Pre-Memorial Day QB Controversy

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

As all of the newly drafted Detroit Lions rookies report to the Lions Headquarters in Allen Park today, they'll be joined with their veteran teammates for their first practice together. While some of the veterans have already reached out to welcome their new teammates, they haven't yet had an opportunity to take the field with one another. As Nicholas Constanika reports on, much of the media attention will be focused on two particular players: Incumbent Lions QB Dante Culpepper and this years first overall pick, Matthew Stafford. While most anticipate that Culpepper will be taking the snaps as the season begins, fans have been left to wondering: if the 2009 season unfolds similarly to the horrendous 2008, how soon will Culpepper get yanked in favor of playing Stafford? Martin Mayhew addressed that issue during rookie orientation earlier this month. "They [rookie QB's] get drafted early by teams that haven't been successful, and then they get rushed onto the field", said Mayhew, specifically referred to the 1999 draft when the Cleveland Browns took Tim Couch first overall. At the time Cleveland had Ty Detmer and planned to start him; not wanting to rush their new QB onto the field. By the time Cleveland reached week 2, Couch was starting and the rest is history. Mayhew goes on to finish the interview by saying, "....other hand, there are guys that have been able to go in and play early. I think you can't plan for that." With that said, he leaves it to the fan to wonder; but we have a lot of time between now and week 1, so we're left to watch it unfold.