PITTSBURGH —Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Saturday he wasn't going to rush into a decision when it came to who will be the team's starting quarterback moving forward into its final preseason game.
Both Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris played snaps with the first-team offense in Saturday night's 19-15 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, and while both turned in perhaps their best individual performances thus far, Pagano said any decision about who will start in Thursday's preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals will come only after a thorough review of the Steelers' game film.
"I am not going to comment, or say anything right now," Pagano said after the game. "I think we all saw some good things out of both guys. We won't know until we look at the tape and really study everybody. It was great for the team and great for those guys. Both those guys. Just from a confidence standpoint, to have some success, and win a football game. We needed to win a football game. It was good. I am happy for those guys."
Tolzien started the game, and would complete 7-of-10 passes for 123 yards with an interception, leading the team on one touchdown drive, as well as a field goal, in three total series played.
Morris, meanwhile, took over from there and played into the fourth quarter. He completed 12-of-16 passes for 143 yards on the night, and led the team on one touchdown drive, as well as two more field goals.
Overall, Pagano thought both Tolzien and Morris "managed things well" and "made good decisions" on Saturday.
"I thought both those guys did a nice job and I am looking forward to watching the tape," Pagano said. "They both moved the offense and did a good job and put points on the board."
Tolzien, who took over starter duties from Andrew Luck after Luck underwent shoulder surgery early in the offseason, has been entrenched with the No. 1 offense since the start of the offseason workout program.
He said he came away encouraged by Saturday's performance — not necessarily for himself, but for the offense as a unit.
"It's confidence in your teammates, especially for the guys on your offense. In some ways, you look at these challenges as a blessing," Tolzien said. "That's how the season goes. There's going to be times when you're not clicking or not starting games fast. You can't let that keep you down. If you do that, you'll just burry yourself. It's good that we had a better start tonight. But moving forward, we have to strive for it every game."
But Morris, who led the entire NFL in passing during last year's preseason games, has continued to show an ability to make plays in game situations this preseason, and has now completed 36-of-51 passes (71 percent) for 348 yards and one touchdown in three games for the Colts.
Early last week, after giving rookie Phillip Walker a shot to play with the No. 2 offense in the first two preseason games, Pagano decided to move Morris back into that second-team role, and he responded with yet another strong performance Saturday night against the Steelers.
Asked if he felt any pressure with the way Morris has been playing, however, Tolzien decided to "flip the switch" on the question.
"Stephen Morris has done a heck of a job," Tolzien said. "He's been awesome. I really admire the way he has worked behind the scenes. Day-in and day-out he has been great in our quarterback room for everybody. It just goes to show you that if you put in the time, it gives you confidence and you can ultimately go out there and play well.
"As far as feeling pressure on myself, I feel the most pressure internally. It's always been that way for me," Tolzien continued. "You are always happy when the offense produces."
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