You listen to the Giants talk up the Lions this week, you come away thinking “How can they ever beat these guys?”
The Lions are still a bottom-rung team. But they are getting better. Heck, they had nowhere to go but up from their 0-16 season.
Part of that has been the players they’ve brought in post-Millen. Guys like Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew, Ndomakong Suh and Jahvid Best have been drafted. They brought in veterans like Kyle Vanden Bosch and Nate Burleson. But perhaps the biggest move – at least in terms of this season – was one that was pretty unheralded.
“One that flew under the radar was a backup quarterback,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “We traded a late round draft pick to San Francisco to get Shaun (Hill) because he fit the exact profile of what we are looking for. We’re looking for a guy who has starter experience. If we had an injury to Matt, he could step in and give us a chance to win. That was the criteria, we said. When we’re a playoff team, we need a backup quarterback that if Matt wakes up with a case of the flu, the backup can go in and win the game for us. We thought that Shaun fit that, and he has done nothing but prove that since he’s been here.”
“He does it a lot different way than Matt Stafford, that doesn’t look the same,” Schwartz continued. “He moves the ball around, and he had five receivers last week at four or more (receptions). He’s a smart quarterback, and he runs the offense well. Again, different skill set than Matt Stafford, but his results are good. He’s very tough and very competitive.”
Schwartz said that Stafford, who was injured in the opener, is “definitely closer” and he has begun throwing. But this week the Giants will get the Hill-led Lions.
Just another fact for the team to wring its hands over.