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Daunte Culpepper Releases Statement

Rather than deal with the media, Daunte Culpepper decided to release a statement on the quarterback situation to make it clear that there are no hard feelings.  Here is the full statement from the Lions' official site:

"Now that the debate is over and the decision has been made regarding the starting quarterback in Detroit, I would like to make the following statement today so that tomorrow I can put all of my energy into helping our team prepare for our opponent.

"The reason I agreed to restructure my contract in order to stay in Detroit was because I knew that I would have a chance to have a full off-season for the first time in over three years. I also knew that I would have an opportunity to finally compete against whoever the Lions brought in whether via free agency, trade or the draft. When the Lions selected Matthew Stafford first overall I was excited.

"My position is that if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Coach Schwartz gave me a fair opportunity to compete for the starting job and now the decision has been made that Matt is the best quarterback in Detroit. I support the decision and I am ready to settle into my role.

"Matt is a great guy and a talented young quarterback. I am confident that he will lead this team to plenty of victories in Detroit for a long time to come. I look forward to helping Matt in that mission in any way that I can this year. My role as his back-up is not to be seen unless needed and not to be heard from unless required. The Lions organization has treated me with respect and class and they can expect the same from me."

I have an immense amount of respect for what Culpepper did during the offseason and how he is handling this situation.  It can't be easy for a veteran like him to be beat out by a rookie, but based on what he said he has the right attitude and will now settle in as the Lions' backup quarterback.