Stafford ready to compete for starting job with Lions

Conventional wisdom says that Daunte Culpepper will be the Lions’ starting quarterback in Week 1, despite the team’s signing of No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford. However, the Detroit News reports that Stafford is prepared to make the decision as tough as possible for the Lions and new coach Jim Schwartz.

“I’m going to fight like hell to get out there as soon as I can,” Stafford said. “That’s just my attitude, and that’s how I go about my business. But if they don’t feel that I’m ready, then I understand that, and I’m going to be out there on the practice field trying to make it hard on them to keep me out of the game.”

When he does get on the field, Stafford will be wearing No. 9 with the Lions. Stafford wore No. 7 at Georgia, but the number is retired with his new team.

“I just made the decision kind of easy for them,” Stafford said. “I just picked nine out of the hat.”

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