COLUMN: When's That Draft Again?

COLUMN: No one expected Ty Detmer to throw for an astronomical 7 interceptions. So now, the problem that Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg must have feared has now arisen. And that is, what to do now? Columnist Paul Wezner reviews Mornhinweg's options.

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Paul Wezner -

That's the question most Lions fans are asking after the Lions pathetic 24-14 loss against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Going into the game, most fans knew that Ty Detmer wasn't going to play like Joe Montana. He would still be rough around the edges, and there would still be some kinks to work out of the offense. However, no one expected an astronomical 7 interceptions, the most thrown by a single player in one game in more than 51 years.

So now, the problem that Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg must have feared has now arisen. And that is, what to do now? After Batch played terrible in the first game of the season against the Packers, Mornhinweg benched Batch in favor of recently acquired backup Ty Detmer. Detmer then proceeded to play almost as bad, if not worse, depending on whom you ask.

    As I see it, Mornhinweg has five options, probably none of which will make this team substantially better:

1.    Swallow your pride, admit you made a mistake, and bring Batch in. The problem: Mornhinweg never had confidence in Batch to run the offense, and he still doesn't. So how can he start the guy simply because of public perception?
2.    Ignore the obvious, and start Detmer in two weeks. The problem: Detmer just broke a modern era record for interceptions (assuming "the modern era" began with the Super Bowl), and it would be considered a joke if he was allowed to start again. Furthermore, the Lions next game is on Monday Night Football in front of a national audience. What happens if Detmer goes out and has his first pass intercepted? Mornhinweg will be torn apart in the media for his lack of common sense.
3.    Forget both of them, and go with untested rookie Mike McMahon. Realistically, he can't be much worse, can he? The problem: He's not ready. There's a reason no one drafted him until the 158th pick, and that's because he's still very raw and isn't ready to be a starter in the NFL. Starting him now could ruin whatever future he has.
4.    Go find someone else. The problem: The Lions will either be signing someone off the scrap heap to start, or overpaying to trade for a Quarterback. Plus, who would be available that would be worth the pick(s)? Would the Jets really consider trading Chad Pennington? The 49ers' Tim Rattay? Highly unlikely.
5.    This is probably the one that has gotten the best response thusfar. Move speedster Larry Foster to Quarterback and run the option. It would put the Offensive Line's strength into the forefront, and would keep the games low scoring, allowing for the games to stay close and at least give the Lions a chance. The problem: The option has never worked in the NFL, and there has never been any indication that it will. Plus, could these guys really learn a whole new style of football in two weeks?

All this talk brings up simply one sign; this is going to be a long season. The Lions are now 0-2, and are entering a stretch of 3 games in which the Lions will be lucky to win a game. While nothing is impossible, especially in the crazy world of the NFL, it would be safe to say that the Lions would be facing a rather impossible task of trying to make the playoffs if they start out 0-5. So, just two games into the season, Lions fans are now looking forward to an off-season in which major changes can be expected.

As for the draft, no specific date has been set, but you might want to keep the third weekend in April open.

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