01 December 2010
When it became known Shaun Hill broke the index finger on his throwing hand, we all knew this news was inevitable. Just like death and taxes, you're never truly prepared for it.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz said today that Shaun Hill would not be able to play on Sunday against the Chicago Bears so No. 3 quarterback Drew Stanton would get the call.
Excuse me while I get a little something out of my system...
Thanks, I feel better now.
I sincerely, honestly hope Stanton plays well, but going by past performance, I'm not expecting much.
At the very least, with both Hill and Stafford out for considerable amounts of time (if not the rest of the season), the Lions will finally be able to determine, without any shadow of a doubt, if Drew Stanton has a future as a quarterback in the NFL. It's only taken four seasons to get to this point, but still...
The Lions are now Drew Stanton's team. He'll either run with the opportunity, or collapse under the pressure.
And as if there isn't enough pressure on Stanton to perform (there's already plenty; the Lions are desperate for a win, temporarily end the second guessing of Schwartz, Stanton's own NFL future is on the line), Nate Burleson added even more...quite unnecessarily, if I say so myself.
The Lions' wide out is channelling is inner Lomas Brown, and guaranteed a win over the Bears this Sunday.
"Yeah, I said we're going to win," Burleson said. "We only have five games left and my goal is to finish 7-9. Like I've been saying all year, we don't have a team on our schedule that we can't beat."
Though Burleson did temper his words somewhat as he continued...
"I am not saying the Chicago Bears aren't good," Burleson said. "They are a very good football team. They can take this as bulletin board material if they want, but we play to win the game. I am not going to tell you I hope we win or that we're going to lose in a close battle. Whoever steps onto our home field Sunday, we're going to try and leave with a victory."
The rest of the story doesn't matter. The headlines in Chicago will say:
"Burleson: We're going to win!"
I realize bulletin board fodder doesn't mean much at the NFL level. But if there was any chance the 8-3 Bears weren't going to take the 2-9 Lions seriously, they would come into Ford Field overconfident and ripe for an upset, it won't happen now.
The statements to the press might be Burleson's somewhat misguided attempt at filling the leadership void players complained about after the Patriots game. His heart is in the right place, but Burleson has all but guaranteed the Bears will be on their game with his predicting a Lions victory.
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