Culpepper makes a statement

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Daunte Culpepper has spent most of the offseason far away from the media, rarely making himself available for questions.  In the wake of the announcement that Matthew Stafford is the Lions’ new permanent starting quarterback, Culpepper has issued the following statement to the media, through the team’s website:

“My position is that if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Coach Schwartz gave me a fair opportunity to compete for the starting job and now the decision has been made that Matt is the best quarterback in Detroit. I support the decision and I am ready to settle into my role.”

It’s an extremely classy statement, and it speaks well of Daunte.  The absolute worst thing that could happen for the Lions now is for Culpepper to publicly challenge the Lions’ leadership, or privately incite mutiny.  Still, it’s no secret that he went all-out in recommitting himself to football, in hopes of winning the job.  That his effort was in vain hasn’t gone unnoticed by the veterans.

Perhaps it’s an unnerving glimpse into the future for these players; a preview of the day when working their butt off ensures only a spot for that butt on the bench.  Perhaps Matthew Stafford under center is a reminder that no matter how hard they work, how well they execute, or how polished their technique, a day will come when a bright-eyed youngster with fresh knees and an explosive bank account balance takes their job away from them.

However, all of that will go away when the kid performs, and the Lions win.  Coaches Schwartz and Linehan have the ability—and responsibility--to ensure that their bold decision looks like a smart decision come December.

Discuss it here, in The Den!