Pros and Cons: Who should the Lions have under center?


As we already pretty much know whom the Lions will be going into the season with as their QB’s (barring a surprise signing of a veteran backup), it felt like a good time do go over the pros and cons of each man under center. Check out the good, bad and ugly, the yin and the yang, the pluses and minuses.

So let’s meet the men who get quite intimate with Dominic Raiola…

Jon Kitna

With hits like this a common occurrence,

it’s a miracle Kitna’s still walking, let alone still in the NFL

Pro: By far the most experienced QB on the roster with 11 NFL seasons.
Con: Those 11 years Kitna’s experienced lots of losing, as a 45-65 record as a starter attests.

Pro: One of the most confident QB’s in the NFL.
Con: Thus Kitna thinks he’s much better than he really is.

Pro: The acknowledged and unquestioned leader of the Lions.
Con: Would prefer to lead people into his church. Proselytizing is his first priority.

Pro: Has a deep belief in his Christan faith.
Con: You don’t have that same belief, you may be a locker room pariah who’ll burn in Hell!!!

Pro: Threw for 4000+ yards in each of the past 2 seasons.
Con: It may have been the emptiest 8000+ yards in NFL history.

Pro: Has thrown for 147 career TD’s.
Con: And 146 picks.

Pro: Is tough enough to have taken every Lions snap in 2006, and the vast majority in 2007.
Con: It doesn’t make a difference how many snaps you take when your team finishes 3-13 and 7-9.

Overall: For all of his quirks and limitations, having Kitna under center is the Lions best, and only, shot of having a decent season. Rod Marinelli has hitched himself to Kitna’s wagon, deficiencies be damned. The long-time NFL veteran brings the intangibles of toughness, leadership and confidence, the sort of stuff Marinelli laps up. If Kitna gets hurt, say hello to a top 5 draft pick in 2009. If he stays healthy, the Lions should stay in the wild card hunt for most of the season.

Dan Orlovsky

Orlovsky’s been sitting for so long,

this may be the only action picture of him in existence

Pro: Has spent the last 3 seasons watching and learning.
Con: He’s been watching and learning from Joey Harrington and Jon Kitna

Pro: Was considered enough of a prospect for the Lions to have kept the 5th round pick on the roster.
Con: Was beat out by J.T. O’Sullivan to be Kitna’s backup. J.T. O’Sullivan? Really?

Pro: The Lions let J.T. O’Whatshisname leave with Mike Martz, and kept Orlovsky.
Con: Despite Orlovsky’s presence, the Lions still felt the need to groom another QB in Drew Stanton.

Pro: Has some pro experience, having thrown 17 passes in 2005.
Con: Has next to no pro experience, having thrown only 17 passes in 2005.

Pro: Was a very successful college QB.
Con: At UConn.

Overall: This is the make or break season for Orlovsky. With the competiton being a 2nd year rookie, he has the inside track on being the backup. Orlovsky needs to show he has more than just the ability to hold clipboards. It still remians to be seen, even after 3 seasons, if Orlovsky has his NFL legs.

Drew Stanton

Stanton’s most familiar position at MSU was lying on the turf, injured

Pro: Was considered one of the top QB prospects coming out of school in 2007.
Con: By Mel Kiper.

Pro: Was a very successful college QB at Michigan State.
Con: He never finished a season at MSU healthy. Look at Stanton wrong, and he’ll snap a ligament.

Pro: Mike Martz just had to have Stanton, needs at other positions be damned.
Con: Once Martz saw Stanton on the practice field, he had no problem whatsoever having him placed on the IR for a relatively minor knee injury.

Pro: Stanton was able to spend the entire season learning Martz’s complicated offense.
Con: Martz was given the ziggy, Stanton will have to learn a much different, bastardized version of Martz’s passing game.

Pro: Stanton is by far the most mobile of Detroit’s QB’s.
Con: He has to be, considering the Lions’ sieve of an offensive line.

Pro: In his first action as a Lions, led the team on a game winning drive.
Con: Against a Giants defense full of never-gonna-be’s who won’t be wearing their jerseys for much longer.

Overall: I’ve already railed on (several times) about the Lions’ sheer idiocy in placing Stanton on the IR last season. It leaves him FAR behind the other 2 QB’s. He’s essentially a rookie all over again. But as a high 2nd round pick, Stanton is the furure of the franchise, for better or worse. He needs to show enough promise during the exhibition season that the Lions weren’t mistaken in taking their QB of the future than filling a huge defensive need in last season’s draft. After 1 game, so far, so good. But it’s only 1 game.