Quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan was certainly more efficient in his final preseason outing on Thursday (otherwise known as his last chance to earn a job), but that doesn't necessarily mean there will be a roster slot for him when the team trims the roster over the weekend to meet the league mandated 53-players.
O'Sullivan tossed for 175 yards on 15-of-26 passing, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Sean McHugh, in the 16-13 loss to Buffalo. And while it redeemed last week's poor outing against Indianapolis, Lions' head coach Rod Marinelli wouldn't validate whether or not he would stick with the team's quarterback rotation.
"We thought he did some good things. He was very efficient at times," said Marinelli. "We'll make sure we sit down and watch that tape and evaluate everything. I know we felt pretty good about some of the things he did tonight."
Added Marinelli, "I know we feel very good about him. We'll wait and see tomorrow and watch the tape. The best thing is you've got to watch the tape tomorrow, evaluate your team and be exact. Then make your decisions from there."
Marinelli, who prioritizes game-film over anything else, also won't be the one making the final decision. That will be in the hands of offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who has a rumored interest in acquiring former pupil and current Rams' reserve Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard product that was a late-round pick in 2005, is No. 3 in St. Louis' depth chart, likely wouldn't clear waivers before the Lions could nab him.
It is possible the Lions could send a conditional or late-round pick to acquire him, should O'Sullivan not be in the team's plans. The team already placed second-round pick and former Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton on the injured reserve list, leaving starter Jon Kitna, backup Dan Orlovsky, and O'Sullivan as the current, traditional three-man depth chart at the position.
O'Sullivan, who can only worry about his own performance, said he felt comfortable against Buffalo. He played the entire contest, and didn't make any glaring errors. On the other hand, the team struggled to move the ball in the second half.
"Honestly, every snap I'm feeling better," said the former NFL Europa standout. "It's just one of those things where you see things a little bit faster; you become more and more comfortable.
"It's just one of those things where the more you play the better you're going to be, especially when you're in a new system with new terminology. You play faster at the huddle; you play faster at the line of scrimmage and it gives you more of an advantage to be successful every time you go out on the field."
Asked how he felt about making the team, O'Sullivan seemed content with his accomplishments.
"I think every snap in this league is make or break with this share of big name guys," he said. "It's one of those things where it's like every training camp situation for me, so I just go out there and try to play as well as I can and let the chips fall into place. It's one of those things that it's the only way you can be comfortable with yourself to know that you prepared as hard as you could, starting all the way in the offseason for me.
"It's been a great opportunity this preseason."