Detroit Lions: Five Players that are Tough Roster Choices

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kellen Moore

Kellen Moore was beginning to look like the next coming of Shaun Hill.  A backup’s backup, the kind of #2 QB you could be comfortable in a pinch.  I don’t know what happened between 2014 and 2015, but Kellen Moore is a walking disaster at quarterback right now.  Against the 2s week 1, he looked like a high school QB being asked to play pro.  I expected him to bounce back against the 3s in Washington, but not only did that not happen, he managed to look worse.

Why he’s earned a spot

There are two types of GMs/Coaches.  Those who keep 2 QBs, and those that keep 3.  In the former case (Jim Caldwell fell into this category in Indianapolis), your #2 is a good film guy who can also play in a pinch.  In the latter, your #2 is often a vet or a developmental pick that has progressed enough to take that responsibility with a safety net.  The #3 is either the developmental pick or the vet safety net.  If we look at 2014, Moore fell into that #3 developmental category, so there’s always long memory.

Why It’s Not So Simple

The Lions are going to have to make some tough decisions, as the title to this article states.  Many of those decisions would be a lot easier if they just had an extra roster spot to work with.  Cutting Kellen Moore would provide that, allowing the team to keep a guy like Zach Zenner.  In 2014, the team cut Jerome Couplin, whom they were grooming to succeed James Ihedigbo, to keep Kellen Moore.  Why would you cut someone like George Winn, who dresses on game days for ST?  Why cut Jermelle Cudjo, with depth issues on DL?  Why cut a player who provides actual depth to keep Kellen Moore?

If The Lions kept all three quarterbacks and Matthew Stafford got injured, Dan Orlovksy would start at quarterback.  The team would also sign another QB to dress on game day, no way they are confident Moore could play against #1 players the way he’s looked against 2s and 3s.  So why keep him on the roster?  It comes down to philosophy.  While Caldwell has always been a 2QB guy, Martin Mayhew has always kept 3.  One possibility I liked is keeping 2 QBs while stashing Garrett Gilbert on the practice squad to be that developmental pick.  If he isn’t going to dress on game day, why waste a 53 man roster spot on your 3QB?

Next: Can they carry 5 DTs?