Colts Backup QB Jim Sorgi Continues Focusing on Getting Better Behind Peyton Manning
INDIANAPOLIS – Jim Sorgi can run through the games in thorough fashion.
There was the season finale in 2004, and the last two games of 2005 . . .
Then, there was the season finale in 2007 . . .
And the season finale last season.
Throw in a few preseason appearances each of those seasons, and Sorgi – entering his sixth season as the Colts' top backup quarterback – said you have pretty much his entire NFL career, which is hardly an extensive resume and hardly ideal for developing one's skills.
But Sorgi said it doesn't matter that his circumstances aren't ideal. What matters is that he improves whatever the circumstances.
And Sorgi said he believes he has done just that.
"All in all, my playing time here, I think I've played pretty well," Sorgi said recently during the Colts' offseason conditioning program.
"I think I could have played better in that Tennessee game two years ago at the end of the year, but for the most part, I feel like I'm getting better."
Sorgi, selected by the Colts in the 2004 NFL Draft, has been Peyton Manning's top backup since, but with Manning never having missed an NFL start, Sorgi has played in 15 career games.
He has gotten extensive action in five games – a loss to Denver in the 2004 season finale, a loss to Seattle and a victory over Arizona in the final two games of 2005, a loss to Tennessee in the 2007 season finale and a victory over Tennessee in the season finale this past season.
But if his action has been limited, Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said the team's belief in Sorgi's ability is not. Far from it.
"He has certainly been in the system a long time," Caldwell said of Sorgi. "He has a very good grasp of the system. He has not had an opunity to play a significant amount. This last preseason would have been an opportunity for him to play a lot more than normal, but then he was injured at the end, then he missed a couple of games.
"I think he has been able to demonstrate what he was capable of doing."
Sorgi said the preseason experience of which Caldwell spoke indeed was frustrating. With Manning out last training camp and preseason, Sorgi got extensive work as the starter in camp and early in the preseason. However, Sorgi sustained an injury and missed the final two preseason games, completing 20 of 31 passes for 198 yards and no touchdowns with an interception.
"Those first three preseason games, I played a series or two, then the game I didn't play was the fourth preseason game, which would have been the game when guys get more playing time," Sorgi said. "I probably would have gotten at least a half or into the third quarter. That would have been nice to see what I would have done with that kind of time, but it's one of those things.
"You can't foresee that kind of thing happening. You've just got to try to prevent it."
Sorgi said in an effort to be more durable, he has put on weight this season, and said recently he is nearly 220 pounds.
"I always wanted to be heavier, but I didn't think it was that important," Sorgi said. "Getting older, taking care of your body becomes just a little more important. It's just a conscious decision to put on a little more weight. It helps your ability to throw the ball. It helps in every aspect.
"I'm getting better at carrying it and getting in shape. I think it will help with the little things, the nicks and preventing injuries."
And when healthy, Sorgi said he believes he is improving, and said his goal for the offseason is continuing to do – even if he must do so in limited and difficult circumstances.
"When I was younger, I got by more on making plays while I was out there," Sorgi said. "Now, it's more of a thinking game. I think knowing the offense as well as I do, being in it for so long, it gets to the point where you make plays based on the position you put yourself in on the field.
"I'm getting better at controlling everything and putting us in the right situation and the right play at the right time, and just taking more of a leadership role when I'm out there. Most people get the chance to get better playing – making mistakes on the field and playing. In this organization (as a backup), you have to get better through different aspects of the game.
"You have to get better through practice and you have to get better through watching film. When you get that chance to play, you might not get another one."