As another NFL season approaches, Scouts Inc. breaks down every roster and offers position-by-position breakdowns.
The Lions' quarterback position provides one of the most intriguing 2005 training camp battles in the NFL. Incumbent Joey Harrington has the physical tools to develop into a solid starter, but has yet to put it all together. He continues to make too many mistakes under pressure and his inconsistencies have been difficult to overcome. Harrington threw more interceptions than touchdowns in each of his first two seasons (2002-'03).
He improved in that regard in 2004, when he threw for 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also had career-bests in terms of completion percentage (56%) and overall QB-rating (97). But the bottom line is that Harrington has failed to meet expectations. With an improved offensive line and a great deal of young skill-position talent surrounding him, it's put up or shut up time for Harrington in 2005.
Jeff Garcia's presence is comforting to the team, but will only add more pressure on Harrington this summer. Garcia should benefit from reuniting with head coach Steve Mariucci, where the scheme is much better suited to his style than the one he recently departed from in Cleveland. Garcia has the experience, accuracy, quick release and feet to operate this version of the West Coast offense. However, Garcia is no longer considered even an adequate NFL starter and his physical tools are on a heavy decline.