Lions QB Kellen Moore ready to seize backup job

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
From left, quarterbacks Matthew Stafford, Kellen Moore and Dan Orlovsky run the field shoeless at the end of Wednesday's practice.

Allen Park — For his first three seasons in the NFL, playing time has been scarce for Lions quarterback Kellen Moore.

Moore, the third-string quarterback, has had to wait his turn behind Matthew Stafford and Dan Orlovsky — only taking snaps in the preseason, but never one in a regular-season game.

That pecking order might be changing a little.

Moore, 25, took some second-team reps in Wednesday's workouts with the Lions in their second day of organized team activities.

"Just every day is a little bit different. The goal is just to get everyone some reps and have an opportunity," Moore said. "However it gets divided up, it works for everyone."

Although there might not be a full-blown backup-quarterback controversy, the line of delineation between the No. 2 and No. 3 quarterbacks could be blurred a little more between Orlovsky, last year's backup, and Moore.

Wednesday was just the second day of OTAs — and Moore said he and Orlovsky alternated work with the No. 2 grouping on Tuesday as well — but it's something to keep an eye on as the offseason workouts progress.

"(Yesterday was) a little bit of everything. Dan would take some (second-string reps) and I'd take some (second-string reps) and we'll go back and forth and make sure everything evens out," Moore said. "He went in with the (second group) and I took a few (second-team reps). There's no definitive system here, so at the end of the day — probably over the course of the whole offseason — hopefully, each of us gets a few reps in each situation."

For Moore, in his third season from Boise State, it could be an opportunity to make a breakthrough and see his first regular-season action.

After watching from the sidelines for three years, getting some reps in practice and learning from Stafford and Orlovsky, Moore could be ready to contend for the backup spot. Coach Jim Caldwell has seen some improvement in Moore so far this year.

"I think any time that you get guys that are smart, that are hard workers, they continue to improve. With him, he's got a better grasp of the offense, he's got a better feel for the guys that he's playing with," Caldwell said. "I think the receivers in which he's throwing to, he's getting an opportunity to throw it to them a little bit more often, so there's a bit of an uptake there. I think you see that in guys that have his kind of characteristics and makeup."

It's just a progression for Moore, who is improving his mastery of the offensive scheme — and with the continuity of having the staff back and building on last year, he could be in for some game time.

"(I'm) just trying to get better in year two of a system and learn the fine details of everything," he said. "We'll see what happens. At the end of the day, come the season, everyone's got a role and you do that role to the best of your abilities and we'll see what happens.

"Right now we're just in there getting reps, which is pretty nice. I feel fine and fortunate to be here for three years and learning a lot. In year two in a system like all of us, we're able to take care of all those details."