The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

August 24, 2011

Colts sign Collins as contingency plan

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was back at it on Twitter on Wednesday morning, this time to announce that veteran NFL quarterback Kerry Collins had signed with the team. It’s a one-year deal, but financial terms were not disclosed.

Irsay scooped his own head coach, who was conducting his daily press conference at the time of Irsay’s revelation. Jim Caldwell later issued a statement regarding the Colts’ acquisition of Collins, who played for the Tennessee Titans from 2006 until last season. He announced his retirement in July.

“It is a good opportunity to have Kerry become part of the team,” Caldwell said in a statement. “He is a veteran quarterback who has started many games, and he brings dimension and depth to the quarterback position, which will be helpful. He is familiar with our division and will make a great addition to our roster.”

Collins has completed 3,439 of 6,163 career passes for 40,441 yards, 206 touchdowns, 195 interceptions and a 73.9 quarterback rating. His pass attempts and completions both rank ninth in NFL history, while his passing yardage ranks 11th in the league.

Collins, who very nearly signed with Indianapolis in 2006, has strong ties to the Colts’ hierarchy. He was a first-round draft pick by Carolina in 1995 when Indianapolis vice chairman Bill Polian was the Panthers’ general manager. Caldwell served as the quarterback coach at Penn State when Collins arrived on campus in 1990.

Also, Colts wide receivers coach Frank Reich was the starting quarterback in Carolina when Collins was drafted. Indianapolis offensive line coach Pete Metzelaars was a tight end on that inaugural Panthers team.

“I was pleasantly surprised to hear from the Colts. It’s an organization that I got a lot of respect for and that I know very well having in their division the past five years and throughout the years have played against them several times,” Collins said in a teleconference Wednesday evening. “For me there’s a lot of ties (with Indianapolis). ... There’s a whole host of people that I have significant history with. So I have a real affinity and a lot of respect for what goes on in this organization.”

 The addition of Collins isn’t all that surprising. Starting quarterback Peyton Manning is currently on the Colts’ physically unable to perform list after undergoing surgery on his neck May 25. There is no definite date for his return to the practice field and it’s not known if Manning will be available to play in the team’s Sept. 11 season opener at Houston.

And Indianapolis’ primary backup quarterbacks, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky, have been less than spectacular through the team’s first two preseason games.

Painter maintained he would “just continue business as usual.”

He said the Indianapolis coaching staff hadn’t said anything to him about his status with the team changing. Caldwell informed the team of the roster addition before the start of Wednesday’s practice.

“I don’t look at it much different than having a couple other quarterbacks here all through camp,” he said. “I’ve still got to go out and do what I need to do to put myself in the best position to help the team whatever the situation. (The addition of Collins) certainly doesn’t change anything.”

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne continues to be a strong supporter of Painter.

 “(The Colts front office) needs to do what they need to do I guess,” Wayne said Wednesday. “I’ll tell you one thing. I’m letting it all hang out for Painter. Like I said before training camp, I’m a Painter fan. I’m going to do what I’ve got to do to make Painter look good.”

He didn’t stop there.

“We don’t even know (Collins). We ain’t vanilla, man, we ain’t no simple offense,” Wayne said. “So for him to can come in here and be the starter, I don’t see it. I think that’s a step back. Who says Kerry’s going be the starter (against Houston if Manning can’t play)?”

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