With quarterback Daunte Culpepper reportedly broken-hearted (apparently, he paid his dime and only read a newspaper) and teammates reportedly somber in the wake of the news that rookie Matthew Stafford has won the quarterback “competition” in Detroit, Culpepper has issued a statement through the team in which he pledges to support Stafford.
“Now that the debate is over and the decision has
been made regarding the starting quarterback in Detroit, I would like
to make the following statement today so that tomorrow I can put all of
my energy into helping our team prepare for our opponent,” Culpepper said.
“The reason I agreed to restructure my contract in order to stay in
Detroit was because I knew that I would have a chance to have a full
off-season for the first time in over three years. I also knew that I
would have an opportunity to finally compete against whoever the Lions
brought in whether via free agency, trade or the draft. When the Lions
selected Matthew Stafford first overall I was excited.
“My position is that if you want to be the best you have to
beat the best. Coach Schwartz gave me a fair opportunity to compete for
the starting job and now the decision has been made that Matt is the
best quarterback in Detroit. I support the decision and I am ready to
settle into my role.
“Matt is a great guy and a talented young quarterback. I am
confident that he will lead this team to plenty of victories in Detroit
for a long time to come. I look forward to helping Matt in that mission
in any way that I can this year. My role as his back-up is not to be
seen unless needed and not to be heard from unless required. The Lions
organization has treated me with respect and class and they can expect
the same from me.”
Of course, Culpepper already has sort of violated his own rule, since we’re hearing from him before it’s required. Apparently, however, the Lions believed that it was necessary to have Culpepper speak now, in order to avoid talk that folks aren’t on the same page regarding the move.