The former Michigan State Spartan quarterback had an opportunity returning to the state of Michigan, potentially becoming the Detroit Lions primary back-up quarterback to Matthew Stafford.
It appears the Detroit Lions are finished with the Connor Cook experiment. Head coach Matt Patricia stated he wants his backup quarterback to show consistency more than anything, in his eyes Tom Savage has done that so far. Cook took some flack coming out of college from some of the members of the mainstream media. Colin Cowherd in particular regularly enjoyed piling on Cook for one distinct reason; he didn’t finish his career with the Michigan State Spartans as a team captain.
I tend to agree; it is a bit odd when the quarterback isn’t a captain, but I wouldn’t avoid drafting or signing a player solely for that reason. As you know the quarterback is extremely vital to the success of the franchise. I understand it’s crucial for the QB to be a leader, and also to gain the trust of his teammates. It is a bit odd that the Spartans players didn’t decide to vote Cook a team captain but leading up the 2016 draft head coach Mark Dantonio frequently brushed it off as nonsense and a non-factor. Cook fell down the draft board to the fourth round where he was eventually picked by the Oakland Raiders.
The Detroit Lions have veteran Tom Savage who now becomes the clear favorite to become Matthew Stafford‘s back up this season. Savage doesn’t produce many positive attributes on the football field but according to Bill O’Brien; his head coach while he was in Houston, he’s tremendous in the film room.
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If there is a knock on Matthew Stafford, it’s understanding new terminology, and learning a new offensive system. Something he will need to do once again this summer under the teams’ new OC Darell Bevell. Don’t forget when Joe Lombardi was the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator; he mentioned Stafford wasn’t able to “pick-up” the new offense very well. If that is true, Savage might be able to help Matt in the room much more than he can help the Lions on the field.
Also, if Cowherd’s theory is correct, maybe Connor Cook wouldn’t be the best back-up option for this team. I do feel Cook is more talented along with having a higher ceiling than Savage, but then again, that’s not saying much. The Lions also signed veteran David Fales to replace Cook on the depth chart, but I’m not convinced Fales will be around once the regular season starts.
Fales was a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears. The 28-year old has only appeared in three NFL games as a back-up. He’s never started a game; in three appearances he’s thrown for 287 yards, a touchdown to go with one interception.
For Connor Cook, he’s only appeared in one game completing 66% of his passes, 150 passing yards, one touchdown, and one pick. The 26-year-old will hope to land with another team competing for a back-up job. If he doesn’t stick, he will likely find a place on someone’s practice squad, waiting for his next opportunity.