Training camp is slowly creeping up. Rookies report in nearly two weeks and the veterans four days later. With only a couple weeks until the “Dog Days” of summer begin, let’s continue to delve into where the roster stands heading into camp.
We continue our series by taking a look at the quarterback position
|Kellen Moore||– Did not play in a game –|
BY THE NUMBERS
|67:||Completions of 20-plus yards last season, which were the most in the NFL. The league average was 49 and the playoff teams averaged 51. It should be noted the Lions also broke the NFL record for pass attempts in a season.|
|88.8:||The Lions’ quarterback rating inside the 30-yard line. The league average was 95.7.|
|3-5:||The Lions win/loss record in 2012 when Matthew Stafford threw for over 300 yards in a game.|
THE GOOD AND THE BAD
|The good:||The Lions were third in the NFL last year with 37 drives of at least 10 plays or more. The league average was only 27. That’s partly a product of the way teams played the Lions, with a lot of two-deep safety looks taking away the big play, but it also shows the willingness of the quarterbacks to take what the defense gave them and drive the football.|
|The bad:||In passing attempts that traveled at least 21 yards in the air, the Lions completed just 22-of-87 of those attempts for 804 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 55.1 rating.|
|The fix:||The biggest help to Matthew Stafford this year would be for the running game to become a threat. I touched on it a little bit in the running back preview, but if the Lions can establish that as a weapon, and the interior of the revamped offensive line can protect him better, Stafford will have more opportunity to set his feet and deliver the ball down the field in favorable down and distances against favorable coverage.|
“I’m just happy that I’m going to be here for another five (years) getting this team going in the right direction. I promise you nobody’s going to work harder than me to get this team going in the right direction, winning games and going to the playoffs multiple years in a row. That’s the plan. That’s the whole reason I signed this deal, to be here and turn this thing in the right direction and make sure it stays that way for a long time. You know, I’m excited about it and I can’t wait for the season coming up.”
-- Matthew Stafford after signing a three-year contract extension worth $53 million.
THE DEPTH CHART
This is Stafford’s team now and the only thing left for him to do is to make this team a consistent winner. He admitted that for him to get the kind of money Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees recently signed for ($20-plus million per season), he needs to have the Super Bowl rings and MVP's those players have. Stafford is only 25 years old and the Lions view him as their franchise quarterback for the next five years and a player who can accomplish one or two of those things.
The club has one of the best backup plans in the NFL in Shaun Hill, who is very comfortable in his role. Hill can step in and win a game if needed and he and Stafford have a great relationship.
The competition to watch come training camp will be for the third quarterback spot between Kellen Moore and Thaddeus Lewis. The team claimed Lewis off waivers this spring and he’s come in and shown a good arm. He also has game experience, which helps his cause.
Moore is destined to be a head coach at some level when his playing days are done. The son of a coach, he’s smart, accurate and anticipates throws very well. He doesn’t have as strong an arm as Lewis, but he has the intangibles offensive coordinator Scott Linehan likes.
That spot will be won in the preseason and it should be fun to watch.
2013 POSITION PREVIEWS