Despite Loss, Mooch Sticking With Harrington

DETROIT - After another disappointing offensive outing, Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci will maintain status quo. In a nutshell, that means quarterback Joey Harrington isn't going anywhere.

During the team's 21-20 loss on Sunday to Carolina, Harrington was largely ineffective, averaging just 4.6 yards per pass play (including yards lost on sacks) and converting just 4 of the team's 17 third down opportunities. Harrington finished 17-of-28 for 201 yards, but turned the ball over three times and never reached the end zone. In his defense, though, he wasn't yielded much of a chance, as Detroit's offensive line was ransacked by a blitzing Carolina defense.

Harrington was rushed throughout the contest, sacked six times and never able to establish rhythm with any member of his supporting cast. A cast that was without starters Roy Williams and Charles Rogers. Near the end of the contest, the Lions were forced to start recently elevated practice squad player Glenn Martinez, who subsequently dropped a sideline pass on the Lions' final series.

"(Joey) did struggle, but I also thought he was under duress for most of the game," Mariucci said following the game. "He would like to be more productive. We would like to be more productive primarily in the passing game. Right now he is our starting quarterback.

"We're doing everything we can to get him to practice the reps that he needs to time some things up with these guys."

As backup Jeff Garcia continues to return to health, there has been talk that Mariucci is simply biding his time with Harrington until Garcia can step in. But, Mariucci noted, the entire coaching staff -- himself included -- need to help Harrington more than they have been.

"Joey is working like crazy to be better," Mariucci said. "We need to have that (the passing game) better. We know it was difficult on him today. I have to help him out more.

"We put some receivers out there who haven't been starting or playing much."

With an offense that continues to 'finds itself,' Harrington expects to bear the brunt of the criticism.

"I don't worry about who is putting what on anybody, we have a job to do and if you want to put it on me so be it, I can take it," Harrington said. "It's nothing new, it's not going to change my focus, it's not going to change my direction, which is getting this team better. We have a job to do."

Harrington was as unconcerned as the boo birds that rained down from the Ford Field crowd.

"I've never hidden what I think about (boos), I don't think its right, I don't agree with it," he said. "I'm not talking about just me - fine say what you want about me, everybody can have their own opinion, but this is your team and we are working hard.

"You just play through it and take the attitude that nothing is going to affect you. There is nothing that I haven't been through at this point, you know. I mean let's be honest. Like I said, I have a job to do. I don't care who says what; I don't care who's on the field; I don't care who is blocking and I don't care who is running. We have to win and we have to play better than we did today. "

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