Oh for crying out loud

>> 9.07.2009

I spend all morning writing up a post and then two minutes after I publish, Jim Schwartz announces that Matthew Stafford is the starting quarterback from here on out.

Yes, yes, yes, yes yes.  He is the franchise, he is the future, he's the best quarterback we have, and he's ready.  It's time.  Let's start the New Lions off on the right foot--and let's give the cornerstone of the franchise all the time he needs to get ready.  He's not going to learn anything watching Daunte Culpepper throwing four-yard dumps to the fullback on 3rd-and-7, and he's already figured out how to play pitch-and-catch with Megatron.  

He'll take his lumps, and so will the Lions--but *** NEWS FLASH *** they were going to anyway.  There are no expectations this season, no shot at anything more than 17 more months of "preseason" for this squad.  He'll learn from his mistakes, just as Manning did from his, and the Lions will be better off for it.

Matthew?  Give 'em hell, man; give 'em hell.

2 comments:

Matt,  September 15, 2009 at 6:50 PM  

OK, we already know I'm a Matt Stafford supporter and we also already know I'm a Matt Stafford should NOT start (have started) Week 1 guy. We already know all that, but I have to reply to this post (and, yes, I know it's not quite fair being that Week 1 is in the books). All that being said:

"He is the franchise, he is the future, he's the best quarterback we have, and he's ready."

Yes, yes, yes, and based on what exactly? Certainly not the 30 for 55, 381 yards, 1 TD, and 4 picks in the pre-season (compared to Culpepper's 22-34, 194, 1, and 0 versus opponent's #1s and Stanton's 17-31, 236, 3, and 0 while leading multiple game winning drives - albeit against scrubs). Sure, you can say Culpepper was just dumping it off and Calvin wasn't playing and it was just pre-season. Just because excuses can be provided doesn't make him ready.

And it's certainly not backed up by 16-37, 205, 0, and 3 against supposedly one of the lesser Ds in the NFL while showing an uncanny ability to overthrow Megatron.

So calling calling Matt Stafford "ready to start Week 1" an overstatement would be an understatement. That being said, this:

"Let's start the New Lions off on the right foot--and let's give the cornerstone of the franchise all the time he needs to get ready."

Just doesn't jive. How is throwing The Future out there before he's ready starting off on the right foot? And how does it get him ready. . .and for what? Again, he made it pretty clear in the Saints game that he wasn't/isn't ready. Not to start Week 1. Is he now ready for Week 2? Maybe he’ll be “ready” for Week 8. Maybe holding a clipboard would have accomplished the same thing.

"He's not going to learn anything watching Daunte Culpepper throwing four-yard dumps to the fullback on 3rd-and-7, and he's already figured out how to play pitch-and-catch with Megatron."

If I read the first part of this sentence literally, you're completely right. If I read between the lines, you're completely wrong. Stafford has absolutely nothing to learn from holding a clipboard? Really? Nothing? Not even for a few games? I'm sorry, that's ridiculous. As for the second part, I will again point to the Saints game as my counterargument (not fair, but true).

Matt,  September 15, 2009 at 6:50 PM  

"He'll take his lumps, and so will the Lions--but *** NEWS FLASH *** they were going to anyway. There are no expectations this season"

Let me use a poker analogy. Starting Stafford Week 1 is like moving all-in pre-flop with Ace-King. Sure, you might get a weak call and double up early, but you're better off overall and in the long run making a small raise, seeing a flop, and looking to make your play later in the hand. With either strategy, you COULD double up, but strategy B makes it more likely. With either strategy, you COULD go bust, but strategy B makes it MUCH less likely. Your take is akin to saying "I won't flop anything anyway, so why not just move in now?" and ignoring all the other potential scenarios. As evidenced by:

"He'll learn from his mistakes, just as Manning did from his, and the Lions will be better off for it."

Which is basically pure assumption. One could add “Or not” to the end and be just as right. You’re simply choosing to compare Stafford to Manning instead of, say, Alex Smith on belief. As we know, I'm a Matt Stafford believer, too. Key word being believer. Regardless of how strong my, or your, or Jim Schwartz's belief may be, it doesn't make starting The Future out of the gate a good idea. What happens if the Lions are 0-6 at the bye and Stafford hasn't looked much better vs. MIN, WAS, PIT, CHI, and GB (all of which supposedly have better Ds than NO)? Now do you bench him and go with Culpepper? Leave him out there to take more lumps? What’s that do for the New Lions? Probably would be a lot easier (better?) to do it the other way around (since they are going to “take their lumps” either way).

Sorry to call you out, especially well after the fact, but your analysis of all things Lion is usually well-grounded in hard evidence and objective analysis. Your take on Stafford seems to be based more on kool-aid than objective analysis, maybe because the hard evidence points to a different conclusion. Thankfully, it’ll only be 4 or 5 years until we know if the decision to start him Week 1 2008 was right, wrong, or meaningless. : - )

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