Lions tales: Stanton can save Marinelli, confused by Martz


In today’s Freep, columnist designated hit man declares there’s one way Rod Marinelli can be sure to save his job. No, it’s not making the playoffs, or even just winning more games than he loses. Sharp thinks Marinelli’s one jab saving card to play is…Starting Drew Stanton at QB.

"And that’s a commitment to Stanton as the Lions’ new starting quarterback at some point next season.They’re rebuilding this season.The tone of their recent draft reflected that sentiment, regardless of Jon Kitna’s insistence that anything short of 10 wins this season — yet again — would be an extreme disappointment. It presents a conundrum that’s so vintage Lions — Kitna’s experience provides the best chance of avoiding 10 losses for the second straight season, but Marinelli must offer some semblance of legitimate advancement to quell growing suspicions that he’s overmatched as a head coach."

Insanity or genius? A little of both, actually.

I hate to say this, as I’ve railed against Sharp in the past, but he’s correct in this case. The Lions ARE rebuilding.

I’m one of those who believe Marinelli has been overmathced as a head coach. He’s proven over and over again to not be a very good game manager. Just think back to how often the clock has been mismanaged, time outs incorrectly used and unfathomable challenging of calls that had no chance of being overturned.

Meaning Marinelli is still growing into the position, and he needs more time. Time he can assuredly get himself if Stanton plays, and plays a lot. The Lions future isn’t Jon Kitna, it’s going to with another QB under center. I have no idea if that QB is Drew Stantoin, but the only way to find out is to play the kid.

As it stands now, the Lions have badly mismanaged Stanton. Putting him on the IR, essentially redshirting him for an entire season, was utter stupidity. His development has been delayed a year, and if Kitna takes most every snap in ’08, they’ll be delaying it another year.

I have no idea is Stanton is capable of becoming a NFL QB, and I honestly think the Lions don’t either. It’s time to see what Stanton can do, and it may save Marinelli’s hide in the process.

As for Stanton, he was quoted this week saying Mike Martz left him more confused, than anything else.

"“He changed everything, and I didn’t really understand why and I never really got explanations on how to work on it,” Stanton said. “It was one of those things, ‘Well, you’re just doing this wrong.’ ”Stanton said he “felt robotic” and struggled to think about the offense while thinking about his mechanics."

Again, the utter folly of how the Lions and Martz handled Stanton’s development leaves me shaking my head. The kid sounds so confused, I hope his NFL career hasn’t been ruined before it’s even started. It’s new QB coach Scott Loeffler’s job to undo the mess Martz made of Stanton. He obviously has his work cut out for him.

Then again, we’re talking about Detroit, who haven’t had a Pro Bowl QB since Greg Landry was running and passing the Lions to mediocrity back in the early 70’s. Hoping Stanton can develop is probably moot. I think it’s safe to safe their streak of QB’s not making the Pro Bowl will continue unabated for quite some time to come.

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