Dave Wilson is joined by former NFL quarterbacks Dan Orlovsky, Jon Kitna, and Josh McCown to provide an inside peek into their time together with the Detroit Lions. They talk about the lasting legacy of their years together in Detroit, not just playing football but also letting their light shine.
Dan Orlovsky is a former NFL quarterback. Before his time in the NFL, Orlovsky played his college ball at his hometown University of Connecticut in 2001. As a highly touted freshman, Orlovsky threw for 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns on 269 attempts after taking over for incumbent starter Keron Henry. As a sophomore, Orlovsky started every game, throwing for 2,488 yards and 19 touchdowns. Orlovsky’s best year came in 2003 as a junior, as he ranked seventh in the country for passing with 3,485 yards and 33 touchdowns. Orlovsky failed to improve on those stats during his senior season, but he did lead the Huskies to their first ever bowl game victory. Following his graduation, Orlovsky entered the 2005 NFL Draft, eventually being selected by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round. After an injury to Jeff Garcia promoted him to backup QB, Orlovsky saw limited playing time with the Lions, spending four seasons there as the primary backup. In 2009, Orlovsky went to the Houston Texans, eventually signing with the Indianapolis Colts two years later. After spending time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlovsky signed with the Detroit Lions. He is currently a broadcaster for ESPN.
Jon Kitna grew up in Tacoma, Washington and helped Central Washington University to an NAIA Football National Championship in 1995. Upon earning his degree in math education he pursued a high school coaching career before being noticed by the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, who offered him a spot on their practice squad. After the 2006 NFL season he was sent to play in NFL Europe and helped the Barcelona Dragons to a World Bowl championship. In 1997 and 1998 he served as the Seahawks primary backup before taking over as the Seahawks starter in 1999 and leading them to an AFC West championship in his first season. Kitna played four seasons with the Seahawks and then signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001. In 2003 he earned NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors and would go on to play with the Bengals until 2005. From 2006 to 2013 he saw time with both the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, and ended his career with 29,745 passing yards and 169 career touchdowns.
Josh McCown is currently the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at Sam Houston State. McCown has also been a member of the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins. He is the older brother of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Luke McCown and younger brother of former Texas A&M quarterback Randy McCown.
McCown played three collegiate seasons at Southern Methodist University, passing for 4,022 yards and 24 touchdowns. He left the SMU program to prove that he could lead an aerial attack and did so, surpassing his three-year SMU TD total in just one season at Sam Houston State, passing for 3,481 yards and 32 touchdowns (and only 12 interceptions) as a senior. His passing yardage total was the best in Sam Houston history and ranks him eighth all-time in career passing yards. Following his senior season, he was one of 16 players considered for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top performer in NCAA Division 1-AA football.
Josh is married to Natalie and the couple has four children: two daughters; Bridget and Aubrey and two sons, Owen and Aiden.