LIONS INSIDER

Stafford excited to start working with new backup QB Dan Orlovsky

Posted Apr 11, 2014

Matthew Stafford hopes Dan Orlovsky can bring the same kind of calming experience to the quarterback room that Shaun Hill did.

For the last four seasons, quarterback Matthew Stafford has had a friend and a sounding board in the quarterback room in backup Shaun Hill.

Hill, who joined the Lions in 2010, was a veteran quarterback with starting experience, who even had previous experience with then offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

Dan OrlovskyQB Dan Orlovsky (Photo: AP Images)

But Hill is no longer a Detroit Lion after signing with St. Louis this offseason.

“He’s seen some great times and seen some bad times and has been with me through it all,” Stafford said of Hill at a Pepsi event at Ford Field Thursday night. “You know, our room is different than a lot of other rooms in the NFL because only one guy really plays. It’s huge to have a support group behind you with Shaun Hill and Kellen Moore. Shaun was a guy that always stuck with me and I wish him all the best, obviously. I’ll keep talking to him as much as I can.”

Stafford still has Moore in the room, but is now hoping to forge the same kind of relationship he had with Hill with another veteran quarterback in Dan Orlovsky.

The Lions signed Orlovsky, who was drafted by the team in the fifth round in 2005, to a one-year deal earlier this month.

Like Hill, a veteran who had familiarity with the coaches and scheme when he joined Detroit, Orlovsky played under Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis in 2011 and was the winning quarterback in the only two games the Colts finished ahead on the scoreboard that season.

“I had a great opportunity to see Dan operate in maybe some of the most difficult times that I’ve been in as a coach,” Caldwell said. “We just had a team that wasn’t doing very well. We were struggling and were under duress. I saw a guy come in and really work extremely hard, a true professional regardless of all the distractions around, really focused.

“(He is) a guy who has the kind of attitude I love. He is one of those guys that will fight to the bitter end, and he caught on extremely well, learned the system quickly, was able to certainly adapt and adjust to it proficiently. He gave us a chance to win some games down the stretch.”

Orlovsky has played in 24 career NFL games with 12 starts.

“I met Dan last year,” Stafford said. “We played Tampa Bay and a guy that used to be here, Drew Stanton, he was here with Dan, too, so they were talking before the game and I went and talked to him.

"I’ve been with him for about a week now and really enjoy him. He’s a similar personality type to Shaun, a good guy, and I’m excited to be working with him.”

Stafford is hoping Orlovsky can bring the same kind of calming experience to the quarterback room Hill did and be a similar sounding board for him.