Posted by Mike Florio on September 7, 2009 12:47 PM ETLions coach Jim Schwartz previously was coy regarding his plans for the quarterback position in Week One.
As of Monday, he’s coy no more.
Schwartz, per various media outlets, has announced that Matthew Stafford, the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, will start the game.
Stafford wins the assignment over Daunte Culpepper, whose shot at the job might have been derailed by the placement of eight stitches in his toe.
But we think this competition was rigged from the get-go. A year after Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco led the Falcons and Ravens, respectively, to the playoffs as Week One starters, the Lions had to have realized upon making Stafford the first pick — and paying him more than $40 million guaranteed — that they had to use him sooner rather than later.
So why not create the impression that Stafford had to earn it? The experience might have made him better prepared for the mental hurdles that will arise as he tries to end the 50-year curse that was placed on the team by Bobby Layne, who played football at the same high school Stafford attended.