Answering the Detroit Lions burning questions: Orlovsky and Stanton aren’t ready edition

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As I took a week long hiatus from SLR, I wanted to catch up on a few things. Namely, the draft and the Lions QB situation. what better way to do so than with another round of burning questions?

Big Al, you said you were going to write about the remaining second day draft choices. What’s up?

A couple of things. First off, the enthusiasm wasn’t there for me, as I’m not a draftnik. I have better things to do than research wide receivers from Wake Forest.

To be honest, I find writing about draft picks I’ve never heard of, and if you go by the Lions past track record, picks likely to not make much of an impact, let alone make the team, boring. On the lower round picks, I’d just be parroting information I found elsewhere on the web. I think I’m a pretty damn good blogger, and in my mind, that’s not blogging, that’s plagiarizing.

I don’t know if this makes me any less of a NFL fan, but the draft is a snoozer in my book. As much hype as the NFL draft gets, it’s one of the most boring exercises in all of sports. (though the NFL finally reducing the time between picks did help matters) Once you get out of the 3rd round or so, it’s a crap shoot. A crap shoot where the Lions normally roll snake eyes. Call me jaded, but I don’t have much hope in the Lions getting much out of those second day picks, good story (Such as in the case of West Point’s Caleb Campbell), or not.

I’ll feel much more comfortable writing about the Lions’ picks once training camp starts, and we see them in exhibition game action. Until that time, I’d only be guessing if these guys actually make the Lions any better.

On to other Lions issues…

At Mlive yesterday, Killer Kowalski wrote he now knows why Jon Kitna was adamant he would be the Lions QB in 2008. During drills. Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton have shown they aren’t close to being NFL ready. What does this mean for the Lions?

It means their putting Stanton on the IR last August for what was a minor knee injury, making his rookie year an utter and total waste, was a massive fuck up by the Lions organization. It also means their allowing Mike Martz to make J.T. O’Sullivan Kitna’s backup, taking snaps away from Orlovsky while knowing Martz was a lame duck, was an extremely short sighted decision.

It also means the Lions are up the proverbial creek without a proverbial paddle if Kitna goes down with an injury. Until the offensive line proves they are better than in 2007, Kitna missing time is not just a possibility, but a given.

As Orlovsky has been on the 3rd string most of his career, and Stanton was not allowed to practice after mid-August 2007, the Lions are left with 2 QB’s backing up Kitna whom they still don’t know are capable running the team. Unless clipboard holding is considered more important than taking snaps in practice and in games (And that’s ALL Orlovsky and Stanton did once the season started), the Lions are screwed if Kitna gets hurt.

So what should the Lions do, Mr. Know-it-all blogger?

During camp, I’d give Orlovsky and Stanton snaps till their hands bleed. In practice, in games, while playing Madden, I don’t care. You give the kids the ball, and see what they can do.

Kitna’s a veteran, the Lions already know what he can do. (How well Kitna will perform is a subject for another post) They only need to give the starting QB enough action during the exhibition season to keep him sharp. Kitna knows exactly what he needs to do to get ready for the regular season, so limit his snaps, and play the 2 backups AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

It’s amazing to think the Lions have had Orlovsky on the roster going on 4 seasons, and they still don’t know if he’s a capable NFL QB. Stanton remains a mystery as well, thanks to sitting their 2nd round draft pick in favor of Martz’s pet project, who’s nothing more than a career journeyman (and that’s being generous), O’Sullivan. Yet, thanks to Martz’s handling of the QB situation, that’s where the Lions stand.

For all the good Martz did, and he did do some nice things with the offense, he butchered the QB situation. From the sheer folly of using Josh McCown more as a receiver than a QB, the drafting of Stanton when there were other needs the Lions could have filled, allowing Kitna to take EVERY snap in 2006, rather than try and develop another QB, to putting all his faith in Kitna, who’s thrown more picks than touchdowns, Martz left the Lions QB position in shambles.

The army is going to let Caleb Campbell try out with the Lions. If he makes the team, Campbell will play in the NFL rather than actively serve, and become a recruiter. Some have taken offense to this, thinking it’s unpatriotic, and unfair to his West Point classmates, who may have to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan. Is Campbell in the wrong?

If the United States Army thinks Caleb Campbell, a legitimate NFL prospect, is best suited to serve his country as a public relations tool, instead of fighting overseas, who are we to argue? They make the rules, and Campbell is following them to the letter.

If he doesn’t make the Lions, Campbell goes back on active duty. He does, and Campbell will have an opportunity to buy out his commitment, and then serve in the Army Reserve. Either way, he’s serving his country.

The Army created this (I hate to use the term, but I can’t think of a better one) loophole for a reason. Be it to allow them to attract a better quality of high school athlete to the academy, or help overall recruiting during wartime, the Army wants their cadets to become pro athletes. So to think Caleb Campbell is shirking his duty is ludicrous.

As for those railing against Campbell…Well, let’s just say I don’t agree with their overly hawkish, conservative thinking. If they have an problem with the policy, take it up with the Army brass, not with a fine young man who has done absolutely nothing wrong.