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Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Panic Button: Jon Kitna's status


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Scouts, Inc. has provided a division-by-division look at panic areas through three weeks of the season. Here's one to add from the NFC North:

Kitna
Kitna

Problem: Detroit's offense has undergone a painful transition to a scheme based on zone running, and quarterback Jon Kitna has been slow to adjust. Kitna has thrown five interceptions in three games and his completion percentage is down some seven points from last year. There are those who want to see Kitna benched and replaced with third-stringer Drew Stanton, whom the Lions believe has more upside than No. 2 quarterback Dan Orlovsky.

Time to hit the panic button: No.

Why: Kitna has not been sharp this season, but the Lions' offensive woes are widespread and unlikely to change with a new quarterback. The most important thing is to work on smoothing out the running game. If the Lions can develop that threat, Kitna will be more comfortable. The Lions' future is in total disarray following the departure of general manager Matt Millen, but it's too early to begin inserting young players into the starting lineup to evaluate them for next season. That is especially true for Stanton, who was hurt all of last season and missed part of this preseason because of a sprained right thumb. He only recently had a cast removed from his right hand. Stanton is simply not ready to be thrown onto the field.