Saturday, August 04, 2007

Is Drew Stanton any good? However long it was going to take to find out, add 1 year

The Lions felt they needed a young quarterback they could groom. Thus, the decision was made to draft MSU's Drew Stanton with an early 2nd round pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

The Lions' brain trust must have decided that Stanton wasn't needed as badly as originally thought. That was made clear when they decided to write off his rookie year by putting him on injured reserve, ending his season before the 1st exhibition game.

Sure, Stanton's knee injury was going to sideline him for the majority of training camp. He was assuredly ticketed for 3rd string, which meant a season of mostly holding a clipboard, and watching Jon Kitna turn the ball over. So the spin you are currently hearing from the Lions, and their Kool-aid drinking, and cornbread eating, fans and media, is that this is not an issue, as Stanton wasn't going to play anyway.

Some people will believe anything.

I'm not going to rip the Lions for picking a college QB known to have a injury history longer than the list of games MSU has blown over the years, or that they could have taken the higher rated Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler in last year's draft. They can be ripped for not using their picks wisely, basically condemning Drew Stanton to a 2nd rookie season, while wasting a high pick in the process.

The decision to sit Stanton for the season seems counterproductive at best, and outright idiotic at worst. It leaves the Lions having a QB doing nothing but learning the playbook for the next 6 months, rather than learning how to actually play the QB position at the highest level under certified QB guru/Super Genius/Legend in his own mind, Mike Martz.

If putting a rookie QB on IR ice is such a good thing, then why doesn't this happen more often? Because missing a year of football, for any reason, is NEVER a good thing. Just ask Mike Williams. Haven't the Lions learned anything? No.

If given the choice between NFL Europa reject JP What's-his-name, or a raw 2nd round draft pick who played at a big time university, give me the 2nd round pick every time. There's a reason why What's-his-name was playing in the reject's league, and Stanton was one of the highest ranked college QB's entering the NFL draft.

For those that say Stanton will learn just as much of the uber-complex Martz offense without being able to practice, you're deluding yourselves. Admittedly, he wouldn't get much in the way of taking snaps, but just being on the practice field is invaluable. At least the opportunity to take snaps later in the season would still be there. But while on the IR? No snaps at all till next spring.

And who's to say that Stanton won't be needed later in the season? Kitna not missing a snap in 2006 was fluky. What are the odds of it happening again? I'm sure Vegas would love to take that bet.

Shit happens, especially to the Lions. I remember the 1979 season, when they lost both their starting (Gary Danielson) and backup (Joe Reed) QB's for the season in the same exhibition game. That left the Lions with an undrafted rookie free agent, Jeff Komlo, to run the team. Komlo was beyond awful, and the season was an unmitigated 2-14 disaster.

The only upside was that the nastiness of 1979 allowed them to draft the great Billy Sims in 1980. (Those of you too young to remember Sims, using the word "Great" is not overstating his talent...But that's another post.) And if the worst case scenario does happen, do you really trust the Lions brain trust with another high draft pick? Yeah, I thought so...

Hell, we just need go back a couple of seasons, when Jeff Garcia broke his leg in the final exhibition, leaving Joey Blue Skies as the only option. Their own past history shows that the Lions may have been premature in sending Stanton to the IR, to make room for Calvin Johnson. Couldn't they have waived a rookie free agent tackling dummy instead?

It's just more typical convoluted Lions logic. Come on, admit it. You just know, somehow, someway, the Stanton decision is going to come back to bite them on the ass.


  1. I'm usually with 100 percent Al, especially with the Lions, but I don't see this as being a big deal at all. Without getting any snaps in the preseason, Stanton wasn't going to be anything but third string this year and if Kitna and Orlovsky both go down, I don't think Stanton was going to get the job done anyway. O'Sullivan certainly isn't much worse of an option than Stanton would have been in that situation. This allows them to know which three QBs will be on the roster all season. (Now don't get me started on taking a guy with Stanton's injury history in the second round...that's another story.)

  2. I think my stance has much to do with anything the Lions do blow up in their face. I still think being on the practice field, even if Stanton never gets in an actual game, is more important than reading the playbook over and over.

    You're right, the season is shot if Kitna goes down (Hell, it's probably shot before they even take the field), but I'd rather see Stanton and Orlovsky get the snaps, than the NFL Europa reject. Stanton is the future, for better or worse, O'Sullivan is not.

  3. I was thankfully too young to now remember the 1979 preseason. That's the kind of freak occurrence only a Lions fan isn't all that shocked by (RIP E.A.).

  4. In a way Im happy about this....I wouldnt put it past our coaching staff to be like "hey, that guy did some nice work on the punt coverage team..."