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Football Information: Will Matthew Stafford Start Week One for the Lions?


It is understandable for some Lions fans to want No. 1 overall pick in quarterback Matthew Stafford to start right away for the team. No doubt you have many people in the media retreading the same old story that he should start week one because he makes so much money.

When you consider the success that Matt Ryan had while starting from the get go in Atlanta with the Falcons, it makes some even more anxious to see this kid on the field.

For my money I believe that head coach Jim Schwartz is playing it right in the press, by saying that Stafford has much to learn and everyone needs to be let him grow. I find this way of thinking to be the correct way of going at this situation as the Lions weren’t an 0-16 team for nothing.

No doubt Stafford will have the best young receiver in football waiting for him in Calvin Johnson when he does take over as the starter. With a stud receiver like that any quarterback has a better opportunity to succeed and it is a gift for any QB to have such a talent.

Matthew should also be helped by running back Kevin Smith and fellow 2009 first round pick, tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

Using a strong veteran arm when you have it

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions

Right now I believe it is best for the Lions to lean on their veteran quarterback Daunte Culpepper and let him run the show for this season. Daunte is not the quarterback he once was with the Minnesota Vikings, but he should have a good year with the Lions, now that he has had a full off-season to grow with the team.

With Daunte at the helm it will provide Stafford valuable time to learn underneath him. In this time we will all have a chance to see if the Lions offensive line is actually better at protecting the quarterback as well.

If the offensive line is to improve on their tough season in 2008, they will also benefit from a veteran in the back field. Sure Daunte took to many sacks at times last season, but he the guy didn’t sign on with the team until the regular season had already started.

I believe Culpepper is ready to show some teams out there that he still has some game left in him and still has a big, strong arm to get the ball down field.

Detroit Lions v Indianapolis Colts

Stafford will start in time

While I do know that Lions fans want change on the team and to see this organization grow after finally getting ride of Matt Millon, they should be patient on this young QB. Give him hopefully one full season to sit and learn under Daunte and then let him start next season.

So many times an organization rushes a youngster out there and he is doomed to fail.

The reality is there are only so many Peyton Manning’s and Matt Ryan’s that come out of college and are able to process the games speed right away. I don’t believe Stafford is one of those quarterbacks and I do believe he would be killed on the field if he starts from week one on.

NFC Wild Card Game: Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals

Fantasy Football Information on Matthew Stafford and the Lions Passing Game

At this point in time I wouldn’t recommend drafting Stafford at all this year. I don’t care if he makes the starting job or not, he is just not ready to be counted on as a fantasy football quarterback.

If Daunte Culpepper does in fact win the job then look for him as a decent backup quarterback in 12 team leagues this season. He still has some gas in the tank and will no doubt find Calvin down the football field this season in Detroit.

In the passing game right now I can only say Calvin Johnson is the main player you should be targeting this year. He is hands down the No.3 receiver in fantasy football this year behind Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald.

Brandon Pettigrew should win the starting tight end job if only because of his great blocking skills. While Brandon didn’t have great touchdown totals in college, one has to believe with his big frame he could do well at some point.

NFL: JUN 24 Lions Mini-camp
Look for Brandon as a decent backup tight end if you decide to snag one up in the late rounds of your fantasy football draft.

Fantasy Football Information Writer Sean E. Douglas:

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