Judging by their easygoing demeanor in the Detroit Lions' locker room, you wouldn't know that reserve quarterbacks Dan Orlovsky and Kellen Moore were approaching their final chance to prove to new coach Jim Caldwell that they deserve to back up starter Matthew Stafford this season.
Caldwell confirmed Monday that both Orlovsky and Moore will see a significant increase in playing time in the Lions' final preseason game Thursday against the Buffalo Bills as the team decides whether it will keep two or three quarterbacks on the final 53-man roster.
"We'll take a look at (Moore and Orlovsky) and see how they manage the offense. . see how they move the ball," Caldwell said. "It will be a pretty good opportunity to show what they can do."
The team's decision to re-sign Orlovsky during the offseason was met with skepticism, since the four seasons he spent in Detroit from 2005-2008 were largely defined by his seven ineffective starts during the team's winless 2008 campaign. He was also the brunt of national jokes after mistakenly running out of his own end zone for a safety that year against the Vikings in Minneapolis.
I knew coming here that from (fans) there would be thoughts or concerns or worries," Orlovsky said. "I've never paid attention to it.I have a better understanding (now) of the position of quarterback in general."
Center Dominic Raiola, who was on the 2008 team with Orlovsky, said any comparison between Orlovsky today and his past performances in Detroit is unfair.
"From his first couple years when I was with him, he's grown up a lot," Raiola said. "He's more mature. He's grown as a football player."
Orlovsky appears to have secured a reserve roster spot after running the second-string offense in Detroit's first three preseason games. The same can't be said for Moore, who sits third on the Lions' depth chart. He has been inactive for all 32 games since signing with Detroit as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
History is on Moore's side as the roster deadline approaches. Caldwell kept three quarterbacks on the roster in two of his three seasons as a head coach in Indianapolis, and Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew - who Caldwell confirmed has the final say on roster decisions - has kept three quarterbacks during his entire tenure in Detroit. Despite the pair's past tendencies, however, Caldwell said the team hasn't decided whether it will keep two or three quarterbacks this season.
"Sometimes, you have a player that you consider of more value to you at another spot that you'd like to keep. . or you figure that there's a quarterback that's really been doing extremely well and we'd like to have him as our third," Caldwell said. "You have to make a decision based on that."
Despite his lack of regular season experience, Moore said he's enjoyed his time in Detroit. He intends to use Thursday's game simply as a chance to get better as a player.
"I haven't thought about who I'm competing with," he said. "I think you compete with yourself to be the best quarterback you can be and improve.You take advantage of preseasons and let the chips fall."
NOTES: Detroit released FB Chad Abram, P Drew Butler, QB James Franklin, CB Jonte Green, CB Aaron Hester, and K Giorgio Tavecchio prior to Monday's practice. The team also placed S DeJon Gomes (neck) on injured reserve. Caldwell confirmed that LB Kyle Van Noy (abdomen) will visit a specialist for further evaluation. Caldwell did not offer a timetable for Van Noy's return.