Lions have mix of young and old behind Matthew Stafford

Posted at 8:04 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 20:04:01-04
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- Matthew Stafford will take every snap for the Detroit Lions if the season goes as planned.
If he can't, a seldom-used veteran and sixth-round pick are preparing to play.
Dan Orlovsky, who has played in just 27 games since making his NFL debut in 2005, will likely be the team's No. 2 quarterback. Jake Rudock, who started at Michigan and Iowa the previous two years, seems to be putting himself in a position to earn a roster spot as Detroit's third-string signal caller.
Rudock, though, refused to acknowledge he has done enough to make the team.
"I haven't even thought of that," he said Tuesday. "I'm kind focused on the practice we have here in a couple hours. You guys are going a little too long term for me."
And that's one of the reasons the Lions made a low-risk selection, taking Rudock 191st overall in the draft after he started a total of 38 games for the Wolverines last year and Hawkeyes the previous two seasons.
The level-headed Rudock, who hopes to be a doctor when his career ends, has appeared to make the most of his opportunities this preseason in practices and two exhibition games. Rudock has completed 16 of 22 passes for 162 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
"He's a guy that's very smart, very determined, doesn't get rattled, got composure," Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. "He keeps getting better, and I think that's certainly very, very important."
Rudock started slowly last season at Michigan before flourishing under coach Jim Harbaugh, who played quarterback and has had success developing players at the pivotal position in college and the NFL.
Playing in two different offenses the previous two years has allowed Rudock to adjust to learning a third scheme this summer.
"I think that's helpful," he said. "It's helpful in understanding a lot of guys are going to have similar concepts, pass game, run game. But you have to change the verbiage and kind of learn a new language."
Stafford has liked what he has seen so far from Rudock, who is learning an up-tempo offense with a lot of adjustments that have to be made quickly.
"Jake's done a good job," Stafford said. "This isn't an easy system to come in and learn. There's a whole lot to it."
Orlovsky, meanwhile, is ready and willing to hold a clipboard and wear a cap on the sideline on Sundays, as he has for more than a decade.
Detroit drafted him in the fifth round, 145th overall, in 2005 and he played in two games as a rookie. He started seven times for the Lions in 2008 when they became the NFL's first 0-16 team, and he became a punch line for obliviously rolling out of the end zone with the ball for a safety.
When Cleveland quarterback Cody Kessler did the same thing recently, Orlovsky said his wife texted him with a video clip of the play.
"I would hope I could laugh at it by now," said Orlovsky, who went on to play for Houston, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay before returning to Detroit.
NOTES: TE Eric Ebron, who injured his lower right leg Aug. 6, returned to the practice field Tuesday. ...  The Lions signed CB Brandon McGee, who played in one game last season for the New York Giants, and waived CB Keith Lewis.