By Kent Larsen
Detmer Ditches Cleveland, Doing Detroit
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- LDS Church member and former BYU Quarterback Ty Detmer
will be wearing a Detroit Lions uniform Sunday after the Cleveland Browns
traded Detmer to the Lions this past weekend. Detmer spent most of last
season, his 9th in the NFL, on the sidelines because of a ruptured achilles
At Detroit, Detmer will still serve as a backup quarterback, a role he has
had since 1998, when he joined the San Francisco 49ers in the backup role.
Detmer will backup the Lions' Charlie Batch this time, taking the place of
another veteran, Jim Harbaugh, who was cut to make room for Detmer.
Veteran that he is, Detmer has no illusions about his new role, "My role is
the backup," he said. "If Charlie gets hurt, I'll be ready to play. We've
got Mike McMahon, the young kid. Hopefully, he can pick up a few things from
me. Being in the system as many years as I was, hopefully, can gain him a
little insight. I was brought in as the backup. No promises were made as the
starter, anything like that. I'm the backup to Charlie Batch. That's my role
Nor was he surprised at the trade. Detmer says that the Browns and Lions had
been talking since March, and when he was held out of the Browns' last
preseason game Friday, he knew something was up.
His history with Lions' coach Marty Mornhinweg is undoubtedly part of the
reason for the trade. Mornhinweg was an offensive assistant with the Green
Bay Packers in 1995 when Detmer was a relatively new backup quarterback.
Then, when Detmer came to San Francisco as a backup quarterback, after
starting for two years with the Philadelphia Eagles, Mornhinweg was there as
Another part of the reason for the trade was Mornhinweg needed someone
familiar with the West Coast offense that he runs. Detmer, knows it backward
and forward, having played that offense in seven of his nine years as a pro.
And he has it down cold, already comfortable in practice with the Lions
yesterday. "He practiced well today, just as expected," said Mornhinweg. "As
you can see, he went right out and executed some plays very well."
Detmer believes he's comfortable with about 80% of the offense, "There are a
few new plays I didn't run. It's been 2 1/2 years since I was in it. There
are a few little wrinkles here you have to get used to -- remember the
footwork and the ballhandling in the running game. Otherwise, terminology
and all that, I feel real comfortable with that."
Now, the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner just has to wait and see if he will get
a chance to play.
Detmer smooth fit in West Coast offense
Detroit MI News 4Sep01 S2
By Mike O'Hara: The Detroit News