long, checking down too quickly, etc. But he did have some nice plays, and everything that was wrong there is coachable. (Assuming, of course, you have coaches who can coach and teach.)
I would ignore Coletto's remarks about Stanton at this point (even though I somewhat agree with him, to a point) since I no longer trust this coaching staff on evaluating talent. They have proven too many times this year they have no idea who they have on the roster, and what their skills are.
Moving on, Stanton looked pretty good, but pretty raw. He needs more time and reps to learn. Keep bringing him in during the game, and especially in the 4th quarter of blowouts, of which I expect there to be some more.
Finally, I come to DanO. He had some good accuracy, and even good shots on the long balls when given time ( a perennial problem in Detroit is lack of time to throw). Outside of the stupid play for the safety (which I really blame on the lack of game time he got in blowouts the last few years) he performed very well. The TD passes in the Bears game to CJ and McDonald were perfect throws. There was a time in the Bears game, in the 3rd Quarter when that was going on, that the Line was protecting him well and he was hitting pass after pass in the holes in the defense. Keving Smith was sparking the running game and things finally looked to be going in the right direction.
Don't get me wrong here -- DanO is not some deity, saviour, etc. etc. etc. But, he has shown he is a competent NFL QB with some potential and upside to him. In my opinion, the best thing the temporary-front office could do is to resign Orlovsky to a moderate 2 or 3 year deal. This would do several things, not the least of which are:
1. The Lions would have 2 QB's under contract, and one with an option going in the first year of the new coach
2. Depending on how Stanton progresses, and the type of offense the new coach uses, there could be a 2-3 way competition for the starting QB spot, which makes all of them exel more.
3. Since Culpepper, and especially DanO, are solid QB"s the Lions would be freed up to focus on the defense and the oline in the draft for one or two years. Any young QB would be murdered behind the current Oline, and the new coach will know it. (We hope. These are our Lions, after all.)
4. If Stanton progress well, they can pick another QB to groom. If he doesn't, they can go a little higher and pick a new QB of the future -- but either way, you can wait at least one, hopefully two, draft before needing to address it with a high pick.
5. Did I mention that it will allow the Lions to build up the Oline and the Defense before finding those "final pieces" at the skill positions.
So there you have my arguments for resigning DanO, and what I think they should do going into next ifseason and why. What are your thoughts on the matter? Who, if anyone would you keep and why??