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Adrian Donofrio - LionsFans.com
The die-hard fans of the Detroit Lions are perhaps the best in the world. So many times they get their hopes up, and so many times they get let down. A last second field goal to knock them out of the playoffs. Trading Bobby Layne. Trading for Ty Detmer. Playing Ty Detmer.
But through all the bad times, they seem to stick through it. Their collective minds get blown to bits through numbing times, but they're always there to console eachother. They get their pysches back up, only to kick themselves again for another dumb incident.
But this season, the Lions have an opportunity to fix a mistake before it happens. Charlie Batch was scrutinized by everyone in football this past offseason. Will he perform? Will he live up to his billing? So many questions heading into the season. And while its still a bit too early to answer them, there's a lot of season left.
And that's exactly the point.
Charlie Batch still has the tools to be a successful QB in ths league. He's under tremendous pressure this year, learning a new offense, a new offensive line, and questionable recieves. All of this while trying to heal all the injuries that kept him out last year.
And while Marty Morhinweg has shown he doesn't have the utmost confidence in Batch, he realizes that a turn around on an 0-4 record is unlikely. He also realizes that trading Batch, or releasing Batch at the end of the year without knowing his true skill is really dangerous.
What if Batch turns out to be a top-tier QB? It took Brett Favre a year or so to learn this offense. Look at him now. Holmgren stayed with his man, and it paid off. Marty has to give Batch time to develop, just like a rookie. Because, in truth, Batch is a rookie again. He said it himself. Everthing he's learned the past three years is out the window.
But still, fans and others continue to call rookie QB Mike McMahon's name. They think he should start. They are drunk with the words of Mornhinweg, because he raves about him. He also raved about Cory Sauter, that guy in your local unemployment office.
A 5th round draft selection this past off-season, McMahon needs time to develop, too. But he needs to develop much more than Batch. Batch has the knowledge of his recievers. He knows their tendencies, he knows where they like it thrown, and where they don't. Batch also knows the speed of the game. He knows the difference between college and the NFL. McMahon does not, yet.
And while McMahon may be, in fact, the "quarterback of the future," so was Batch at one time. He needs to prove one way or the other if he isn't. Without that chance, there's always that lingering doubt that he "could have been."
Just imagine the fans kicking themselves after playing McMahon the remainder of the season, only to rid the team of Batch and have him be successful somewhere else. It's a chance to fix a mistake before it happens, and judging by the Lions' track record, it's an opportunity they can't pass up.