Monday, March 20, 2006

Bye-Bye Joey

Brought to you last week, was the breaking news of Kitna and McCown's signing. I presented rumors and speculation that that deal signaled the end of Joey in Detroit. Today, that rumor has been confirmed. The Detroit Lions are parting ways with Joey Harrington after four turbulent seasons in which the former third overall draft pick went from franchise savior to fans' scourge.

Although he declined to say whether Harrington had been released, coach Rod Marinelli told reporters Monday:

“I’ve decided to go in a different direction with Joey, I made the decision that I think is best for our team. We’re moving on at this point without Joey.

“I think [it's unfortunate] anytime things don’t work out for any player in any situation. As a coach, you’re always striving to be the best and striving to get the best out of every person. That’s part of your goal. That’s why you get in this profession. As of this moment, we’ve gone different ways.”

When Marinelli was asked what would happen to Joey, he said that he would leave the decision up to Matt Millen. When asked for the reasons that Joey will not be a part of the team, Marinelli responded:

“I won’t go into that. I won’t ever disrespect somebody,” said Marinelli. “Whatever happened, I’m moving in a new direction. I’m going to say it again: it was done by me, it’s me. I’ve decided to move in a different direction at the quarterback position. Things change. I’m very clear with that. That’s the direction we’re moving and I don’t know what else I can [say].”

Ron Marinelli is convinced that competition is good between the quarterbacks and that they are on even terms with him. When asked about McCown and Kitna, Marinelli mainly talked about the mental aspects of his players rather than the physical ability:

“I think they have really good, strong leadership ability. They know how to manage very well. I like that about them. I think the quarterback position, probably about 70 percent, is about the human being too; about the person’s ability to lead. I’m really excited about both those guys.”

Harrington will be replaced by either Jon Kitna or Josh McCown, both former starters signed who agreed to terms in the last week. Jon Kitna had an interview with 1270am sports radio, and it can be heard here.

As well as McCown and Kitna, the Lions already have under contract former Tampa Bay and Arizona starter Shaun King and second-year man Dan Orlovsky.

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