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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Still quiet on the QB front

Rod Marinelli declined to name a starting quarterback again Thursday, but reading between the lines Daunte Culpepper still looks like the guy.

Culpepper and Drew Stanton split reps for the second straight day Thursday, with Culpepper going first in the rotation. Dan Orlovsky is on his way back from New York right now, where he visited a hand specialist this morning. He is not expected to be available this weekend, though official word won't come until tomorrow.

Marinelli said he wants to evaluate Thursday's practice on film to see how his quarterbacks have been handling checks and making reads before deciding on a starter. He acknowledged Stanton probably knows the system better having been in it all year, but said there's something comforting about Culpepper's veteran presence, too.

“That guy's done it, been there, confidence, command,” Marinelli said. “Those are vital things also. I'm not saying I'm going that way. I'm taking each day and trying to do a good job evaluating, trying not to look ahead. I'm going to take this practice tape and see where we've made improvements and then I'll look at that and tomorrow we'll have another good day and try to evaluate. And my goal is to put the best team on that field that helps this team win. That's my goal.”

Marinelli pointed out that veteran quarterbacks have signed as free agents and stepped immediately into playing time before. Last year with quarterbacks Jake Delhomme and David Carr out, Carolina signed Vinny Testaverde on a Wednesday, started him on Sunday, and the Panthers beat the Cardinals in Testaverde's Carolina debut, 25-10.

“Certain veterans can do it, some can't,” Marinelli said. “And that's what I'm trying to find out right now.”

In other news:

• Safety Dwight Smith did not practice Thursday and looks like he'll miss his third straight game with a mid-foot sprain.

• Marinelli said rookie linebacker Jordon Dizon “could be an outside guy” long term. Dizon is working at strong-side linebacker and in the middle on nickel packages in practice.

• As for why he kept coordinators Joe Barry and Jim Colletto off limits from the media Thursday, Marinelli said simply, “I think this is the right thing for me to do.”

• Marinelli on whether Dominic Raiola, who has a broken right thumb, really could snap left-handed and play Sunday: “When a man gets something in his mind – we were on the plane and he had it; he's snapping on the aisle. It means everything to him. I love seeing that. It means everything in the world to him, but we'll just see how things progress.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

barring somebody smacking fudd upside his bald head with a smart stick, pep will start this sunday and will most likely play the entire game unless he's absolutely horrible or gets injured. don't see either one happening so we're just gonna have to wait some more with stanton.

5:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed with the smack up... Brady Quinn stepped in and did very well in his first start last night. Someone should take tomorrows sports section roll it up and beat some sense into this coaching staff with the Brady Quinn headline facing out. Stanton looked fine in preseason. He is young and will make mistakes but he moves the ball and makes things happen heck Danny O has looked good, IMHO. There is no rhyme or reason to what this coaching staff is doing with this team.


1:01 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I'm on the lack of reason or rhyme soap box, don't even get me started about the Detroit Cover Who... The one game we scrapped the Cover two and played more man to man while using selective blitzing we looked great so why would we ever want to stick to that?
Also while I'm on it all this talk about how great Ernie Simms is are just the blind fans and certain media reporters routing for the guy playing with heart. The truth of the matter is that it takes discipline to play in the cover two. The discipline I'm referring to is to stay in your position. If anyone really watched the Houston game you would have noticed that while Ernie was all over the field they exploited the fact he was out of position most of the day by throwing to the spot he was suppose to be defending. The reality was that they had the option to do that all day long and without a serious threat at the Middle Linebacker spot it is a big hole in this defense because the weak side can’t be covering the middle as well as the weak side. Also don’t get me started on certain news reporters saying Paris has been performing at a higher level when it is clear that Ernie has been trying to play both positions on the field week in and week out. IMHO it isn't a lack of talent but a lack of people possessing the skills to run the Cover two effectively. Run the defense that we ran against Minnesota and the defense that Philly runs week in and week out and I believe we have a team that would have won some games already. Which leads me right back to the ineptitude of our coaching staff.

I know the biggest question I have for Rod is what I have stated above. Why keep trying to force this scheme on these players when it is clear by the Minnesota game that they do have the talent to play in this league but not in this scheme? So maybe he is right that it is on them (the coaching staff) for not preparing, training, executing, and just using a system that accentuates the strengths of the players you have not forcing them to play in a scheme that they aren’t cut out to play (this goes for both sides of the ball)? The second biggest question would be to question their ability to develop a player. (examples Godser, Danny O., Dizon, Dewayne White when he was back in T.B., Kevin Smith, Calvin Johnson, the list is longer but I’m sure you get the picture) Successful teams in College and pro when having the luxury of being able to bring along players give them playing time in the 3rd and 4th quarters which allow for fresher players during this rotating as well as being able to coach them in-between plays. When that luxury isn’t available you put them in and take the highs with the lows while COACHING them along, not pulling the plug on them on any given play or from game to game or by saying in the media that a player might embarrass himself. Look in the mirror already it is this organization top to bottom that is an embarrassment not the individual players that are embarrassing themselves week in and week out. I mean come on already can we destroy the any more young talent in this town?

Finally, I love the message and integrity Rod has but I’m sorry during his time here he only has proven that he just wasn’t ready for a head coaching position at this time. Maybe he should have went from a position coach to a coordinator first to see if he could have been successful before jumping all the way to a head coach position.

Lastly Play Stanton for God’s sake already since Danny O is out. Daunte should be their insurance policy not our starter after only a couple days of practice.
Mr. Ford if you are reading this I’m relatively cheap and can come in and interrogate I mean consult on football issues since it is clear that you don’t have anyone commanding the ship. :)


2:45 AM 

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