Killer: Stanton should stick with team -- thanks to Stafford

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tom Kowalski at points out that a few months ago, the Lions expressed interest in acquiring a veteran QB for depth. Now they seem to have put that on hold. Killer says some of that has to do with Stanton's development, but most of it has to do with rookie QB Matthew Stafford's development.

Stanton is still the same guy he was when he arrived in Detroit - erratic. His passing is inconsistent and he'll throw a spiral on one play and a duck on the next. But Stanton is a gamer and he won't always look pretty but he's been generally effective during his brief game appearances. Even head coach Jim Schwartz said it's tough to evaluate Stanton in practice because he's not a classic drop-back passer.

The real issue here is what the Lions are looking for out of their No. 3 quarterback. Before and after the draft, the Lions talked about adding a veteran backup because they weren't sure how quickly Stafford would be ready. They didn't want to get into a situation where Daunte Culpepper would start the season and then get hurt and then be forced to go with a raw rookie.

That situation has changed. The Lions are now very confident that Stafford will be ready for the start of the regular season (I still think he'll be the starter against New Orleans - or very soon afterward). That changes the role at No. 3 because the Lions don't need an experienced player there.

I buy that logic. But Killer also says the Lions could still look to sign a veteran QB they like and plan to hold onto longer term. He points out that Culpepper is only signed for one year. This I doubt more. I think the Lions are pretty happy with Culpepper's off-season performance and commitment level, and could look to keep him around. I'm not sure what veteran QBs are available out there that would be a huge upgrade over C-Pep.

Talk about it in The Den!