Think about it: Matthew Stafford is the QB.
Is he the QB for now or the future? I say, future.
Daunte Culpepper has obviously come into this season with much less baggage, to say the least. He has lost a tremendous amount of weight and clearly shown the desire to be the starting QB in Detroit and take Stafford under his wing.
To make matters better for Culpepper, he also has an offensive coordinator by the name of Scott Linehan with whom he spent most of his glory years in Minnesota, and the familiarity with Culpepper and Linehan could prove all the more likely that Culpepper will be the QB for this year.
Take into account the QBs that have been rushed into the starting role over the past few years.
- Matt Ryan—Sure, his story is great for having helped that turnaround in Atlanta, but his story just doesn't happen that often.
- Vince Young—This is the QB I think has all the potential in the world, but he was just rushed into the spotlight and is getting closer and closer to BUST.
- Matt Leinart—Has anyone heard from this kid since he lost his job to Kurt Warner a while back? He's disappearing off the radar.
- Alex Smith—After all that rave from Utah, he literally had to learn a new playbook every year, and that just isn't good for him. He could have been great given time to develop.
- David Carr—Ah David, how the mighty have fallen. He is now a backup with the New York Giants.
- Joey Harrington—Wait, where is he now? New Orleans, as an FA, and he just wasn't worth all that hype.
Now, let's take into account players that sat the first few games, if not all of their first season in the NFL:
- Ben Roethlisberger—He couldn't have walked into a better situation. Pittsburgh is perfect for him, and having sat the first four games of the season, he had time to learn the playbook, and that led to being 12-0 in the first 12 games as starter.
- Philip Rivers—Two years behind MVP-caliber Drew Brees really helped this man. I think the route San Diego took with him is best for Stafford in Detroit, as well.
Eli Manning—Anyone remember back when he was being a snob after being drafted by San Diego? The trade with the Giants' three picks later really helped. Kurt Warner helped him develop in the beginning stages, and, yes, he still is far away from the Pro Bowl and probably will never live out the Peyton comparisons, but he has done well in New York.
- Aaron Rodgers—Behind Brett Favre, how could he have done anything wrong? Unless he retires 900,000,000 times like Favre has done. ***Please note the dramatic number for emphasis on the dislike on that.
- Jay Cutler—In Denver, he surely wasn't going to start from the get-go, so he had to earn in, and earn it he did, getting to the Pro Bowl last year.
In review, I think Stafford has the best chance of success if the Lions are smart and let Stafford take time to develop at least four games into the regular season before he even gets any playing time.