Friday, July 28, 2006

Kitna's The Starter? Fine -- Now Stick With Him!

So new Lions head coach Rod Marinelli has named Jon Kitna as his starting quarterback, doing it on the eve of the start of training camp. Good. Now, some free advice to Marinelli: DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND.

Marinelli says Kitna gives him veteran leadership. He says he has something "special." He says he wanted to make the announcement early so there wouldn't be a quarterback controversy. Now, some more free advice to Marinelli: DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz says Kitna has a knack for picking up on things. He looks at Kitna as being wonderfully talented, and even compared him to Kurt Warner. Martz says Kitna's accuracy and mechanics are superb. So, here's some more free advice to Rod Marinelli: DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND.

Are you feeling me, Rod?

I'm emphasizing the no-mind-changing angle because despite all the firmness in his announcement, Marinelli tossed this into the mix: "The competition's still there. Kitna just enters camp as the starter, and we'll just go from there."

Groannnn.

Rod, Rod, Rod.

You named Kitna your starter? Congratulations. It's who we all suspected would get the nod, because you pumped the former Bengal and Seahawk ever since the March mini-camps. Few folks honestly thought you'd tab Josh McCown or Dan Orlovsky as the #1 guy.

But once again, I implore you: DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND.

I don't care if Kitna fumbles every snap in camp, and throws interception after interception during the exhibition season. It shouldn't mean diddly squat if McCown looks like Johnny Unitas, and Kitna channels Rusty Hilger. Kitna's the starter. Period. Because -- and altogether now -- you DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND.

How does the quarterback controversy that Marinelli so much wants to avoid happen? By CHANGING YOUR MIND.

Seriously, the only way to truly eliminate the sideshow of the quarterback position this camp is to settle on one man and stick with him. It's fine to say there's competition, but you don't even have to say that. Marinelli, for all I care, could sound like a robot.

"Jon...Kitna...is....my...starter. Jon...Kitna...is...my...starter."

That'd be fine with me.


Kitna should be the guy, because the coach said so


It takes a lot of cahonas to name a starting QB and not waver, unless that starter's name is Favre or Manning or Brady. The temptation is always there to go with the hot hand. But Marinelli made his announcement this early for a reason: no controversy wanted. So don't create one, Rod, by changing your mind. Stick with Kitna through camp, and well into the regular season. There's a fine line between showing resolve and being stubborn (read: Steve Mariucci), I know that. But nobody should look at you as stubborn if you ride Jon Kitna until at least thru September.

What a breath of fresh air it would be if Marinelli didn't even give McCown or Orlovsky a glean of hope regarding the starter's job. You guys, he should repeat as a mantra, are competing to be #2. And that's as far as you're going to go, guys.

Joey Harrington -- and Mariucci, for that matter -- are no longer here because Harrington wasn't fully supported by his coaching staff, and Mariucci made him a square peg in a round hole, system-wise. But now there's a fresh start with a fresh staff and fresh plays -- over 400 passing ones, according to those who attended mini-camps. The Lions can now build an offensive attack based on their quarterback's strengths, rather than having the QB trying to fit the system.

The Lions should build that system around Jon Kitna, and leave the dude alone.

After all, that's why Marinelli made the announcement, right?

1 comment:

YouHaveToAsk? said...

It's "cojones".