Both Kitna and McCown were signed as free agents and — after the trade of Joey Harrington to Miami — it was expected they would compete for the starting job. Marinelli said the competition will continue for the job but he clearly did not want to have a quarterback controversy brewing with the possibility of the team dividing into factions, so he made Kitna the No. 1 early.
Neither quarterback has been extraordinary since taking repetitions at camp, but Kitna seems ahead of both McCown and third-string quarterback Dan Orlovsky with respect to offensive coordinator Mike Martz's terminology and ball placement.
The Lions will get a late start on settling the linebacker situation. None of the three anticipated starters were in pads for the start of training camp. Boss Bailey and Teddy Lehman were on the PUP list and first-round pick Ernie Sims had not yet reached agreement on a contract. Sims is in camp with Bailey on the way, but Lehman's return is still almost two weeks away.
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Shawn Bryson vs. Arlen Harris, Brian Calhoun and Artose Pinner for the backup RB job behind Kevin Jones. Bryson has been valuable as a backup RB and FB capable of running and catching the ball, and is likely to have the job by the start of the regular season but, in the meantime, he is being challenged. Harris has experience in coordinator Mike Martz's system, which puts him ahead of the other backs; Calhoun, the third-round draft pick, has good quickness and speed; and Pinner is a downhill runner who came to camp somewhat lighter and in good condition.
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Kenoy Kennedy has the SS job locked up but look for competition from at least three players for the FS job. Terrence Holt was the starter in 2005 but did not play at a consistently high level so newcomer Idrees Bashir and rookie Daniel Bullocks could challenge for the job.
The linebacker jobs could all be up for grabs, in part because of injuries and in part because the Lions have no truly proven performers. Projected starters Boss Bailey (MLB) and Teddy Lehman (SLB) went to camp on the PUP list and when they get back they'll have to catch up with James Davis, Alex Lewis, LeVar Woods, Paris Lenon and rookie Anthony Cannon.
Kitna seems to have a lock on the starting QB position and it is assumed fellow free agent-acquisition Josh McCown will be the backup, but second-year player Dan Orlovsky would like to challenge McCown for the backup job.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WR Charles Rogers is coming off the worst of three nightmare seasons with plenty to prove in both production and attitude. He seems to have dedicated himself to both areas and got off to a fast start in training camp. A former No. 2 pick in the draft, he had broken collarbones in 2003 and 2004, sat out four games on a drug abuse suspension and was benched for another three games in 2005. At 195 pounds, he has shown signs of regaining his speed and big-play ability.
INJURY REPORT: The Lions started camp with six players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. The six were LB Boss Bailey (left ankle), LB Teddy Lehman (right foot), TE Dan Campbell (elbow), WR Scottie Vines (groin), CB Stanley Wilson (knee) and OG Tyrone Hopson (knee). Wilson was moved to the active roster in the second day of workouts and OG Matt McGhghy, who had been on the non-football injury list with the flu, was released. DT Shaun Cody suffered a sprained left knee but it was believed to be mild and he will not miss a lot of work.