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Justin Vanfulpen - LionsFans.com
PONTIAC- Rookie Quarterback Mike McMahon's fate is sealed, he will start a game or two this season, that you can count on. But it won't be this week against the Bears at Solider Field in Chicago.
But the question is when.
The most likely situation will be the final two games of the season when the Lions play the Bears and the Cowboys at home. If head coach Marty Mornhinweg likes what he sees then he can go on with his plan of putting current starting quarterback Charlie Batch in the supplementary draft and hope that the Houston Texans pick him up.
"This is Charlie's offense," Mornhinweg said.
Well, Mornhinweg should say this is Charlie's offense ... until McMahon is ready to take over.
In Thursday's loss to the Packers, McMahon was in the game for a total of 30 plays, and he did make the most of his opportunity, he was 9 of 20 passing for 89 yards and one touchdown -- a 29-yard throw to rookie receiver Scotty Anderson with 10 seconds left that gave the Lions a chance to tie the game with a two point conversation.
"He's elusive, and he really did make some good throws," Mornhinweg said. "His movement ability shows up when he's in the game. I told him I was proud of him, having said that, we will go through about 10 of these plays because it was helter-skelter a little bit out there. Some of them were just communication, especially in the two-minute offense. He has great feet and they get real quick on him sometimes. The game will slow down for him at some point."
The Lions like McMahon's quickness and elusiveness, but if he is going to be successful running the West Coast offense, he needs to occasionally stay in the pocket instead of getting out and running around with the ball.
"That will happen naturally," Mornhinweg said. "Some of it will come with experience, some of it comes with watching the film and him seeing his feet going a little bit crazy on him."
With a rookie quarterback, the speed of the game is hard to adjust to and the rookie mistakes will come because of the that, but McMahon needs to become a more accurate passer and that will take some time.
"Some of that will happen naturally, some of it will come with experience and some of it comes from watching the film and seeing his feet go a little bit crazy sometimes. Normally, accuracy comes right along with your feet. For almost any quarterback, if it's an errant throw, you can correlate it to the feet," said Mornhinweg.
The season is lost, but the Lions coaching staff and front office still has a lot of decisions to make about the future of the organization, and it starts with the quarterback position. If Mike McMahon is the player the Lions think he can be, then it will just take the team getting some playmakers around him so that he can be successful. If he isn't, then they will have to look somewhere else for a quarterback, since -- quite unjustly -- they have given up on Charlie Batch, and his fate was sealed before he even took a snap this season.