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Harrington Starting?

Postby mystykoekaki » Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:31 pm

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Joey Harrington wasn't benched for long.

The Detroit Lions quarterback, who sat out the previous two games in favor of Jeff Garcia, will be running the NFL's 29th-ranked offense on Sunday at Minnesota, coach Steve Mariucci said Thursday.

Garcia missed the first five games because of a broken left leg suffered in Detroit's final preseason game. He led Detroit to a 13-10 win at Cleveland two weeks ago, but is questionable for Sunday's game after taking several hard hits in a 19-13 overtime loss to division-leading Chicago.

"Jeff didn't feel well enough to think that by Sunday he is going to be able to run around and do all those things he likes to do," Mariucci said. "That is how it looks right now."

Harrington had started 37 consecutive games, but had the NFL's lowest quarterback rating when Mariucci sat him before the Cleveland game. Garcia ran for Detroit's only touchdown, finished 22-of-34 for 210 yards, didn't turn the ball over and wasn't sacked.

Fans were delighted by Garcia's ability to scramble and improvise. But against the Bears, improvisation turned to implosion when Garcia lofted an ill-advised pass that Charles Tillman picked off and returned 22 yards for the winning touchdown.

Mariucci said he was comfortable returning Harrington to action against Minnesota (2-5). But he also hinted he hoped Garcia's style would rub off on the third overall pick in the 2002 draft.

"I think in terms of decision-making and being able to throw the ball down the field ... which options are always available to (Harrington), maybe he will be more likely to do that having seen Jeff do that over a couple of weeks of practice time," Mariucci said.

"That is a decision-making thing; that is not a physical thing necessarily."

Harrington responded to the promotion with the same composure he has shown while absorbing a couple years worth of fan and media wrath.

"I don't know that it is necessarily my job right now," he said. "I don't know what the situation is, but like I said - if it is for one week, than I'm going to come in and do my job and lead the team for one week. If it is for the rest of the season, then I'm going to use this opportunity to play and prepare like I always have."

Harrington will return to a familiar situation when Detroit (3-4) tries for its first win in seven tries against Vikings coach Mike Tice: a banged-up receiving corps. Charles Rogers is back from a four-game drug suspension, but Mike Williams and Roy Williams are questionable.


http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5050692
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:47 pm

Listen - the fact of the matter is Joey is Millens guy and Jeff is Mooch's guy. Mooch's job is in serious jeopardy right now and his comments regarding Joey must be taken with a grain of salt.

"I think in terms of decision-making and being able to throw the ball down the field ... which options are always available to (Harrington), maybe he will be more likely to do that having seen Jeff do that over a couple of weeks of practice time," Mariucci said.

"That is a decision-making thing; that is not a physical thing necessarily."


This is the biggest load of BS you will hear from a coach EVER. The downfield pass is not part of Mooch's offense - not at all. It doesnt matter if Jeff or Joey is behind center. With Jeff at QB 5 of 35 pass attempts were to recievers further than 10 yds downfield. In 7 games this yr between BOTH QBs they have attempted 9 passes longer than 30 yds. Do not buy into this mans lies about the option to throw deep being there - it's simply untrue. Mooch is about to lose his job at the end of the yr and he just doesnt get it. When you have WRs like Roy and CRog who's specialty is speed, size, and going up for passes - you would think that they would try to pass deep more than 9 times in 7 games - not in Mooch's offense. At this point, Mooch is throwing Joey under the bus as they say - its a desperate move by a desperate man. Quite sad really. :-t
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:51 pm

Ill add that the WRs are revolting against Mooch and his offense. Its a bad precedent, you hate to see it happen, its immature and classless - but if you were CRog - why would you even bother trying? His game doesnt fit into Mooch's offense - so he is useless anyway.
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Postby ReadySetGo » Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:47 am

Ah, and I thought I was dedicated. I have been watching the Lions for the past 20 years and the last couple of years have been depressing. You put the blame on the the owner, and as long as Ford is the owner, the Lions will never even get close to a SuperBowl.

As for the Garcia-Harrington situation. I like Garcia's scrambling in the past couple games. Obviously, he doesn't like to get sacked, as you could see by the "throw the ball while you're going down" debacle against Chicago last week. Harrington just puts his head down and gets tackled. Maybe this is Harrington's calling. I don't see him playing anywhere after this season, so this is his one chance to prove himself. The playcalling has been terrible lately. They manage to get themselves in alot of 3rd down at 8's, yet they throw the ball 5 yards and expect a 3rd or 4th stringer from Wyoming to break some tackles and fight for the first down. Mooch has to make sure that they throw the ball down the field. Now the wide reciever situation, it just hurts my head. You have a top prospect who is either injured or doesn't play due to suspension. You have a WR who isn't adjusted to the NFL yet because of his "one year break". And finally, you have your best WR who has struggled to stay healthy, if thats even the case.

Now the running game, Mooch is obviously disappointed with Kevin Jones. We've been seeing more of Pinner and Bryson lately. Why? Well mostly because Kevin Jones can not block. You NEVER see Kevin Jones on third down, so this is why we're seeing Bryson out there. Bryson can block. Bryson is a team player who cares about winning. Jones... I don't know, ask him.

The offensive line is so weak. Jeff Backus, Mr. University of Michigan, gets drafted early and all of a sudden he's a franchise player. Now I understand that left tackle is the hardest position to play because you're defending the quarterback's blind spot, but Jeff Backus is terrible. Harrington/Garcia have been pressured/hurried/sacked throughout the entire season. We need some leaders on the OL. Raiola obviously isn't doing crap, someone has to motivate these guys.

Now for the coaching staff. Dick Jauron has done a wonderful job as defensive coordinator and he's not going anywhere. He's managed to scramble around the defense even with all the recent injuries to Dre Bly and Shaun Rogers. As for Mooch, his job is in jeopardy, but he's not that worried. He knows that he can get a job the next season if he's fired. The thing I don't understand is why Matt Millen got a contract extension. What has he accomplished except for completely ruining a half playoff decent football team.

As for the overall team performance, it feels like their record should be 6-1. We got robbed against Tampa. Of course we gave up that big play to Galloway, but besides that our defense played a hell of a game. The Carolina game was locked up, but once that field goal that put them up by 6 was scored, I just knew the Lions would lose by 1 point. Karma. And of course, the game against the bears. Garcia played a nearly flawless game, execpt for the INT and that "fumble" that delayed 20 minutes of the game. Ok, so you can't win all the close games, but even if you win half of them... you're in first place and rolling on an easy schedual on your way to the playoffs for the first time since... gasp Scotty Mitchell and the infamous spike on fourth down? Sigh, thats the Detroit Lions for ya.

Sorry for the spelling mistakes. Didn't have time to proofread.

-RSG
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