The Detroit Lions haven’t been forced to use their backup quarterback in a starting role in six years. For the last three years, that backup quarterback has been Dan Orlovsky. But it appears it may be time for a changing of the guard. On Saturday afternoon, the Lions backup quarterback tweeted out this:
Detroit— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) February 11, 2017
It'll always be where it started for me. It'll always have a piece of my heart.
While the tweet doesn’t say anything explicitly, it certainly seems to be implying that Orlovsky’s time with Detroit has come to an end. That sort of mournful message is common when a player is told he is no longer in the team’s plans. Orlovsky is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March.
Orlovksy’s time in Detroit will always be remembered by his first go-around with the team, when he ran out of the endzone against the Minnesota Vikings for a safety during the Lions’ infamous 0-16 season in 2008. However, Orlovsky does deserve some credit for a long-lasting career. No one hangs around the NFL for 12 years without bringing some sort of value to the team.
Orlovsky was constantly praised for his value behind the scenes. Here’s what offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter had to say about him back last August:
“I think it’s really valuable. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, on this team, on this offense and in the quarterback room, where veteran leadership is valuable.”
Head coach Jim Caldwell has gone on to call Orlovsky “an outstanding leader” and “extremely bright.”
Additionally, Orlovsky has remained one of the loudest supporters of the team, despite endless mocking and hate from fans. He fired back at critics who though Matthew Stafford wasn’t smart enough to understand Joe Lombardi’s offense. He spoke out against those who questioned Stafford’s work ethic. Throughout his entire career, he has had the back of his teammates and the franchise. That’s worth something.
But in the end, Orlovksy’s talent was never good enough to warrant any playing time. And now that the Lions have resources tied up in youngster Jake Rudock, the Lions were probably right to move on.
Many have speculated that Orlovksy has a coaching career ahead of him, and it would just so happen that former Lions director of football research Randy Edsall was announced as the head coach of the University of Connecticut, Orlovsky’s alma mater.
Whatever Orlovksy decides to do with his future, we wish him the best.