Brad Kaaya: Competing For Third String, Or Future Backup?

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Brad Kaaya Joins The Fight For The Clipboard!

If you live under a rock and haven’t been paying attention to the NFL Draft or the Detroit Lions over the past week, then you have a lot to catch up on. One thing to note over the past week is that the Lions added a new quarterback to the roster in Brad Kaaya. Detroit let Dan Orlovsky go during free agency and haven’t signed any free agents to replace him with.

That led to the NFL draft where many people believed that the Lions would find their backup or third string quarterback and they would in the sixth round, adding a quarterback that some believe that should have gone earlier in the draft and could compete with Jake Rudock for the third string position.

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Kaaya Is Related To An Actress

Before I start looking at the player in Kaaya, first we got to have a little background on the person underneath the helmet. As many media outlets have reported it, Kaaya’s mother appeared in the film Friday, where she was on the receiving end of the famous quote “Bye, Felisha.” Kaaya has been asked the question multiple times throughout his life, he said this about it: “It’s kind of died down since I ended up in college, I’ve never really seen her in that kind of light. She always had a blue-collar attitude and kind of helped instill that in me in terms of on the football field and she was always just my team mom not really like a movie star to me.”

When asked if he has ever seen the movie, Kaaya said “I’ve seen it a couple times. I’m not like the biggest fan. I don’t watch it all the time. I mean, I’ve seen it a couple times and it’s pretty interesting.”

Not only did his mom act in the film, she also grew up in Milan and Detroit. When asked if he has ever been to Detroit, Kaaya said “Yes, I have. I used to spend Christmases there, been there in the summer. I used to go to the University of Michigan camp probably every year from sixth grade through my junior year of high school. I used to be there all the time, whether it was Milan or Belleville or Detroit. I spent a whole lot of time there just visiting family and just working out for the University of Michigan. So Kaaya is familiar with the city of Detroit, which is a great thing for us fans, a boy who is familiar with the town is back and ready to play football.

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What Does Kaaya Bring To The Field?

While Kaaya doesn’t have the strongest arm in the draft class, he brings toughness, experience in a pro-style offense, and smarts for the position. While at Miami FL, he finished with 720 completions for 9,968 yards, a 60.6% completion percentage, 69 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. His familiarity with a pro-style offense helps a lot, and with him being able to see the field correctly and run play action smoothly is a big help for the team.

When asked if he was familiar with Lions starting quarterback Matt Stafford, Kaaya said “Yeah, I mean, for me I’d say it’s Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, and Tom Brady. I mean, Matt Stafford’s a guy who I’ve watched since he was in college. I’ve always been a big fan of him and he’s one of those guys, you know, when I was in high school I used to play with him on madden. He was always one of my favorite guys to watch. Over these past two months, I spent a lot of time watching film of Matt Stafford and just how he operates. Even when Coach (Mark) Richt came in, he showed me some of Matt’s film as well. Just how he moves in the pocket and how he’s able to operate. It’s going to be a pleasure to be in the same quarterback room as him and hopefully get to learn some things from his game that I can take to apply to my own and get to work with him.”

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Was Brad Kaaya Worth The Pick?

Easily worth the pick. Detroit needed a third string quarterback and they found one that can compete for the backup spot, which is something they weren’t expecting. Kaaya was a projected third-fourth round pick and to see him taken by Detroit in the sixth round is a steal. Detroit needed the third quarterback on the roster as their free agency needed to focus on other positions, so they were able to get a cheap player that could contribute to the team.

When asked if he was told that he would compete for the backup spot with Jake Rudock, Kaaya said “No, they have not. Pretty much the only thing that they’ve said, ‘Hey, you’re getting an opportunity to just come in and work and put your head down and grind.’ Nothing is promised right now. There’s nothing along those lines. For me, it’s just about proving myself to the staff and just learning and getting better and learning about all the other things later on.”

He will give Rudock a run for his money as Rudock performed well in the preseason last season, and while he didn’t make the 53 man roster when the time came, Detroit moved him to the main roster once other teams were starting to get interested in taking him off of our practice squad. The front office was confident in Rudock enough to tell Dan Orlovsky that they were going to stick with Jake and let him walk. Kaaya could compete for the backup spot easily, but if a poor preseason performance shows something else, it is Rudock’s job to lose.

If you are interested in learning more about Kaaya, check out his NFL draft profile here. If you want to watch some of the film on him when he was at Miami FL, click here.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and share your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.