It's rookie QB Stafford's turn to start -- or 'begin' -- in a game for Lions

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Matthew Stafford will start at quarterback in Saturday night's preseason game at Cleveland.

Actually, Schwartz didn't say Stafford would "start." The coach said the rookie would "begin" the game against the Browns.

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"Yeah, OK, he's 'starting the game,' but is he a starter?" Schwartz said when pressed about first using the word "begin," according to the Lions' Web site. "You see, 'starter' has a different connotation, and I don't have any starters. We don't have any starters right now."

Schwartz said Stafford likely will play into the second quarter of Saturday's game, followed by Daunte Culpepper and Drew Stanton. Stafford, the No. 1 overall draft pick last April, and Culpepper, an 11th-year NFL veteran, are competing for the Lions' starting quarterback job.

According to Schwartz, he isn't close to picking a starter and wants to see more from both quarterbacks.

"Well, there's still a lot more to go, and that's the deal," Schwartz said. "It's a body of work. It's not what you've done in one practice; it's not what you have done in one preseason game. It's going to be a body of work."

Culpepper started last weekend's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons and was 5-of-6 passing for 41 yards. Stafford completed 7-of-14 passes for 114 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the Lions' 27-26 victory.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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