Wow! Struck quite a nerve with the QB piece this year. Great to see everyone back and commenting!!
Right after writing that piece, there was suddenly a burst of QB related articles! More on that later in this piece -- your comments provided some great insight, and here are a few of my thoughts after reading through them:
I truly believe that this coaching staff does NOT want to start Stafford week 1. Period. If anyone knows how to maximize what Culpepper can do, and minimize his weaknesses, it is Scott Linehan. Daunte has a strong arm, doesn't read through more than a couple of progressions really well, and is just plain awful at reading defenses.
Linehan worked with this in Minnesota with a heavy run game, dump-off screens/passes to the RB and TE, and tossing it deep early and often to Randy Moss -- which helped open up said running game and screens. Sub in "Calvin Johnson" for "Randy Moss" and you have the new Randy-Ratio. Whether the Lions win or not, quite frankly, will all come down to how much the defense has progressed.
My last article was predicated on uncertainty. Despite being in phenomenal shape (by all reports) Daunte Culpepper has still been wildly inconsistent throughout his career. He's been everything from Co-MVP to the "Bay Area Fumbler". At worst, he is an older slower David Carr. At best, he is an "almost" Brett Favre. That is one heck of range!
What I was musing over on the last article was the reality that until camp gets underway, or even into the season or pre-season, the Lions don't know what they are going to get from Stafford or Culpepper. They WANT to start Culpepper first, then go to Stafford at some point after that based on what is happening with wins/losses/offense/defense. But IF Stafford does progress far enough that he could start, what then?
The real question, that can only be answered by the coaching staff, is "How much does he need to "beat" Daunte by to start game 1? How bad does Daunte need to play for us to pull him?"
IF the Lions are 3-3 or 4-2 heading into the bye week, unless the defense is the reason and Daunte is playing awful I don't think there will be cries for Stafford until the Lions are out of Playoff contention. At that point, Stafford will finish out the season.
Here is my prediction for when Stafford starts: Game 1, when the Lions are eliminated from the playoffs (or after the Bye week, if they are on that path/winless), or when Daunte plays badly enough to get pulled. right now, I think they start the season with Culpepper.
I'll hit on more of the QB stuff tomorrow --
As for now, here is my thought on the WCF interview: Public Relations. That's it. I agree with Nubs that I didn't see the passion there, or the fire. Who else was in charge of hiring Millen? Russ Thomas? Bobby Ross? No, it was all his fault, and I would have respected him more if he came out and said that HE hired him, HE made a mistake -- including NOT listening to others and keeping Millen on too long. I do believe he felt strongly about the empty seats, however. And this PR was part of making sure they are filled again.
Fortunately, I am liking how this ifseason is going, and I think they will be much better. 8-8 better? Ummm...maybe... IF... lots and lots of IF's...