ORLOVSKY LEARNING, COMPETING

ANDERSON – Quarterback Dan Orlovsky is pursuing a seventh season in the NFL. To do so, he is toiling under the sun and in the competition at Anderson University, the summer home of the Colts.

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Orlovsky previously has called Detroit and Houston 'home' during his prior six seasons.  The Connecticut signal-caller has attempted 272 passes in his career, completing 150 for 1,679 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.  The bulk of his playing time came in 2008 with Detroit, when he started seven of 10 appearances.  That action came after playing in two games for the Lions in 2005.

Orlovsky (6-5, 230) spent the last two seasons with Houston, playing in one game.  He joined Indianapolis as a free agent after departing from the Texans.

            This is the time of year throughout the NFL players like Orlovsky compete for the next opportunity.  For him, it means joining a team he thought could be a good fit, even with a playbook that could be challenging, to say the least.

"It's going good," said Orlovsky.  "(I'm) just putting my nose to the grind and trying to learn the playbook as quickly as possible, get accustomed to it and get accustomed to the guys and the kind of players they are, but really just keep it to myself and trying to learn this offense as quickly and as much as possible.

"I feel like I am putting in time to learn it.  I feel comfortable with it.  Really it is just terminology.  Football is football, so a lot of the stuff you run is similar to the stuff you know, but it's just the terminology.  I feel confident I will go out and be able to compete well.  I'm excited to be here.  I'm excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this team.  Obviously, the history speaks for itself.  The play of 18 (Peyton Manning) speaks for itself.  I'm excited about that."

            Manning has had three offenses in his entire football life – high school, college and with the Colts.  He has directed the attack for 13 seasons, amassing more than 50,000 passing yards and 399 touchdowns.  It would seem he has helped shape one of the best attacks in history, and Orlovsky noted its complexity.

"It's every bit of what I expected, and more," he said.  "It makes you take a step back and realize how well Peyton (Manning) runs it and how intelligent he is.  I feel confident learning it and running it right now.  I'm a long way from getting it down.  From what we do have in, I feel pretty comfortable with."

            Just how complex is it to learn?

"Go get Rosetta Stone and study some exotic language," Orlovsky said.

            Orlovsky's tenure with the Texans did not yield the on-field results he sought, but it provide him with a chance to refine himself under Houston Head Coach Gary Kubiak, a former quarterback with Denver.  He sees some of that development as he started practicing with the Colts last Friday.

"I still think having been through practices (here) in camp, what I learned there about playing this position from Coach (Gary) Kubiak is irreplaceable," he said.  "I do think he made me a much better quarterback.  I think what I'm doing on the field shows that."

            Orlovsky chose to join the Colts over other teams like Baltimore, Cleveland, Seattle and San Diego.  He analyzed his options before committing to the Colts.

"Talking about the situation, the opportunity to come here and learn and compete, I thought was a good situation and my best chance to make it a long, long career," said Orlovsky.  "My biggest thing is just to go out learn and compete.  I don't know the exact situation.  Obviously, Curtis is the back-up right now, that's my assumption.  I am just going to go out and compete.  I have been in Curtis' shoes before, so I know what it is like.  I am just going to go out there and compete and go play and play well and make it hard on the coaches.  That's my job."

            Orlovsky is taking a reasoned approach to continuing his career.  He is intrigued by the chance to win a spot in a quarterbacking corps that includes Manning.

"I really do think it is (a good opportunity)," he said.  "I think to come in here and coming off what I learned down in Houston, coming in and learning from Peyton (Manning), who plays the game in such a cerebral stance and sees the field better than anyone in the game. It's a good opportunity to come in and learn on why things happen the way they happen, not just doing them to do them but why they happen and why they're done the way they do."

            Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell sees how Orlovsky is immersing himself in the playbook.  Caldwell will keep an eye on Orlovsky's progress.      

"He's catching on quite quickly," said Caldwell.  "He's been around, he's a seasoned guy, he's a veteran and he's a pro.  We've been impressed with the way he's handled himself.  All we do is tell him to come out and play and play hard and we'll do the evaluation.  He's got an opportunity.  As you can see he's getting reps and that's key.  Every time you're getting reps you have an opportunity to get evaluated and every time you get evaluated, you're in competition, which is great."

            Orlovsky used a mini-crash course prior to getting on the field from an old college buddy, Colts running back Donald Brown.

"DB (Donald Brown) is my guy.  I think the world of him as a player, but more as person," said Orlovsky.  "It has been a comfort thing to come in and know somebody pretty well.  Now when I tell people I am from UConn around here they don't be like 'Utah?' because they know Donald.  Well he knows the offense pretty good.  Donald is a pretty intelligent kid.  Right when I knew I was coming (to training camp) I was on the phone with Donald asking him to just give me play calls, just trying to get a bottom line grasp of what it might be like.  Once I got here and into the playbook, really just asking him specific questions that kind of go into the details of plays rather than just the initial format of it."

            Orlovsky is competing, and that is what he likes the most.  He is trying to take the next step and continue a career that has been tough at times.  He has not had the extended chances over his first six years that he would like, and the four preseason games for the Colts can provide his next chance.

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