The Detroit Lions announced Thursday the signing of former University of Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang.
Chang, who left Hawaii as the nation's career passing leader, was invited to tryout early Thursday and was signed quickly thereafter. He was also given the endorsement of Rainbow head coach -- and former NFL head coach -- June Jones.
"He flew in from Hawaii, six hour time change for a work out," said Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci. "We may add another arm to the mix. How many yards did he throw for, a zillion?"
Close. Chang torched the WAC and each member of the Rainbow's non-conference schedule the last five years, accumulating a ridiculous 17,072 passing yards on 1,388 completions. He also tossed for 117 touchdowns, 38 coming in 2004.
Chang joins starter Joey Harrington, backup Jeff Garcia and fellow reserves Dan Orlovsky and Todd Mortensen as the team's quarterback unit; handing Detroit an unprecedented five quarterbacks on the current roster.
With training camp over, and the NFL's mandatory cut date less than a week away, Mariucci explained the bizarre interest in Chang.
"We want to take a good look at him and see how he learns our offense, or if he is a guy that is a candidate to bring back at another time, that sort of thing," explained Mariucci. "We have seen him play on film in a very exciting offense, but since he is available - he was in the Arizona camp - we may want to take a little bit closer look."
Chang's stay in Arizona was shortlived. Undrafted in April, Chang signed quickly with the Cardinals, but was released August 9. The Cardinals were hoping to place Chang on their practice squad, but won't have that opportunity.
Mariucci enjoys what Chang can bring to the table.
"He has been productive," Mariucci said. "He has been in the pocket a few times; a very experienced guy. He played for a lot of years as a starter. He has some mobility; he runs around. We have seen him run and we did a little bit of that (in the workout).
"We will see. We will evaluate his potential."