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Lions camp battles: Third-string quarterback

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Who will emerge as the Detroit Lions' third-string quarterback?

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

As we continue to get ready for Detroit Lions training camp, we're going to examine some of the position battles that will be worth keeping an eye on over the course of the next month and a half or so. First up is the battle for the third-string quarterback job.

If everything goes according to plan, the Lions' third-string quarterback won't even be active for a single game in 2013. Dressing the third-string quarterback would likely mean that either Matthew Stafford or Shaun Hill got hurt, and the Lions clearly don't want that to happen.

So why exactly is the battle for the third-string job worth watching? In the preseason, the quarterbacks at the bottom of the depth chart actually get a chance to play, so we should get a pretty good idea of how the competition is shaping up. Also, this year there actually seems to be a legitimate competition for this job.

The candidates

Kellen Moore is back after spending last season as the Lions' third-string quarterback. He was able to play his way on to the 53-man roster last preseason, and he should know the Lions' system inside and out by now. What's more, he has reportedly improved his arm strength, which could go a long way toward ensuring he stays on the team.

Thaddeus Lewis just joined the Lions in May after being released by the Cleveland Browns. Lewis doesn't have a ton of experience, but the fact that he performed quite well as a starter against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season shows that he has some potential. Also, the fact that his performance against Pittsburgh came on such short notice bodes well for his chances of impressing his new coaches in training camp.

Who has the edge right now?

I fully expect Lewis to make a strong push for a spot on the 53-man roster in the preseason, but Moore pretty clearly has the edge going into training camp. He has been in the system for more than a year now, and he is the one who spent last season on the Lions' 53-man roster. Lewis will have to prove that the Lions should move in a different direction this year when it comes to the developmental player at this position.