No Controversy: Harrington Grabs Start

After Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci flirted with the notion of a quarterback change on Saturday, he may have got a bit more feedback than he bargained for. But on Wednesday, the head coach had a brief, yet informative answer as to who would start Saturday's annual "Great Lakes Classic" against Cleveland.

The concern was brief. And, if nothing else, maybe a bit dramatized.

After Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci flirted with the notion of a quarterback change on Saturday, he may have got a bit more feedback than he bargained for. And what started as a simple suggestion quickly fed the chatter box on both local radio stations and internet message boards.

Earlier in the week, Mariucci considered openly the possibility of replacing incumbent starter Joey Harrington with veteran Jeff Garcia. The idea was to get Garcia, who struggled during last Friday's 10-3 loss to the Jets, a few "game scenario" series with the first team during a tilt with the Browns at Ford Field. Instead, Mariucci's ongoing lack of an endorsement for Harrington, coupled with his comments, sparked debate that he had yet to even yield the opening game start to Harrington.

"I reserve the right to (make a change), obviously, for any of the preseason games," Mariucci said on Sunday, later commenting that Harrington didn't need "all" of the snaps with the starting unit.

The statements caused confusion among the media and fans, who didn't know whether or not Mariucci going through standard protocol, or if something else was in the works. Some theorized that Mariucci wanted to give Garcia additional playing time to offset Harrington's 9-for-9 performance at New York. Mariucci's past with Garcia is well-documented, while his current support for Harrington, if existent, has been discreet.

But on Wednesday, the head coach had a brief, yet informative answer as to who would start Saturday's annual "Great Lakes Classic".

"Joey," responded Mariucci.

"Our thought would be to start him like last game," the coach continued. "The difference would be that we would try to get QB Jeff Garcia in with the ones at some point."

Mariucci said 'when' to play Garcia would be determined by the progress of the game. Ideally, he would like to leave Harrington in for a few series, and have Garcia enter the field with much of the first unit still intact.

"In a perfect world, Joey can play some early and the ones can continue to play and Jeff can jump in there and play with them for awhile and then he'll continue with the twos."

CAMP UPDATE:
A scary moment occured early Wednesday when cornerback Fernando Bryant, who was hampered last season with a leg injury, left the field in pain during the morning session. According to Mariucci, Bryant "got stepped on". Later, it was announced that Bryant only had lingering stiffness and isn't expected to miss any playing time. Bryant is penciled in as a starter opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly.

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