Lions quarterback Jon Kitna made headlines last year for making comments that were perceived as him predicting a 10-win season for Detroit. The comments drew criticism from many and were publicized in a way that made Kitna sound crazy. After the first half of the season, it looked like a ton of people would have to eat crow as the Lions started 6-2, making a 10-win season a realistic possibility. However, the second half of the year proved to be a reality check as the Lions wound up finishing 7-9, 3 wins short of Kitna's so-called prediction.
A year later, Jon Kitna is still talking 10 wins for the Lions, but he is doing it in a way that is far from a prediction. Already I've read that Kitna is "at it again" after saying something about winning 10 games for the second straight year, but he is doing it in a way that doesn't sound anything like a prediction.
"Our expectation is, we will be disappointed if we don't win 10 games because that will mean we are not in the playoffs," Kitna said. "I can't make it any simpler than that. Anybody who says that's not their expectation level is unfortunately not very much of a competitor."
All Kitna is saying is that the Lions will not be happy with anything less than making the playoffs, and that usually requires a team to win at least 10 games, although in the NFC 9 or even 8 could be sufficient. Anybody that tries to play this off as a prediction needs to read what he said over a few times before trying to spin this into something it isn't. (I'm looking at you, Detroit News headline writers)
Aside from talking about hopes for the 2008 season, Jon Kitna also discussed the competition, or lack thereof, for the role of starting quarterback. Rod Marinelli has said that there will be a competition for the starting job this year, although Kitna isn't really worried.
"I don't [expect to be challenged]. I think I'm pretty well established as the leader of this football team and the quarterback. (Head coach) Rod (Marinelli) has never wavered from that. I don't expect that to be any different this year and I'm pretty excited about where we're going as a football team.
"There's never been any intimation to me that anything's going to be different.''
As much as the coaches want to say that a competition will be going on during training camp to find this team's starting QB, there is no one on the roster better than Kitna. That may not be saying a whole lot, but don't try to tell me that Dan Orlovsky or Drew Stanton would be a better starter at this point. I'm not saying that Kitna will be the starter all season long as Stanton could see playing time should the losses start piling up, but as of right now, Kitna is the starting signal-caller.
Adding one more thing to the talk of a QB competition, Kitna did make a pretty funny joke when talking about Lions center Dominic Raiola.
"When (center) Dominic Raiola is in the game, I'll be in the game. That's how I know when I'm up,'' Kitna said. "When I see No. 51 go in, that's when I go. Nobody gets to touch his butt but me - and his wife.''
The phrase "too much information" applies here as I don't exactly need to hear about who is and who isn't touching Raiola's butt, although that was a humorous thing to say.