ALLEN PARK - With coach Rod Marinelli's decision to trade or release disgruntled quarterback Joey Harrington, the weight of leading the Lions' offense into the 2006 season is expected to fall on a total newcomer to the team, either Jon Kitna or Josh McCown.
The Lions have an abundance of highly regarded but largely unproven talent surrounding the quarterback. That includes three receivers drafted in the first round -- Roy Williams, Charles Rogers and Mike Williams -- as well as a first-round running back, Kevin Jones.
Marinelli has indicated that if training camp started now, Kitna would take the first snap with the first offense, but the starter's job won't actually be settled until later in the summer.
Although Kitna and McCown are new to the team, Marinelli believes both have the quality he wants in his quarterback.
"Great, great passion for football," he said. "They're here (at the training facility) all day. They come in in the morning and stay all day. They like it. They just really like football. They think it's really important.
"That is your leader. The position demands leadership. Now, you put a man with great leadership ability that is driven in that position, and (watch) how he reacts under pressure. Your team is looking at him. He's the guy making the call in the huddle -- how he makes that call (is important)."