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Stafford, Culpepper begin competition

After Lions coach Jim Schwartz suggested several weeks back that rookie Matthew Stafford would be the team’s starting quarterback when:  (1) he’s the best quarterback on the team; and (2) he’s ready to play, we assumed this meant that training camp would be all about getting him ready to play, since the Lions wouldn’t be coughing up $41.7 million in guaranteed money for Stafford if the Lions didn’t regard Stafford as the best quarterback on the roster.

We assumed incorrectly.

The best we can tell, Stafford didn’t show enough and/or Culpepper did during a June minicamp that Schwartz regarded as pivotal on the issue, because there’s currently an open competition between the two now that training camp has opened.

Though this item on the team’s official web site seems to imply that even Drew Stanton has a crack at the job, it was Stafford and Culpepper splitting the first-team reps on the first day of preseason practice.

And if that wasn’t enough, G.M. Martin Mayhew made clear that it all comes down to Stafford and Culpepper.

I like our two quarterbacks,” Mayhew said Saturday.  “I think we have probably the two most talented — physically talented — quarterbacks we’ve had since we’ve been here, and I feel good about those guys.”

Mayhew also said that the final decision as to who’ll be the starter will be up to the coaches.

“It’s going to be the coaches’ call on that,” Mayhew said.  “I trust those guys to make the right decision.”

And, presumably, Schwartz is smart enough to know that, with a growing swath of empty seats at Ford Field, the right decision entails showing off the expensive new sports car that the team has purchased.
 

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9 Responses to “Stafford, Culpepper begin competition”
  1. sevendollarbologna says: Aug 2, 2009 7:59 AM

    showing off,– yes– wrecking, the new sports car, NO, & that’s why the kid should sit, & Culpepper start. at least this year, or part of this year.

  2. lololnpnp says: Aug 2, 2009 8:30 AM

    You assumed incorrectly? You don’t say. I always figured sports bloggers knew sports from the player/coach perspective and therefore knew all there was to know. Looks like I assumed incorrectly too. But being a Lions fan I can tell you Stanton doesn’t have a shot period. If he’s in there then Armageddon is upon us. Cpt Obvious providing you with some 411.

  3. empty13 says: Aug 2, 2009 9:40 AM

    i would start pullpecker till the bye. the schedule appears to get easier after that.
    but pullpecker DID show he doesnt have it last year.
    it was a mistake for that team to bring in pullpecker last year (and just hand him the job), let orlovsky go and never give stanton a real shot. 3 mistakes, actually.

  4. JaggedMark says: Aug 2, 2009 11:28 AM

    Schwartz has said from the get go, before June OTA’s, that when they got to training camp that both QB’s would equally share snaps with the first team. So you might as well quit reading into that.

  5. obscenery says: Aug 2, 2009 11:51 AM

    Yes, cause ALL the good GM’s make their roster decisions based on what’s going on off the field during games on Sunday.
    The fans in Detroit are sick of seeing the Lions losing. They certainly aren’t starved on seeing expensive rookies suit up week 1.
    What football fan cares about who the QB is week 1 more than if their team is winning???

  6. JimmyLions says: Aug 2, 2009 2:31 PM

    Florio is incorrect when he thinks that Stanton is the key to returning Ford Field to it’s perpetual sellout status. The key is … winning.
    I know that’s a shock, but it’s true. Fans don’t care as much about who is on the field as whether or not the team is winning. If Culpepper wins the home opener, the Lions will sellout the rest of the season at Ford Field.
    Also, Florio obviously doesn’t pay attention to how Lions fans feel about this. Most of us are expecting, and hoping, that Stanton gets redshirted for most (or all) of this season.

  7. FumbleNuts says: Aug 2, 2009 7:01 PM

    I agree, don’t go out and throw Stafford to the wolves and break this Kid’s confidence!
    Coldpecker can play this year out and Matt will have time to get adjusted to the NFL.

  8. dhawaldk says: Aug 3, 2009 10:59 PM

    Here’s another expensive sports car that the Lions started on a bad team…
    Joey Harrington
    Need I say more? Yes I will….
    Culpepper’s familiarity with Linnehan’s system (in which he once flourished) along with a whole offseason during which he got into great football shape should make for a great bounce-back year for him. Given the new tools Culpepper has to work with, I would not be surprised to see him as a darkhorse for comeback player of the year.
    You’re an idiot Florio…and I think what most of these previous emails show that most Lions fans don’t care about who’s start and long as they’re winning.
    Stafford should be good down the line, but I think this is a situation similar to Kitna-Carson Palmer from the Bengals a few years ago. That is the type of approach that should be best for the Lions (short and long term).

  9. dhawaldk says: Aug 3, 2009 11:01 PM

    Here’s another expensive sports car that the Lions started on a bad team…
    Joey Harrington
    Need I say more? Yes I will….
    Culpepper’s familiarity with Linnehan’s system (in which he once flourished) along with a whole offseason during which he got into great football shape should make for a great bounce-back year for him. Given the new tools Culpepper has to work with, I would not be surprised to see him as a darkhorse for comeback player of the year.
    Stafford should be good down the line, but I think this is a situation similar to Kitna-Carson Palmer from the Bengals a few years ago. That is the type of approach that should be best for the Lions (short and long term).

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