LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Based on the assessment of offensive coordinator Mike Martz, the Bears can expect to face a "competitive" quarterback Sunday at Detroit, which announced Wednesday that Drew Stanton will make his first NFL start for the club since December 2009.
During his tenure as offensive coordinator for the Lions, Martz worked briefly in 2007 with Stanton. Detroit drafted Stanton in the second round that year, and later placed him on injured reserve after the quarterback underwent knee surgery.
"Great competitor, smart guy," Martz said. "I know that he's a strong guy that when things break down, he can make plays with his feet. He did so in college. You watched him come back. The thing that impressed us [when he was] in college was his ability to come back and make plays to win big games. That's the job of a quarterback -- to get that team in the end zone to win. He's got that quality."
Obviously, Stanton doesn't share the love for his former coach.
Asked about Martz on Wednesday, Stanton told MLive.com, "that's way behind me and I want to leave it back there. That was something I had to go through, and I grew up in the process. I'm stronger now because of it. Obviously, with some of the stuff that [Martz] was doing with my mechanics and whatnot just wasn't natural for me. That's not my focus. I'm not taking a snap against Mike Martz, so I'm not really too worried about what he's got going on over there, other than just trying to get more points than they do."
Stanton entered the year as Detroit's third quarterback. He will play on Sunday because of injuries to Shaun Hill, who is out indefinitely with a broken right index finger, and No. 1 signal-caller Matthew Stafford, who suffered a shoulder injury in Week 9 against the New York Jets. Stanton has thrown for 233 yards in three games this season with one touchdown and one interception.
With current Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli as the head coach in Detroit, Martz reportedly worked feverishly to change all of Stanton's mechanics in 2007, causing friction between the coach and quarterback.
Asked whether he retained any of the mechanics taught to him by Martz, Stanton said, "Not a single one."
"This is a different offense," he told MLive.com. "[Former Lions quarterbacks coach Scot] Loeffler definitely helped me change all of that, and showed me how to get my body in position to throw."
Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.