|The education of Stanton progresses with Lions|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 05 June 2007 09:32|
The second-round pick with new-look mechanics showed off what he learned during workouts this week.
Stanton made compact and crisp throws all over the field - sometimes against the blitz - with the second-string offense after being relegated to watching earlier in the offseason.
``He looked great,'' starting quarterback Jon Kitna said. ``He's getting better each day and that was the first extensive opportunity he's had to take snaps, and he took advantage of it.''
Stanton walked off the field drenched in sweat and smiling.
``Today was the first day I took that many reps,'' he said Monday. ``It's one thing to sit in the meeting room and draw it up on the boards, but it's another thing to pull it all together on the field.''
He felt relatively comfortable running plays without helmets or shoulder pads after going through a ``completely weird'' experience shortly after Detroit took him in April with the 43rd pick in the NFL draft.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Stanton played with the aggression of a linebacker at Michigan State and he threw like one, too.
In evaluating quarterbacks before the draft, perhaps seeking one to groom as Kitna's successor for 2008, Martz loved Stanton's moxie and was confident his awkward mechanics could be fixed.
``He broke the way I hold the ball, putting my fingers up and more toward the point of the ball so it can really roll off my index finger,'' Stanton said. ``He rotated my wrist, too, so that the ball turns out with my grip so that I can snap it more. I hold the ball tight to my chest now, instead of holding it back a bit, which led to things like my front shoulder going down and the weight not being on my back knee like he wanted it to be.''
Stanton is beginning to see the benefits of his new throwing motion and is pleased that muscle memory is taking over so he can focus on Martz's complicated offense.
``It's starting to kind of make sense,'' he said. ``It's not just chicken scratch or foreign language to me now.''
If Detroit's plan comes together, Stanton will have an opportunity to learn - not play - as a rookie because Kitna is secure as the No. 1 quarterback and backup Dan Orlovsky is entering his third NFL season.
That's OK with Stanton, who said he will push himself physically and mentally to be ready when and if necessary. Until then, he'll enjoy the experience of being on the team he grew up rooting for as a kid in suburban Detroit.
``It's surreal right now, to be honest with you,'' Stanton said. ``It's going to be even more exciting when I get to run out on Ford Field for the first time.''
Stanton will likely get that chance Aug. 9, when the Lions host the Cincinnati Bengals in the exhibition opener.