Second half slump? Mornhinweg defends Harrington

The insider crew from TSX reports exclusively for us that Lions' head coach Marty Mornhinweg isn't concerned with rookie quarterback Joey Harrington's apparent dropoff in second-half production this season. Also, brief commentary from Drew Bledsoe and Bills' head coach Gregg Williams on Harrington.

Lions' head coach Marty Mornhinweg says rookie quarterback Joey Harrington hasn't been playing long enough to have a meaningful NFL track record, and that Harrington's second-half dropoffs aren't significant.

In all three games following his NFL debut against Green Bay on Sept. 22, Harrington has played well above average in the first half and below average in the second half.

In those three games, Harrington has a first-half passer rating of 123.9 and a second-half passer rating of 62.8. He has completed 72.3 percent of his first-half throws and 45.8 percent of his second half throws in those three games. He has three first-half touchdown passes, none in the second half. He has no first-half interceptions, he has one in the second half.

"I think you're overthinking that just a little bit," Mornhinweg told reporters. "He's played four games, he's a rookie quarterback. I just don't think there's enough there yet to evaluate that. And he has played very well in spurts in the second half."

More important than the statistics is the fact that even in his subpar second halves, Harrington has won two of his four starts and has had the Lions within one play of a win or overtime in the other two.

Joey Tidbits Courtesy of Shout Newspaper (Buffalo Bills Website):
Drew Bledsoe on Joey Harrington:
His two younger brothers were altar boys in my wedding. They went to the church in Portland, Ore. that my wife's family went to and there was a connection with the priest who married us."

Bills' head coach Gregg Williams on Harrington: "He's playing well ... With young quarterbacks you can confuse their pre-snap reads, but the bottom line is that you have to stop their offense. We got to go in there thinking about the Lions offense as opposed to just the quarterback himself."

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