Sorgi Completes Seven of Ten Passes on Lone Series
CANTON, Ohio – In terms of series, his opunity was brief.
In terms of plays, Colts quarterback Jim Sorgi played exactly as long in the preseason opener as was expected – a little more, in fact.
The way Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy saw it, the night was a success for Sorgi.
No matter how you count it.
"Our first offense did a good job," Dungy said. "We were looking for 12-to-15 plays. The only thing we didn't do was finish it in the red zone, but we made some third downs. We protected well. Jim got rid of the ball and was accurate. It was good to see.
"He'll get a little bit more next week."
Sorgi, making his third career preseason start, entered the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night with the plan being that he would play 12-15 plays before leaving.
The Colts' first series lasted 16 plays and resulted in a field goal.
Sorgi left the game before the next series.
But before he did, he led a 16-play, 73-yard drive that resulted in a 26-yard field goal by kicker Adam Vinatieri.
Sorgi completed 7 of 10 of passes for 66 yards on the drive, three times completing first-down converting passes – two 6-yarders to tight end Dallas Clark and a 10-yarder to tight end Gijon Robinson.
"Things were a lot smoother out there than I thought they were going to be," Sorgi said. "Going no-huddle gives you a lot of time to see what the defense is going to do and make some adjustments. I thought the first drive was a good drive. I would have liked to have put it in the end zone for seven, and I think that (the red zone) is where two of my incompletions were, so that's obviously something I've got to work on, but for the first time stepping in and going out there, it felt pretty good."
Said Colts 10-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday, "I think he did great. I think he managed the offense very well. He played to what they gave us. We ran the ball. We threw the ball. I thought he did a great job."
Sorgi, a sixth-round selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, started in place of injured starter Peyton Manning, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection who missed the preseason opener after undergoing surgery to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee.
Sorgi twice before had started preseason games, starting against Cincinnati in the final game of the 2005 preseason and again against Cincinnati in last year's preseason finale.
Sorgi has played extensively in each of his four previous preseasons, but never has started a regular-season game.
His only extensive work with the Colts' starting unit was a loss in Seattle late in the 2005 regular season and a loss to Denver in the 2004 regular-season finale, games played after the Colts had clinched their playoff seeding and games Manning left early.
Earlier in the day, Colts President Bill Polian had said he believed Sorgi would fare well.
"It gives him an opportunity to play with some fellows that he's had limited opportunity to play with in the past," Polian said. "When he's had a chance to play, he has played pretty well. Up in Seattle, he did a great job. We just didn't stop the Seahawks. He did more than his share that day and other times when he has had a chance to play with the first group he's played well.
"He's going to have an extended opportunity to play with them and I'm sure he'll do fine."
Sorgi said he was surprised Sunday night's opportunity wasn't a bit more extended.
"I thought I was going to play a little more than that tonight, but I'm sure they had a plan," Sorgi said. "I'll follow what they say, but when I got on the phone with (Associate Head) Coach (Jim) Caldwell, I didn't expect him to say I was out. I was kind of hoping to get another series, maybe two."
And when he didn't, Sorgi said he had another new experience: figuring out what to do when he – and not Manning – was the Colts starting quarterback leaving a game early.
"It kind of was (strange)," Sorgi said. "I was thinking to myself, 'What does Peyton normally do when he comes out of the game?' I got the hat, and I got the (sunflowers) seeds and I got the little thing so I could hear the plays.
"It felt kind of awkward at first, but I got used to it."