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Lions risking an Anderson-Quinn scenario?

So if the Lions decide not to put rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford on the field to start the 2009 season, opting instead to give veteran Daunte Culpepper the first crack at the position this year, what happens if Culpepper plays well?

More importantly, what happens if the team plays well?

Let’s take it a step farther.  What if the Lions under Culpepper become the 2009 equivalent of the 2008 Dolphins, making the playoffs with Culpepper under center?

At a minimum, this would delay Stafford’s progress, since it would likely keep him off the field for most if not all of the 2009 season.  So he’d be less prepared come 2010.

But then the question would be whether the Lions would cut the cord on Culpepper — or whether they’d continue to roll with the man who’s well known for “getting his roll on” (which has nothing to do with applying deodorant). 

Some describe the potential situation in Motown as a Drew Brees/Philip Rivers scenario, which is accurate for now.  The current thinking is that, eventually, Culpepper will be gone. 

But it could become a Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn conundrum if the Lions accomplish that which they haven’t since Barry Sanders retired a decade ago.

If the Lions shock the NFL this season, would the Lions re-sign Culpepper and keep him as the starter?  Or would they thrust Stafford into the lineup next season under the weight of leading a team that someone else took to the playoffs?

Though, on the surface, it’s a good problem to have, the long-term consequences could be maddening for a Lions franchise that needs its supposed franchise quarterback to first become the starting quarterback. 

That might not happen for a while if Culpepper, with a full offseason in a system run by the same offensive coordinator who took Daunte to a passer rating in excess of 110 points in 2004 (Scott Linehan), has a full-blown Kerry Collins-style career rebirth.

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36 Responses to “Lions risking an Anderson-Quinn scenario?”
  1. sevendollarbologna says: Aug 17, 2009 12:52 PM

    I think the Lions would welcome a potential problem like this.

  2. TheVillain112 says: Aug 17, 2009 12:52 PM

    A better comparison would have been the Carson Palmer / Jon Kitna situation.
    Kitna played well but Palmer took over. Palmer was also the #1 overall pick.
    In the end the Bengals made the better decision. Unfortunate injuries aside.

  3. straverse says: Aug 17, 2009 12:53 PM

    Stafford is going to be a WAY WAY WAY better QB than Quinn will ever be.

  4. seaner44 says: Aug 17, 2009 12:53 PM

    By less prepared for 2010 you mean more prepared… a full year of practice and learning the system, not many first yr QB’s come in and shock the world, Flacco and Ryan were the exception, please see… Vince Young, Matt Lineart, Alex Smith, Joey Harrington, Tim Couch, sure some work out but look at the QB’s who sat the bench for a while and how good they are/were… Dantue CUlpepper, TOm Brady, Tony Romo, Carson Palmer, Jake Delhomme, etc

  5. straverse says: Aug 17, 2009 12:54 PM

    …and Anderson as well.

  6. JSpicoli says: Aug 17, 2009 12:54 PM

    The Lions are not going anywhere this year.

  7. j0hnny63 says: Aug 17, 2009 12:59 PM

    I’m thinking more of a Tim Rattay/Alex Smith scenario.

  8. killachap says: Aug 17, 2009 12:59 PM

    I dont think that Culpepper has what it takes to be a starter in this league anymore. I think he proved that last season. They invested too much in Stafford for him to not be the future of this team.

  9. CdnMike says: Aug 17, 2009 1:01 PM

    Playoffs!!….. Playoffs???….. There trying to just win a game!!
    Seriously, please tell me how the Lions will get in the playoffs? They sure as hell aren’t going to win the North and there are tons of good teams in the NFC so I don’t see a wild card berth in their future.
    Culpepper will play well and get signed somewhere else next year.

  10. CdnMike says: Aug 17, 2009 1:02 PM

    Whoops…
    There = They’re
    Almost as bad as a Vick blog.

  11. daffy87 says: Aug 17, 2009 1:02 PM

    I thought Quinn played very well against Green Bay. He was very poised, threw very accurately, and got rid of the ball quick. His stats dont reflect how well he played, he threw a great pass to Braylon in the endzone which he dropped, then the following play got intercepted trying to force it back to Edwards. Had some very good 3rd down conversions, showed good mobility, Browns didn’t score but it’s pre-season so im not that conerned, especially on defense where shaun rogers didn’t play any.

  12. msnyder275 says: Aug 17, 2009 1:03 PM

    and IF my aunt had balls, the Lions still wouldn’t make the playoffs this year.

  13. Action Dan says: Aug 17, 2009 1:05 PM

    Don’t worry, this won’t be an issue. Stafford will play this year when the losses start piling up early.
    Bad comparison with Miami. Easily the most talented 1-15 team in league history and they have Parcells.
    I like the fact that Mayhew got a few nice pieces for Schwartz to work with, and I can see this team winning 5-6 games this year, but Mayhew isn’t the type of evaluator that can field a well-rounded team.

  14. empty13 says: Aug 17, 2009 1:07 PM

    pullpecker isnt going to do diddley. he hasnt, since before splitting up with moss. quit waitin for a moment that just wont come.
    that doesnt mean it will be smooth sailing for stafford, however.
    on the detroit river – the gales of november come early!

  15. DcNinerFan says: Aug 17, 2009 1:08 PM

    What if Paris Hilton turns out to be intelligent? What if a Toyota Prius actually made sense? Instead of over inflating an article with what ifs, why not just, say, write what you think will happen, and not give every conceivable outcome?
    That said, it wouldn’t be a Anderson/Quinn situation because, well, this is the Lions we are talking about. They aren’t going to be good. The only team worse out there is the Eagles, because karma has to rear its head soon for signing Vick instead of letting him go to the CFL (where I’m sure Florrio would still write 22 stories a day about him).

  16. CrypticNonSequiturGuy says: Aug 17, 2009 1:09 PM

    One problem with this story:
    How could the Lions possibly make it to the playoffs, when the Bears, Packers, and Vikes are all SO certain they will be making the playoffs?
    (Hell, the Vikes fans are certain they’re going to the Super bowl!)
    Someone has to sit out.
    Odds are it’ll be the Lions.
    (Or the Vikes, since everyone is so certain they are the favorites).
    Attention: homeless people! Want a free, delicious, nutritious snack? Try eating your own scabs!

  17. ZombieRevolution says: Aug 17, 2009 1:24 PM

    “Let’s take it a step farther.” This site has become- ProFootballSpeculation.

  18. indymag says: Aug 17, 2009 1:25 PM

    You forgot about the Kitna/Palmer situation in Cincinatti. Kitna took them to the playoffs in Palmer’s rookie year but still got benched the following year. It was clearly the right move to bench Kitna. It also shows that you can replace a winning QB.

  19. empty13 says: Aug 17, 2009 1:26 PM

    better yet, try eating free health care

  20. Chg91 says: Aug 17, 2009 1:41 PM

    What? No, not at all.
    Both of them looked pretty good in their preseason opener, but for Stafford’s sake, I hope they do end up playing Caulpepper. Stafford is talented as hell, but that Detriot oline is not.. let the more elusive Caulpepper run for his life, upgrade the line next offseason, then put Stafford in (even though he killed it during his game.. yeah, he made a pick-six but, surprise surprise, it came as a result of pressure in his face, and his target was in single coverage.. it was the logical throw, outside of just tossing it away). He’s looking like the real deal, would you really want to risk him becoming another Harrington/Carr/Bulger (present day)?

  21. BearNDesert says: Aug 17, 2009 1:42 PM

    “What if Culpepper leads the Lions to the playoffs?” I’ll tell you what will happen–Lions’ fans (all 12 of them) will pour into the streets and rejoice. Stafford’s development, or lack thereof, will be the least of their concern.
    It ain’t gonna happen though.

  22. WetHog says: Aug 17, 2009 1:43 PM

    Instead of a negative, this could turn into a positive situation like what happened in San Diego with Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. Then again there was questions surrounding Brees’s throwing shoulder when he left for the Saints so that made things easier for the Chargers.

  23. juggadore says: Aug 17, 2009 1:45 PM

    brees was a very high 2nd round pick 2 years before rivers was drafted

  24. DCViking says: Aug 17, 2009 1:51 PM

    This will be Culpepper’s best (and probably last) chance to revive his career — he has a great wide out and his brain (Linehan) together for the first time since Moss left Minnesota.
    Don’t know if that’ll be enough to keep Matty on the bench though…

  25. TheVillain112 says: Aug 17, 2009 1:53 PM

    @indymag.
    Kitna never took them to the playoffs, just really close. Which is why the situation fits better with the Lions scenario.
    Culpepper won’t take them to the playoffs, but if he does well (8-8) then there could be debate on starting Stafford. Similar to what happened in Cincy.
    And like Cincy, it’s smarter to give the reins over to the #1 overall pick.

  26. Mattchew182 says: Aug 17, 2009 1:59 PM

    I don’t think the Lions have to worry about making the playoffs. Anyone is gonna look good throwing bombs to megatron but its the turnovers that Culpepper is gonna keep throwing that will get Stafford in there this year at some point. With a poor O-Line they are only gonna go so far although I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win 6 games which for Detroit gets everyone excited. Maybe just maybe they could beat out the Packers for 3rd in the division its just a question of whether the defense and the O Line can step up. I like their QB’s and one of their WR’s. And its such a beautiful city to visit………………………………………….. NOT!

  27. wrath4771 says: Aug 17, 2009 2:03 PM

    I agree with Villian: This is more like the Kitna/Palmer situation.

  28. Kevin from Philly says: Aug 17, 2009 2:08 PM

    Whole lot of “if’s”, not the least of which is Culpepper playing well for 16 games.

  29. Bob Nelson says: Aug 17, 2009 2:13 PM

    Fumblepepper can only win a starting QB job with the vikings.
    Go with the new guy that you’ve paid lots of money. The odd of him performing at the NFL level are far better than Fumblepepper.

  30. severs28 says: Aug 17, 2009 2:15 PM

    Why do you people get so pissed when Mike writes a speculative article. You do realize it is Profootballtalk.com NOT Profootballfacts.com. This page is called latest news and RUMORS! Not everything has to be breaking news that every football fan dies to see. Detroit has a chance to push for .500 this year IMO. But playoffs???? Not quite.

  31. purpleguy says: Aug 17, 2009 2:16 PM

    Come on, Culpepper playing well? Behind that O-line? On that team? Even assuming Daunte still has it (which he doesn’t), making any assumptions about the Lions playing well at this stage is ridiculous.

  32. bigjim says: Aug 17, 2009 3:02 PM

    @daffy87
    But did Brady Quinn play courageously?

  33. patsSB44champs says: Aug 17, 2009 3:56 PM

    If Culpepper does well, then the Lions should immediately trade him to the highest bidder and use the pick(s) they receive in return to continue to improve the club.
    As Browns fans saw with Derek Anderson, he was a brief flash in the pan who played well for half a season. Since then, he has shown that he couldn’t throw the ball into Lake Erie from the shore.
    I think this is more of a Brees/Rivers situation myself. And I think Stafford should start immediately. Culpepper does not give the Lions a better chance to win, and Stafford will be far better than Culpepper in the long run.

  34. Mav69r says: Aug 17, 2009 4:12 PM

    Okay… so we are saying the 0-16 Lions are going to make the playoffs??? I’m a true Lions fan and I loved to read that someone else wrote that, besides me in a comment… but I have to be realistic… did you see Michael Turner break a 46 yard TD? We couldn’t stop the run, which was a major problem last year…
    Schwartz has alot of coaching ahead of him before we start talking about playoffs…
    Let’s see who does better in the pre-season games and make an accurate decision…
    HECK… DID ANYONE SEE DREW STANTON?!? This kid is for real… he led 3 scoring drives with the help of Rookie Aaron Brown, who looked LT’ish…
    I wanna see Stafford/Culpepper/Stanton out there competing with the 1st Team Offense… in order to judge who’s best and in turn will start the season.
    So… let’s work on getting a better D, wait and see how the QB competition works out and think about, but don’t speak about the playoffs yet.
    Thanks,
    Ruszkachu

  35. Mav69r says: Aug 17, 2009 4:20 PM

    Also, this is more like the Cincy… Kitna/Palmer situation… Kitna was an average vet (as Pullpecker is) and the kid coming in was a high (1) draft pick.
    “Fumblepepper…” your the crumblepepper…
    And in the SD situation… Brees turned out to be better and they got rid of the wrong QB… In Cleveland, they should’ve traded Anderson right away like NE did.

  36. empty13 says: Aug 17, 2009 6:50 PM

    detroit shouldnt have ever signed pullpecker.
    if they had played stanton more, and kept playing orlovsky (who did much better than pullpecker), they might have real options now.
    up here we knew the season was totally shot after 2 weeks. only detroit could battle back to take the lead just to watch the oppo double their point total in the waning minutes.

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