By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Free agent backup quarterback Shaun Hill could be leaving the Detroit Lions for a team closer to his offseason home of Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Hill traveled Monday to visit the St. Louis Rams.
In his last four years with the Lions, Hill has played sparingly with the exception of 11 games in the 2010 season when starter Matthew Stafford was injured. Over his career, Hill has completed 62 percent of his passes, amassed 6,381 yards and recorded 41 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
If Detroit does not bring Hill back, it could look at Luke McCown of the New Orleans Saints, whom new Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi coached last season. Before he played for the Saints in 2013, McCown was a backup for the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons. McCown has completed 58 percent of his passes, racked up 2,035 yards and recorded nine touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Stafford missed 19 of the first 32 games of his career with injuries, but since then he has played every game in the last three seasons. The Lions signed him to a contract extension last summer, so it is clear there will be no competition for his spot in the foreseeable future, but new head coach Jim Caldwell knows perhaps better than anyone the importance of a reliable backup.
Caldwell and the Indianapolis Colts, for whom Caldwell was the head coach for three seasons, had enjoyed the services of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning for years, but when neck surgeries ended up sidelining Manning for the entire 2011 season, the Colts were forced to rely on a trio of backups. Indianapolis won just two games, and Caldwell was fired. Accordingly, the coach will likely want a solid contingency plan in place in Detroit.