Jon Kitna- Lions QB
I like the fact Marinelli was decisive in his actions. In the process, he made a statement to his team that says he’s not going to play any of those wishy, washy games.
No matter how one feels about Harrington, he never had a chance in Detroit. In his four years here, he had three different coaches and offensive coordinators. Furthermore, his status as the signal caller was always a topic of debate by coaches and teammates alike.
None of that garbage will appear to affect Kitna because Marinelli _ unlike his predecessors – has firmly established the quarterbacking pecking order. Josh McCown is the backup and Dan Orlovsky is in the No. 3 spot.
“I think there were three things that really went through my mind,” Marinelli said. “I thought the time was right. He really had an exceptional offseason. Also, I think this team really needs veteran leadership. He really brings something special to the table in a leadership role. I wanted to move away from distractions. The team doesn’t need distractions.”
Said Kitna: “I’ve been hardened by this league; I understand the ups and downs. I understand the lengths of a season; I understand the need to get better each week; I understand offenses and defenses and I understand the need to have chemistry in your locker room.”
I was never a Kitna fan when he was in Cincinnati, but I’m convinced Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz can turn a mule into a stallion. After all, Martz did it with Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger in St. Louis. Why not in Detroit?
Kitna acknowledges that Martz has a special offensive mind and he feels he can thrive in this setting.
“I think for me,” Kitna explained, “what makes the offense special is that the gas pedal is always down. There’s one way to play the game. You don’t play to protect leads. You don’t play to just squeak out wins. You play to try to be perfect on offense and that’s the way he does it. He just goes after things. He demands a lot. The installation schedule that we’re going through is so much more in volume than anything I’ve ever been around.
“You can’t go back to your room and just play video games or hang out. You’ve got to put the time in. The thing that he always says is ‘the reason why we give you so many things is because that gives you the best chance to be successful;’ teams can’t get a beat on you and all of that. It’s just an ever-changing offense that is complex for a defense, so it’s complex for us. But I’m feeling comfortable out there, like I have a pretty good idea of where he wants to go with the ball most of the time when the play is called.”
That is a refreshing sound bite coming from a Detroit quarterback. Imagine knowing what the head coach and offensive coordinator wants from a quarterback, or for that matter, the entire offense.
All that is good and dandy. However, do the Lions have enough talent to execute Martz’s offensive ideas?
“No question,” Kitna said. “Top to bottom, no question. The potential is there. The great thing is that Martz knows how to turn potential into reality.”
Added Marinelli concerning the offense and Martz: “As I look at it, I think if you have good receivers and you have good backs and a good quarterback, it’s a good offense to be in. He utilizes his personnel; he deploys the people very well. The deployment of our personnel and the tempo, everything I want. The heart is going, and we can still be a very physical run team at the same time.”
Well, there is no controversy in the 2006 Lions’ camp. It’s Kitna or bust!
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