The great debate this summer and until it actually happens will be when No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford should step into the role of starting quarterback for the Lions. Many think he should sit an entire year to be even more prepared for year two in the league, whereas others believe he can't ever be truly ready until he plays and want him to be the starter from day one. In the end, obviously only the opinions of Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz will really matter in regards to when he should play, so I'm posing this question to you guys: When will Stafford become the Lions' starting QB?
Many variables go into answering a question like this, so let's first remember what Jim Schwartz said about when Stafford will play for the Lions.
"We've got two criteria for when Matthew will play. One is he'll play when he's ready. The second is when he's the best quarterback for us."
What makes this such a tough thing to predict is all of the different factors in play. First things first, Stafford has to learn the offense and perform at a level that shows he is ready to become a starter in the NFL. Even if that happens, though, we can't forget about Daunte Culpepper. This is where the second part of what Schwartz said comes into play. Even if Stafford is looking good, what if Culpepper is looking even better? Potential and talent down the road aside, Culpepper could very well be better than Stafford even if Stafford is ready to play, making this question even more complicated.
My guess is that Culpepper will be the starter when the season begins, making it necessary to add the variable of the Lions' performance into the equation. Even if Stafford is ready to play, the Lions may opt to wait on starting him until Daunte Culpepper gives them a reason to. If the team is playing well with Culpepper at the helm, why make a change that could potentially disrupt the team's chemistry? At the same time, if the Lions start the season off with more losses or get on another cold streak, the calls for Stafford to start will be very loud. That doesn't mean he will start, as I doubt Schwartz will let the fans dictate what he does. However, if the Lions are struggling, making a change at QB, if that's one of the problems, would make perfect sense.
When voting in the poll below, make sure to consider when Stafford will be ready, when he will be the Lions' best QB, and the Lions' performance in general. Unless you think Stafford will open the season as the starter, you need to basically go through the Lions' schedule and make predictions for each game to truly get a sense of when he will take over for Culpepper. Once you take all of that into account, I pose this question to you:
When Will Matthew Stafford Start for the Lions?
Week 1 - Stafford will beat out Culpepper in training camp (508 votes)
Weeks 2-6 - The Lions will realize Culpepper isn't the answer early on (441 votes)
Week 8 - Coming out of the bye week, Stafford will be the starter (802 votes)
Weeks 9-12 - Stafford will become the starter by Thanksgiving (299 votes)
Weeks 13-17 - It will take until December for Stafford to start (195 votes)
2010 Season - It's Daunte Culpepper's world and we're just living in it; Stafford waits until season two in the NFL to start (476 votes)
2721 total votes