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Mooch Ponders Lions QB Change

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  • Mooch Ponders Lions QB Change

    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."

Related Topics


  • Nick
    Garcia set to take physical for Lions
    by Nick
    INDIANAPOLIS -- Quarterback Jeff Garcia will take a physical -- probably in the next two days -- as part of the Lions' due diligence in their search for a qualified veteran backup for Joey Harrington.

    Coach Steve Mariucci said Friday that he expects Garcia to be examined "as soon as we can" by Lions doctors at the NFL scouting combine.

    "We are trying to determine who the best addition would be to our pitching staff," Mariucci said. "And he's a candidate."

    Garcia, 35, was a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback for Mariucci when they were together with the San Francisco ***** in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But Garcia was disappointing last season at Cleveland and was released Tuesday.

    Since then the Lions have been in touch with Garcia and his agent, Steve Baker, and Mariucci said the physical is the first step toward possibly signing him.

    Although other quarterbacks are available or will become available at the start of free agency next week, Garcia is considered by many as the leading candidate for the Lions because of his background with Mariucci's West Coast offense.

    "He has some familiarity, obviously, with the system, but that's not the only thing we're taking into consideration," Mariucci said. "It's got to be a fit. It's got to be right for that player coming in, it's got to be right for us, and he's got to understand the situation we have.

    "Joey is the starter so -- for him, specifically -- that would be different than going to Cleveland last year.

    "So when I say we have to go through the process, we have to get the physical done first. Then we have to discuss those sort of things and see if it works for everybody before we start talking with agents and contracts. That's the third thing that has to happen."

    When he left San Francisco a year ago, Garcia insisted on going to a team that wanted him as a starter. After a subpar season with the Browns, it is uncertain whether he still feels that strongly about not being considered a backup.

    "Haven't spoken to him about that," Mariucci said, "but we would need to."

    Mariucci has been reluctant to endorse Harrington as the Lions' long-term quarterback, so many have questioned his intentions -- whether he is truly interested in signing a backup or whether he's looking for a player capable of unseating Harrington.

    Mariucci indicated the quarterback roles would be determined gradually, whether the Lions sign Garcia or another veteran.

    "We wouldn't name a new starting quarterback the next day, before minicamps," Mariucci said. "Joey is the incumbent right now, and he's the starter. He would have to be -- you know -- beaten out, or somebody's got to be there ready to go in case he gets hurt."

    -02-27-2005, 12:07 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Lions Hope To Extend Rams' 17-Game Losing Streak
    by r8rh8rmike
    Lions hope to extend Rams’ 17-game losing streak
    By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
    Oct 31, 12:04 am EDT

    DETROIT (AP)—Somebody’s got to win, right?

    Detroit, which has one victory since enduring the NFL’s first 0-16 season, is hosting the winless St. Louis Rams, who might have their best shot to avoid joining the Lions in league infamy, in an oddly intriguing game.

    “Both of us are hungry for a win,” Lions linebacker Julian Peterson(notes) said.

    Starving, really.

    The Lions quietly slipped out of the national watch of terrible teams when they finally won a game in Week 3, snapping a 19-game losing streak and ending talk about the possible pursuit of Tampa Bay’s league-record 26-game skid.

    Detroit hasn’t won since beating Washington, though, and its 2-28 mark since the middle of 2007 matches the worst 30-game record in league history.

    The Rams are winless through seven games and if they don’t beat the Lions, they might be bad enough to replicate Detroit’s unenviable achievement with an 0-16 year and match the Buccaneers’ mark for futility set during the 1976-77 seasons.

    Detroit running back Kevin Smith figures the Rams are looking at the matchup as their week to finally win.

    “If I’m St. Louis, I’m saying, `OK, you’ve got a 1-5 Lions team that went through our situation last year, let’s try to get a jump start on our season with a win versus the Lions,”’ Smith said. “You have to anticipate that’s what they’re thinking.”

    Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo insisted that’s not the case.

    “We don’t go there,” Spagnuolo said.

    The message has sunk in with his players.

    “Records in the NFL mean very little,” quarterback Marc Bulger said. “Arizona was 9-7 last year and I don’t think anyone gave them a chance of going to the Super Bowl. You treat every week like it’s own Super Bowl and I think that’s what coach is trying to preach to us.”

    The Lions have a chance to get their top two players back on offense— receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford—after both missed games with injured right knees.

    “Calvin obviously changes the game,” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. “He changes not only our offense, but he changes the way defenses play.

    “The strides that Matt had made early in the season, he needs to be able to pick that back up again.”

    Stafford, the No. 1 pick in the draft, said he learned something while he was relegated to standing on the sideline.

    “It was tough watching, I don’t really like it,” he said. “You feel like you learn more playing than you do just sitting there watching because you’re so much more in tune.”

    The Rams are out of sorts on both sides of the ball, especially when they have it inside opponents’ 20. They have scored on just half of their...
    -10-31-2009, 07:11 PM
  • Nick
    Lions fire Mariucci
    by Nick
    After much deliberation, Lions fire Mariucci
    Jay Glazer /
    Posted: 1 hour ago

    Motown is moving on ... finally.

    Sources have told that after much speculation and deliberation, the Lions have fired head coach Steve Mariucci.

    The same sources said they believe defensive coordinator Dick Jauron would be the team's interim head coach, but that has not yet been confirmed.

    It was widely reported on Friday that Mariucci's days in Detroit were numbered, but he managed to last the weekend.

    The last straw for Lions management apparently was Detroit's embarrassing 27-7 loss to Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. Playing before a national television audience, the Falcons took a 27-0 lead into the fourth quarter and were able to sit starting quarterback Michael Vick.

    This was supposed to be the season Mariucci got the Lions back on track. Quarterback Joey Harrington was entering his fourth season in the league and the team was loaded with talent at the skill positions.

    But after sharing the NFC North lead at 3-3, the Lions have dropped four of their last five games to fall out of the postseason hunt for the sixth straight season.

    In his two-plus years in Detroit, Mariucci had a 15-28 record — a far cry from the 60-43 mark he had during six seasons in San Francisco.

    Mariucci has two more seasons left on a five-year, $25-million contract signed when he was hired in 2003.
    -11-28-2005, 11:03 AM
  • Nick
    Sources say Lions considering releasing Harrington
    by Nick
    Sources say Lions considering releasing Harrington
    Wednesday, January 12, 2005
    By Tom Kowalski

    ALLEN PARK -- Quarterback Joey Harrington's career in Detroit might be over.

    According to sources close to the situation, the Detroit Lions are considering releasing Harrington in late February, prior to paying him a scheduled $3 million roster bonus.

    In addition to the bonus, Harrington will make nearly $5 million in salary for the 2005 season -- there has been heated debate within the Lions organization about whether to make the additional financial investment in Harrington.

    "That decision hasn't been made yet," said a Lions source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "We're looking at all the options."

    According to several sources, Lions president Matt Millen wants to bring Harrington back but the team's offensive coaching staff wants to go in another direction. After Sherm Lewis was forced out of his offensive coordinator job one day after the regular season ended on Jan. 2, he wrote letters to Millen, team owner William Clay Ford and vice chairman Bill Ford Jr., stating that the Lions would never win with Harrington playing quarterback.

    Lewis, who officially "retired" following the season, said Harrington didn't have the intangibles to be a winning quarterback in the NFL. Lewis' letter did not come as a surprise to anyone in the organization because he was never in Harrington's corner. Still, it shows the level of disagreement between the different factions.

    Millen was in San Francisco for a scouting trip on Tuesday and was unavailable for comment.

    Members of the Lions front office, coaching staff and scouting department are expected to meet several times over the next five weeks to discuss whether Harrington will return. While money will be an issue, it won't be the deal-breaker in either situation (whether they keep or cut him).

    By cutting Harrington now, the Lions would face an immediate salary cap hit of $5.5 million, but it wouldn't affect their ability to re-sign their own free agents and pursue other unrestricted free agents.

    The debate will be whether the Lions believe Harrington is the player who can ultimately lead the Lions to the Super Bowl.

    One of the factors in deciding whether to keep Harrington is Detroit's other available options. Backup quarterback Mike McMahon, who had the support of both Mariucci and Lewis, doesn't appear to be a candidate for the 2005 season.

    Because the Lions would have to release Harrington prior to the start of the free agency signing period and the college draft, there is no guarantee who the Lions could acquire. Other quarterbacks, who are currently in backup roles, could also be available via trade.

    According to sources, Millen wants to make sure that --...
    -01-12-2005, 07:50 AM
  • xfactor28
    by xfactor28
    by: South Side Gridiron (dodgersyear03) Dec 4 12:38am
    I'm am sick and tired of hearing about Joey Harrington.

    He plays for the Lions.

    Name one GREAT qb that played for the Lions.

    tick, tick.

    After watching the Thanksgiving game of him hitting receiver after receiver on the numbers only for them to drop the pass I have came to the conclusion that it is time for Joey to move on.

    Green Bay? Baltimore?

    Sorry you got drafted by the Lions, bro.
    -12-04-2005, 01:44 AM