No heebie-jeebies with Stafford

May, 6, 2009
5/06/09
1:27
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

This just in: The NFC North consists of four teams and multiple quarterbacks, not just Minnesota and Brett Favre. So in an effort to keep things as balanced as I can during this latest cycle of Looney Tunes, I wanted to share some interesting insights from Detroit offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

Linehan spoke Tuesday after the Lions' first day of Organized Training Activities. Among other things, Linehan said quarterback Daunte Culpepper has done a "great" job during offseason workouts and described the qualities that convinced him of Matthew Stafford's worth as the No. 1 overall pick of the draft. (Note the sophisticated conversation he and coach Jim Schwartz shared.)

Linehan: "I was a little bit in the background, which was an advantage for me because I could just kind of observe and keep my mouth shut and spend time looking and seeing. ... [Schwartz] would ask me, 'Is there anything that's giving you the heebie-jeebies about this guy?' Using his term. I said, 'Really? That's a good way of looking at it.' Because you're really trying to break a guy down at that point and he just jumped through every hoop and it was natural. It wasn't forced, planned or scripted. We didn't make it easy on him either, and he just handled it like he was born to be in that spot, which we're going to find out."

Half of the battle was the Lions' decision to draft Stafford, an effort led by Schwartz and general manager Martin Mayhew. Now the focus shifts a bit more toward Linehan, who will supervise the details of Stafford's development. Schwartz is ultimately responsible for the finished product, but it's Linehan's job to ward off the heebie-jeebies.

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