Hey, remember Shaun Hill? You may not, because he had been Matthew Stafford's backup quarterback the last few seasons. Fortunately, Stafford has been healthy the last couple of years. He wasn't always good, but he was able to stay on the field, so Hill stayed on the bench. Still, he was a nice bit of security for the Lions. In Hill, Detroit had one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. Well, this offseason he decided to head elsewhere, leaving the Lions in the lurch. Now, they've found their backup quarterback, and it is a familiar face. The Lions have signed Dan Orlovsky to back up Stafford.
You remember Orlovsky, don't you? He used to play for the Lions? Started a few games for them? Infamously stepped out of the back of the end zone for a safety during the season wherein the Lions went 0-16? Bad times and all that. Well, welcome back Orlovsky! In truth, he isn't that bad of a quarterback. Now, he isn't good, but he isn't the worst backup in the league. He's mediocre. That's a gamble a lot of teams take.
Detroit has cap issues. They can't dish out money on backup quarterbacks when they have so many other needs. The gambit here basically is: If our starting quarterback goes down, we're screwed, but what are the odds he goes down? Stafford has been healthy for a couple seasons, and starting quarterbacks don't usually miss a ton of time. If they do get hurt, rare is the backup quarterback who can shoulder the load. The Lions are banking on Stafford, which makes sense. The money is his, and the quarterback job is his.
This could backfire, but if it does, the Lions will get a good pick out of it. The Colts used this tactic when they had Peyton Manning. When he ended up getting hurt, the Colts fell apart, but then they got Andrew Luck. Of course, the GM also lost his job, and so did the head coach. That coach? Current Lions head man Jim Caldwell. Hey, Orlovsky was a quarterback on that team too. Hopefully, there shall be no sequel.