Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Black and Blue all over: QB controversy edition
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
The Minnesota Vikings aren't the only NFC North team with short- and long-term questions at the quarterback position. As coach Brad Childress mulls the future of Tarvaris Jackson, the Detroit Lions are at least contemplating how they will handle the position if this season gets away from them.
Starter Jon Kitna will turn 36 later this month and makes an awful lot of mistakes for a player expected to lend a calming, veteran influence to the offense. Dan Orlovsky is currently the Lions' No. 2 quarterback, but many in Detroit are fixated on former Michigan State signal-caller Drew Stanton.
Stanton is recovering from a sprained right thumb and won't be ready to play until next month. It's hard to imagine coach Rod Marinelli making a change anytime soon, but Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com, nevertheless, broached the topic.
Kowalski noted Stanton wore a T-shirt Monday that read: "Born to run things." Here's how Kowalski sized up the situation:
"There were sound reasons why Marinelli didn't pull Kitna when all was lost in the last two seasons, but those no longer apply. The Lions drafted Drew Stanton in the second round last year with the idea that he would one day take over as the starter and lead the team (that's still the reason you draft players, isn't it?). As much as Marinelli likes Kitna's toughness and leadership, there comes a point of diminishing returns."
Nothing seems imminent, but here's a question to chew on this fine Tuesday morning: What NFC North team will be the first to bench its quarterback?
With that, let's take our morning tour:
- After watching the Lions stumble through their first two games, Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press thinks they've overdone the much-discussed departure from ex-coordinator Mike Martz's offense.
- As they often do, Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf attended coach Brad Childress' news conference Monday. For those body-language experts out there, Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that both Wilfs "warmly greeted" Childress afterwards.
- The Vikings' starting receivers are hobbling. Sidney Rice said he has a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, according to the Star Tribune, and Bernard Berrian is limping noticeably on an injured right big toe. Both players say they will be on the field Sunday against Carolina.
- The Chicago Bears were waiting for swelling to decrease in receiver/kick returner Devin Hester's rib area before taking an MRI to determine the extent of his injury. But Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times reports Hester had no broken bones and was making notable improvement Monday.
- Bears linebacker Lance Briggs is making no apologies for a third-quarter hit Sunday on Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, who was sliding at the time. "If I hit him late, I would have been flagged for it," Briggs told the Chicago Tribune. "The play was clean. If he hadn't taken extra steps, he wouldn't have got hit."
- The Green Bay Packers are hopeful of getting center Scott Wells back in the lineup this week, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will face his biggest test yet Sunday night against Dallas, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.