Thursday, August 19, 2004

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Already the subtle and not so subtle inquiries are starting to come in, what will Wally Buono want to do when Dave Dickenson is healthy and ready to get back into the huddle? The fast tracked course of Casey Printers has given the Lions the whisper of a Quarterbacking controversy as teams struck down by injuries to their starting QB’s cast an envious eye on the Leos roster. With the other eight teams beginning to worry about their QB situation it may be a wise for Wally Buono and Bob Ackles to take their phones off the hook for the next little while.

Dickenson the Lions first stringer is recovering from a knee injury and is expected back in the line up by the second week of September However the Lions won’t be in any hurry to rush him back into the lineup prematurely. Since Dickenson’s unplanned departure from the field, Printers has filled in more than nicely, providing on field leadership and some pretty impressive statistics gained with each successive Lion win. Even without the smooth veteran skills of Dickenson, the Lions find themselves atop the Western Division and looking very much as the only team that may be able to take on the Montreal Alouettes for Earl Grey’s cup.

Printers has spent many nights studying old Dave Dickenson video tape, trying to understand the methods and intuition that the veteran has shown on more than one occasion. The home film festival has paid off handsomely for Printers, who has shown remarkable poise while filling in, he credits the late night studying of the moves of Dickenson for his success. That and some solid support from a very talented Lions receiving and running corps has gone a long way to making his job a lot easier.

For the Lions the idea of trading one or the other away at the moment must seem laughable. Granted Dickenson is the highest paid player on the roster if not in the league at around 450,000 a year, but he was given that highly addictive salary for a reason. He was the one chosen to lead the Leos on to Grey Cup victory. Regardless as to how well Printers has performed, it seems a sure bet that once his mobility is where he would like it, Dickenson will be back in the lineup.

Wally Buono may now be a tad more relaxed during games, realizing that should Dickenson stumble Printers is more than ready to jump in and get the job done. And for now, he’ll have the answering machine turned on screening all calls. It’s going to have to take a pretty spectacular deal to pry either Dickenson or Printers out of a Leo’s uniform. In a season where QB’s have tumbled off the active roster at a rapid pace, having an insurance policy like Printers hanging around ready to go, is certainly something the Lions are going to want to have heading into the second half of the season and on the way to a possible Grey Cup berth.

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