Linehan On Fanhouse

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dan Graziano caught up to Scott Linehan for a fairly extensive interview that he published at the Fanhouse.

"Daunte's as healthy as he's been in some time, he looks great and he's really driven to try and re-establish himself in this league," Linehan said. "If he can be anything close to what he was in '04, the sky's the limit for Daunte."

In fairness Graziano interpreted this paragraph a little differently than me. The praise from the coaching staff about Daunte has been effusive and to me there is little doubt that Culpepper is the number one quarterback on Schwartz's No Depth Chart depth chart. The enthusiasm that Schwartz, Linehan and his teammates have shown for Daunte have a much differenct flavor than Mike Martz consecutively calling Jon Kitna and J.T. O'Sullivan the best quarterbacks he had ever coached.

Linehan cements Culpepper's status with the following:
"Matt's a young guy with all the talent in the world, and he could certainly show enough that he could be our quarterback," Linehan said. "But we're not going to do that until we believe he's ready for it, whenever that is.
This really isn't anything new. The coaching staff has been very consistent with this kind of statement. It isn't an indictment of Stafford at all, but rather a great deal of comfort with Culpepper. Surely things can change with training camp to come, but it seems that the job is Culpepper's to lose - and even then he might not lose it. Linhan has this to say about Shwartz's Tennessee defenses:
"The way that Tennessee defense always performed -- I don't want to say they overachieved or to downgrade any of the players he worked with there, but you would look and sometimes you'd be amazed," Linehan said. "You'd look at a matchup where you wouldn't think they'd be in it, and they'd be beating teams 14-13, and you'd scratch your head -- 'How are they doing that?' And I think that says a lot about the people there and the continuity of the coaching there, and he was a huge part of that, and I he's going to bring that here with him."
This Lion defense doesn't have the talent of any of Schwartz's Titan ones. They surely will need this unit to produce at capacity to have much of a shot at anything more than a handful of wins. Even so, there is good reason to believe that the team is finally in capable hands.

Ongoing discussion Here in The Den