Mooch Ponders Lions QB Change

ALLEN PARK, Mich. - Joey Harrington kept his job for at least another day.

Detroit coach Steve Mariucci said Monday he had not decided whether to bench Harrington this week against Minnesota in favor of backup quarterback Mike McMahon.

Harrington has struggled as the Lions (5-8) have lost six of their last seven games and he might be coming off the worst outing in his three-season career.

He was 5-of-22 for 47 yards in a 16-13 loss at Green Bay, which overcame a 13-0 deficit in the second half.

"We haven't made any decisions, but we are evaluating our passing game," Mariucci said.

Harrington said Mariucci did not talk to him about a possible change on Monday, but is well aware that his coach was peppered with questions about it.

"If there's anything it's going to do, it's going to make me work harder," he said. "I'm not going to go home and cry about it."

McMahon said he would be surprised if Mariucci made a move to make him the starter Sunday at home against the Vikings (7-6).

"When there's been opportunities to make a change, he hasn't," McMahon said.

Not long ago, Harrington was credited for helping the Lions turn it around after winning an NFL-low 10 games over the previous three seasons.

When the Lions were 4-2, Harrington had thrown 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. In the last seven games, he's thrown as many TDs (five) as interceptions.

"I'm not worried about making plays to keep the job," Harrington said. "I'm worried about making plays to win a football game."

Mariucci didn't praise Harrington in many ways, but did compliment his work ethic.

"He's bound and determined to be as good as he possibly can be," Mariucci said. "He's here late, he's here on days off, he's studying film. He really works at it. I'll give him that.

"I have confidence in Joey. I have faith in Joey. Would I like him to play better? You bet."

The Lions have lost 19 games and won 10 since Mariucci returned to his home state after being fired in San Francisco with a 60-43 mark over six seasons.

Despite the lack of success with the Lions, Mariucci has remained upbeat and enthusiastic in front of cameras and reporters. That wasn't the case Sunday at Green Bay, where he looked very glum.

Did the loss bother him more than any other the past two seasons?

"Yeah, it did," Mariucci acknowledged softly.

Detroit not only lost a game on Sunday, it lost a great opportunity to make the playoffs in the muddled and mediocre NFC with its first win in Wisconsin since 1991.

Roy Williams said the Lions should have won and anybody who saw the game knew that.

"We could have broken a 13-game losing streak and kept it going in a playoff race," Williams said. "This is just disappointing, as disappointing as it gets. We just don't score when we get it into the red zone.

"We haven't scored an offensive touchdown in the second half the last five weeks. That is just mind-boggling to me."