Colts Sign Two Quarterbacks, All Draft Selections
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – All nine members of the Colts' 2008 Draft class were signed in time to refor the beginning of training camp on Thursday.
Two veteran quarterbacks were, too.
With quarterback Peyton Manning out of the early portion of 2008 Training Camp with a knee injury, Colts President Bill Polian on Tuesday announced the signing of veteran quarterbacks Jaren Lorenzen and Quinn Gray, each of whom has NFL playing experience.
"Our thought process is not knowing how this whole thing (with Manning) is going to unfold, 'Let's get the best players that we can get,''' Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said while addressing reporters on the first day of camp Thursday at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
"Those are guys who have played in the NFL. Our thought process is that (backup quarterback) Jim (Sorgi) is our quarterback if Peyton can't go and if Peyton can go, Peyton's the quarterback.
"We want those guys to come in and develop."
Polian said the duo's previous NFL experience – Gray with Jacksonville and Lorenzen with the New York Giants – played a factor in their signings.
"It's competition to get better," Polian said. "It was something we had targeted to perhaps upgrade if we could, but we didn't want to do it with players who had had no experience. We didn't want to do it with a rookie, so here are two players available, one of whom (Gray) has won in the league and another of whom (Lorenzen) we thought very highly of coming out of college and who has been in a similar system in New York. We thought it made sense."
The Colts, who earlier this week announced the signing of wide receiver Pierre Garcon – a sixth-round selection – on Thursday announced the signing of the eight other draft selections:
Guard Mike Pollak (second round), linebacker Philip Wheeler (third round), tight end Jacob Tamme (fourth round), defensive end Marcus Howard (fifth round), tight end Tom Santi (sixth round), center Steve Justice (sixth round), running back Mike Hart (sixth round) and guard Jamey Richard (sixth round).
"That wasn't an issue with me," Pollak said of whether or not he would report on time. "I was going to be here on time no matter what. I'm just ready to get started."
Gray, who played collegiately at Florida A&M, spent 2002-2007 as a backup quarterback with Jacksonville, throwing for 1,252 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He became an unrestricted free agent following this past season and signed in March with the Houston Texans, who released him in June.
Lorenzen, who played collegiately at Kentucky, played in four games in three seasons with the Giants, throwing for 28 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
"We certainly needed some more arms for training camp," Manning said. "I think those two guys will certainly help out."
Said Dungy, "(Associate Head Coach) Jim Caldwell will do a great job of getting them ready. We'll see where they are. They're coming in to play."
Also Thursday, the Colts waived quarterback Josh Betts, who spent the past two seasons on the team's practice squad, and offensive lineman Mike Elgin. The Colts also announced the signing of offensive lineman Doug Datish off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.