Brian VanOchten looks in front of the QB battle

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brian VanOchten, of the Grand Rapids press, has written a very interesting article framing the Lions’ quarterback position not in terms of the quarterbacks—but in terms of the offensive line.  Brian’s contention is that since Stafford is certainly going to be the long-term starter for the Lions, whether they allow him to go out there right away depends not on his performance or Culpepper’s performance, but on the performance of the big boys up front.  If the new OL signees jell quickly and prove they can keep the quarterback clean, VanOchten theorizes, Stafford will start sooner rather than later.

Stafford, if he’s half of what he’s been billed to be, is already a better quarterback than Duante Culpepper at this point in time.  The team has—wisely—made no real investment in Culpepper, and has—who knowsly—made an enormous investment in Stafford.  Stafford started as a freshman at Georgia, and for two years more after that.  Outside of the NFL, there’s no more pressure-packed situation.  Matt Stafford is not going to be brought to his knees by the incredible pressure and big stage of the NFL.  Georgia’s football stadium holds more fans than Ford Field—and they’re a lot crazier to boot.  With Stafford’s arm, experience, pedigree, and intelligence (38 on the Wonderlic), he’ll be able to handle it.  With great coaching, plus Megatron and Pettigrew to lean on, he should have no shortage of crutches and safety valves.  I say, let him grip it and rip it—what’s the worst that could happen, 0-16?

Discuss it here, in The Den!