Lions quarterback battle could take a while

For most of the week, faithful Lions followers have assumed their shiny new toy, number one overall pick Matthew Stafford, would make his first start in Detroit’s second preseason game. On Friday, Lions coach Jim Schwartz confirmed the news

Just don’t call it a “start.”

Schwartz says Stafford will “begin” the game, just like he did with Daunte Culpepper last week. And Schwartz made some comments that indicated the competition may not end soon either.

Schwartz hinted that he’ll approach the fourth preseason game like he did in Tennessee, with starters playing longer than most teams.  That could delay the quarterback decision.

Perhaps the head coach wants Stafford and Culpepper to get more time with some of their best receivers.  Calvin Johnson (thumb) and rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew (thigh) will both miss Saturday’s game against Cleveland. 

21 responses to “Lions quarterback battle could take a while

  1. They have Dante. If they don’t name him the starter, it will be ugly. Dante is poised to have a good season. Full training camp, another year removed from the knee issue, and if he gets on track, it could be good.

  2. Hey, Florio. Why don’t you post an interesting story today? C’mon, just one. I’m bored out of my mind at work and you give me stories about Jax blackouts and the Lions’ QB “battle”. I’m ready to start drinking damnit!

  3. All of us Georgia boys (like myself) are really pulling for Matt to do well. I couldn’t care less about the Lions prior to this season…I hope he turns that learning curve quickly so that everyone will see how good he is.
    maybe Lions vs. Broncos in the next Superbowl…anyone, anyone?

  4. As good as Stafford has looked they have to go with Culpepper. If you start Stafford and he ends up sucking beyond all belief, you cannot go back to Culpepper without really killing the kids confidence. But if you start of with C-Pep, and he sucks, you definitely can replace him with Stafford.

  5. I think they are having a hard time choosing because each QB lacks something of which the other has an abundance. Culpepper obviously has more NFL experience, and so he plays like a veteran, and is less likely to commit turnovers or underestimate defenses. Stafford clearly has more raw talent, and posesses the far superior arm both in strength and accuracy.
    I think the result will not be an Anderson / Quinn dilemma like Florio alluded to, but more like the Warner / Leinart thing from a few years ago. Maybe Culpepper handles the power running plays, or the wildcat and qb run option plays in the Lions catalog, and comes off the field after the game is established and the team feels comfortable letting Stafford make a few dumb mistakes, or needs him to pick up some long yards.
    Or maybe the decision on who to start will be made based on the quality of the opponent, defensively in particular, where Stafford would get the nod against teams like St. Louis, while Culpepper can let his veteran experience shine versus Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

  6. Decision might come down to the offensive line play… if they gel early then why not let Stafford get in there and start learning; otherwise, put Dante in and let him prove that he’s regained some mobility as he runs for his life…

  7. @ broncoman
    All of us in Oregon were pulling for Harrington when he went to the Lions…….
    Let us know how that works out for you!

  8. For all the $ they gave stafford he should start
    And come with a blender attachment and a kung fu grip

  9. Culpepper will start because no matter how inspiring Matt Ryan’s rookie success was last season, you can’t expect that to happen with Stafford.
    The kid looks good but the lions have a much less talented team then the Falcons (besides Megatron) and a helluva more reliable running game which is a rookie QB’s best friend.

  10. It’s the first preseason game. Schwartz has the right idea. Let them compete. Still 3 games to evaluate. Why rush it? We all know Stafford is the QB of the future. I think the true question in this debate is how good is Culpepper? Culpepper has not played even close to good the past few years, and if it really is a “dead heat” that could be saying we have something to worry about.

  11. @cgmac…are you kidding me? He went to very weak school…that is hilarious. Joey sucked and still does…how many times does New Orleans need to cut the guy! Also, reminder that Matt was first, not third. If you’re not first, your last!
    So, it will work out….Matthew=winner, Joey Bear=not so much.

  12. Watched all of the Lions first preseason game.
    Culpepper looked awful.
    5 of 6 for a whopping 28 yards. Whoopie.
    And he looked slow afoot.

  13. Broncoman’s got the best drugs guys.
    Seriously, I hope Stafford does well but if it serves him better to watch Dante, so be it.

  14. cgmac says:
    August 21, 2009 3:00 PM
    @ broncoman
    All of us in Oregon were pulling for Harrington when he went to the Lions…….
    Let us know how that works out for you!
    while I hope that Staff doesn’s start, comparing Joey Harringon and Stafford are dumb.
    Stafford is the real deal, Joey was a whiny little pussy that had no chance of being able to handle the fans in detroit.

  15. Stafford certainly has a lot of potential. He has a very strong arm, an extremely quick release, and deceiving wheels on him. Physically, he has what it takes.
    The thing about Matthew Stafford is his ability to handle pressure — it’s lacking. His completion percentages in college weren’t that great, and he does some dumb stuff whenever he gets pressured by pass rushers.
    I think they should start Culpepper and let Stafford develop behind him for a little while. Otherwise I really just don’t think Stafford will do well on an NFL level.

  16. I can’t wait for STAFFORD to fall on his face! I have nothing against STAFFORD but I do have something against management not being able to recognize talent.I know he has the tools but so did joey harrington and charles rogers.So make no mistake he will be a bust it’s not all his fault the lions are just loser’s, they should have just stuck with CULPEPPER who is only 32 he still has a lot left and traded down to get defensive players that’s the main issue.They could have gotten BRADFORD next year. IDIOT’S!!!!!

  17. I would probly play pullpecker till the bye, then go to stafford when the lions are 1-6.
    maybe stafford is merely overpaid. but pullpecker has always sucked without moss, pullpecker sucked last year, and pullpecker wasnt even a .500 qb with moss.
    pullpecker is 2-13 in his last 15 starts and 5-20 in his last 25 starts. and those werent all for shitty teams. when people keep saying he is something special, well sure, he belongs on ths short bus.
    otoh, the much maligned harrington is like 9-16 in his last 25 starts. a slew were for the imploded 2007 falcons squad. and some were for… the lions. on another post i went into detail on how benching harrington for the rag armed garcia in 2005 cost detroit a shot at an 8 win season and mariucci his job.
    when both qbs wre in miami, harrington outplayed pullpecker by a mile.
    so, when people try to ridicule harrington and elevate pullpecker, think again. harrington never had a moss to throw to or an offensive line like minnehaha used to have. pullpecker had all the team advantages yet couldnt do jack with them due to his tiny brain and tiny hands.
    harrington also played in detroit, racking up like an 18-38 record as a starter. the other qb starters in detroit went like 1-7 when he was there.
    pullpecker is like the “other guys”. he is 0-5 as a starter in detroit.
    pullpecker has had his second act. he sucks even with talent around him.

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