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An 'embarrassing' episode in Detroit

10/31/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Looks like Detroit offensive coordinator Jim Colletto created a bit of a stir Thursday by saying he didn't plan to play backup quarterback Drew Stanton anytime soon for fear he would "embarrass" himself on the field.

Lions coach Rod Marinelli said Friday that Colletto chose his words poorly, and Stanton told reporters he was "taken aback" by the comment. Here's how Stanton reacted, according to David Birkett of the Oakland Press:

"I didn't read the article but I heard what it said," Stanton said. "That's fine. He's entitled to his opinion, so if he thinks that I'll embarrass myself when I go out there then that's what he believes and ultimately he's the offensive coordinator, right now."

The episode caused enough of an uproar that Colletto spoke Thursday with Stanton to offer context to the quote. But during an interview Friday with Birkett, Colletto basically repeated himself.

"He's not ready yet, that's all I can tell you," Colletto said. "In my opinion he's not ready and when I think he's ready I'll put him in. It has nothing to do with ... if the word 'embarrass' is not the right word to use, I don't know. [Reporters] interpret it different than I do, but I don't want to have a kid to go in there and not at least have a chance to be successful and then they boo his [butt] off the field. That doesn't sit well with that kid, so I don't want to do that.

"Now where's the fine line to do that, that's a hard thing to measure because every kid eventually has to get in there and see whether he can sink or swim. But we're not at that point yet."

None of this will matter much if the Lions sign veteran Daunte Culpepper in the near future. Stanton would go back to being the No. 3 quarterback and would get all the time he needs to develop. For now, however, he is one Dan Orlovsky injury away from getting on the field for the Lions. It would be interesting to see how Stanton responds knowing one of the Lions' key coaches doesn't think he's ready for that job.