As we start to look ahead to training camp, we're going to take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions roster. First up is the quarterback position. (The final year of each player's contract is listed in parentheses.)
The starter at quarterback for the Lions is once again the same, but there's a new backup in place. Shaun Hill opted to sign with the St. Louis Rams this offseason, so the Lions brought back Dan Orlovsky, who last played for them during the 0-16 season in 2008, to back up Matthew Stafford. They also have Kellen Moore and undrafted rookie James Franklin at the position.
Last year, a big part of the Lions' collapse in the second half of the season revolved around Stafford's inconsistent nature. He made far too many mistakes, and the new coaching staff's main goal for 2014 is really to elevate Stafford's play. With the way this team is built, they will only go as far as Stafford takes them, and he needs to be a much more consistent quarterback going forward.
At the backup spot, going from Hill to Orlovsky is certainly a downgrade, but the hope for the Lions is that Stafford will once again stay healthy. That would keep Orlovsky off the field, and it would keep the third-string quarterback from even dressing. That's assuming the Lions actually keep a third-string quarterback, though. There's no guarantee that three quarterbacks will make the 53-man roster, meaning that the winner of the battle between Moore and Franklin could find himself unemployed or stuck on the practice squad.
Need going forward?
From a talent standpoint, the Lions would benefit from making an upgrade at the backup spot, but chances are they will have to wait until next offseason to do that. There aren't exactly any quality free agents to choose from at quarterback at this point, and Orlovsky's familiarity with Jim Caldwell -- they spent time together in Indianapolis -- is a big reason behind why he is back in Detroit.
With that in mind, the quarterback position is pretty much set for 2014. Stafford is the starter, Orlovsky is the backup and perhaps Moore or Franklin will be the third quarterback. If neither player ends up making the team, the Lions could look elsewhere for a practice squad option, but they seem pretty comfortable going into training camp with this group of quarterbacks.