Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn was the head coach of the Chargers last season and he opened the year with Tyrod Taylor as the team’s starting quarterback.
Taylor hurt his ribs in the opener and a botched painkilling injection the next week forced first-round pick Justin Herbert into the lineup. Herbert went on to have a record-breaking rookie season, which suggests that he might have been the better choice to start in Week One.
Lynn and the Chargers made that call without the benefit of in-person offseason work or preseason games. The hope is that teams will get some more time to evaluate players this year, but Lynn said the experience with the Chargers hasn’t bent his feelings about the best way for quarterbacks to get acclimated to the NFL. Lynn thinks it is better to watch than play right off the bat.
“If he wins the battle in camp, he’s gotta play the best player,” Lynn said in a Wednesday video conference. “If you don’t, you’ll have a riot in the locker room. . . . If I can sit a rookie, I will. If I can.”
If the Lions do draft a quarterback, Jared Goff will likely be his chief competition for a starting job. The trade sending Goff to Detroit from the Rams cannot be officially completed until March.