Culpepper versus Stanton? Marinelli Responds

In a town starving for a quarterback, Detroit's recent workout of Daunte Culpepper did more than whet the appetite. Rod Marinelli's comments following Wednesday's practice on both Culpepper, and whether or not Drew Stanton might play soon.

In a town starving for a quarterback, Detroit's recent workout of Daunte Culpepper did more than whet the appetite.

It started a firestorm.

After all, that's what happens when you consider a three-time Pro Bowler, who has tossed for more yards (22,422), touchdowns (94) and posted a better quarterback rating (89.9) in nine years than your all of your quarterback's combined have accumulated in their careers -- by a wide margin.

Yes, Daunte Culpepper's name is on the radar. Drew who?

"I thought he moved around good," said Lions' head coach Rod Marinelli following Wednesday's practice. Culpepper worked out on Tuesday. "He moved around good; good feet and all those things."

Added Marinelli, "We had a chance to look, (but) we don't know where we're at with it right now. (He's) a very good productive football player. He's been a very good player in this league – and he's young."

Culpepper, who didn't appear to regain his All Pro form last year after suffering a debilitating knee injury two seasons ago, "retired" at the start of the regular season. He cited his frustration with the lack of interest in his services for his retirement. Midway into the 2008 campaign (and a peak time for teams to start making changes/additions), Culpepper announced his quasi-return after his phone began ringing again.

He led Oakland to a 2-4 record in his six starts last season, tossing five touchdowns and five interceptions. Many team scouts believe his best days are behind him, but that he might make a realistic backup.

And in Detroit, that's good enough to start.

"I won't go there yet," said Marinelli when questioned on whether or not Culpepper could play in Detroit. "It's just where we are. He had a good workout and (he's) a good guy."

Marinelli was also quizzed with regards to second-year player and former second-round pick Drew Stanton. Stanton has been sharing reps with starter Dan Orlovsky, but according to sources, is now receiving less than a quarter of repetitions with the first-team.

Orlovsky has managed a respectable QB rating of 77.8 since taking over for Jon Kitna in the last three weeks, throwing three touchdowns versus two interceptions. But much of his success has been late in contests, with the game out of reach. At 0-7, many have been clamoring for Stanton to finally receive his due. However, Stanton is still just a few weeks removed from an injury to his throwing hand, and the Lions are still hesitant to rush him onto the field.

For the first time, Marinelli left the door open for the possibility that Stanton would at least see playing time.

"We look each week and we just see how much we can handle," he said. We'll just let things play out and we'll see."

When asked if he would consider playing Stanton, now and in the next few weeks, Marinelli responded, "Oh yeah, (that's) something you always consider. In the coming weeks, yeah. I wouldn't rule anything out, no."


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