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Linehan Says Lions Starting QB Will Likely Be Decided After Preseason


Who’s going to throw to Calvin in 2009? Will there be a consistent passer in 2009, or should Detroit fans expect three quarterbacks like ’08? Will we win a game? Those are some of the burning questions already putting new Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan on fire.

MLive.com reported that Linehan spoke with three of his four quarterbacks and let Daunte Culpepper, Jon Kitna and Drew Stanton know that there’s no frontrunner for the 2009 Lions’ starting quarterback. Linehan said Wednesday that the job will likely be won after the team’s preseason games.

“In fairness to all the quarterbacks, we haven’t really looked and done enough to say what we would or wouldn’t do,” Linehan said. “We’ve got to let it work itself out. I wouldn’t make any assumptions.”

Rumors circulated early and often about the relationship between Linehan’s hiring and the future of the Lions’ 2008 quarterbacks. Culpepper, who has one more year on his contract, had real success under Linehan’s coaching in Minnesota, but most Lions fans would rather skip the reunion and release him.

There was also speculation that Stanton would be the future, but a future in the NFL requires injury-free preparation and at least one decent game (2008 stats: 9/17 for 117 yards, 1 TD, 6 sacks in three games). Then, there’s Kitna. His fans, still living in 2006 and 2007, believe a healthy Kitna can take this Lions team to 10 wins. But let’s be realistic.

The franchise has plenty of moves to make. Could one of them be drafting Georgia QB Matthew Stafford with the number one pick this April? Maybe. Linehan did say he’d like to evaluate his quarterbacks like Atlanta did in: draft a rookie quarterback and hold an open preseason competition for the starting job.


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