Sorgi, Colts Offense Want More than Field Goals Against Carolina
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The goal is simple for Jim Sorgi Saturday.
Entering the second game of the preseason, it's the same goal facing every player on the Colts' first-team offense.
The goal is to do a bit more than they did in the preseason opener.
The goal is to do more than move effectively.
"Touchdowns rather than field goals," said Sorgi, who will make a second consecutive preseason start at quarterback when the Colts (0-1) visit the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Sorgi, making his third career preseason start this past Sunday in the preseason opener, moved the Colts' effectively in a 30-16 loss to Washington in the Hall of Fame Game. Sorgi and the first-team offense played just one series.
It lasted 16 plays. Sorgi completed 7 of 10 passes for 66 yards. The Colts scored a field goal.
And it was the last part that bothered Sorgi and the first-team offense. The Colts had set a goal of moving effectively early against Washington, but the team's goal offensively always is to score more than field goals.
"We have to put that in," Colts tight end Dallas Clark said. "You work so hard and it's tough to move the ball in the NFL. As an offense, we take pride in not settling for a field goal. We just have some older guys who have a lot of pride and we have to put that in.
"It's the first drive of the game. They (the Redskins) already put seven up. We have to match that. We just have to do better."
Said Sorgi, "We just want to keep moving the ball the same way as we did. It was nice, long drive, with a lot of plays and a lot of time taken off the clock. To punch it in would have been nice."
Sorgi, a sixth-round selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, is scheduled on Saturday to make a second consecutive start 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 said this week he didn't know exactly how long he will play, and Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said the first-team offense likely will play about the same time as last week.
"I don't know how much I'm going to play, whether it's a series like it was last week if it's a good series, a quarter and a half . . ." Sorgi said. "When I'm out there, I'm going to play the best I can and hopefully, put some points on the board and give the other guys a head start so we can win this ballgame."
Sorgi said his main focus will be improving in the red zone.
"My completion percentage was good, but it could be better," Sorgi said. "I made a mistake throwing the ball to (wide receiver) Reggie (Wayne) on one. It wasn't a good read and I probably shouldn't have went there. I had two incompletions inside the 10-yard line. You can't have that.
"When you get in the red zone, everything gets a little tighter and gets a little smaller, but that's where you make your money. That's where you have to put the ball in the end zone."
Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said the Colts want to see the improved offensive efficiency from more than just the starting unit.
"We talked to our offense, and they moved the ball – 450-some yards," Dungy said. "They had a lot of long drives, but we only scored one touchdown. We got down there quite a bit and went for it on fourth down a couple of times, didn't make it and kicked field goals. All of us on offense would like to see us be more productive in the red zone.
"That's one of the things that we talked about all through camp."
After Sorgi, Dungy said the team may change the quarterback rotation. Last week, Quinn Gray replaced Sorgi and Jared Lorenzen finished the game.
Dungy said that order may be reversed Saturday.
"I think it's going to be very similar to last week," Dungy said. "We're still in the first-game-of-the-preseason mode, so the starters will play and we'll get a couple of series with them depending on how long they go and we want to get some of your young guys in just like last week mixed in with that first group.
"You'll see some veterans come out fairly early, but it will be very similar to last week."
Also on Friday, the Colts announced that the following players will not play against the Panthers: defensive end Dwight Freeney (foot, Physically Unable to Perform), linebacker Tyjuan Hagler (chest, PUP), offensive guard Ryan Lilja (knee, PUP), quarterback Peyton Manning (knee, PUP), safety Bob Sanders (shoulder, PUP), tight end Tom Santi (knee, PUP), safety Melvin Bullitt (thumb), defensive end Jeff Charleston (groin), cornerback Michael Coe (knee), running back Clifton Dawson (knee), wide receiver Pierre Garcon (hip), wide receiver Roy Hall (hamstring), defensive end Curtis Johnson (quad), linebacker Clint Session (calf), linebacker Philip Wheeler (knee) and linebacker Victor Worsley (hamstring).
Dungy said middle linebacker Gary Brackett and wide receiver Marvin Harrison – each of whom missed last week's preseason opener – have been cleared to play.
"They probably will go with that first group and play," Dungy said, adding of Harrison, "He should be able to play with that first group. . . . He wants to get a little bit in."