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Josh McCown Named As Backup Quarterback

Throughout the preseason, one of the most intriguing position battles was that of who would be the backup quarterback to veteran Jon Kitna. Way back in the offseason many had thought that the position battle would be for the starting job between Kitna and fellow free agent pickup Josh McCown. Early on, Kitna was named the starting QB, so McCown would have to focus his intentions on getting into the backup role.

It was pretty up in the air for most of the preseason between McCown and Dan Orlovsky as both had played well when they saw the field. Some thought McCown would be a better second stringer since he has had more in-game experience, while others had the opinion that Orlovsky's mechanics were more polished.

As the first game of the Lions' season stands just five days away, offensive coordinator Mike Martz has announced that Josh McCown will be the backup quarterback.

Martz was very hard on McCown by the fact that he made him work for everything he got. The playing time, the stats, and now the backup job didn't come easy. When first coming to Detroit, McCown had struggled greatly with the complex offense that Mike Martz had to offer, and that led to the belief that Dan Orlovsky would be the backup by the season's start. But, McCown never gave up, and kept working at it, and now it has all paid off.

"This is why I came to Detroit and this is why I came to play for coach Marinelli and then to be coached by Coach Martz," McCown said. "I wanted to improve myself as a quarterback and I feel like I've done that and I'm proud of that. I'm thankful for the coaches for helping me get through that stuff and help to make me better."

"I know the offense a lot better. I knew at some point it was just going to click. I didn't know when but, in Coach Marinelli's words, you just keep pounding the rock and keep working. That's what I did every day," McCown said. "I knew it was going to happen and Coach Martz helped a lot, having a lot of little conversations with me, encouraging me and talking out this and that.

"I can't credit him and thank him enough for what he's done with me in a short time."

That just shows you how big of an impact a person like Mike Martz can make on a player. With the way he coaches and teaches all of his players, they not only become better on the field physically, but also mentally. I think it's a good fit for McCown to be in the backup role behind a veteran like Jon Kitna. It's also nice to know that if something happens where McCown is needed, that there isn't a colossal drop off from first to second string.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.