Card: Sage HIT 2005
Acquired: TTM 2009, Texans Blitz
Dan Orlovsky was a league leading quarterback out of UConn who helped turn the Huskies into a football contender in the Big East during the early 2000s. He would be drafted in the 5th round by the woeful Detroit Lions to compete for 3rd string behind Joey Harrington and Jeff Garcia. After winning a roster spot on the team Orlovsky, he would bounce around the depth chart and after Joey Harrington was traded- Dan would be given the dubious honor of being called “the quarterback of the future” for the Lions. In 2008 he’d finally be give the opportunity to start for the team, almost leading the team to victory but comically stepping out of the back of the end zone against the Vikings for a safety. (The Lions would eventually lose the game 12-10.) After the season he’d sign with the Houston Texans to back up Matt Schaub.
In 2009 he was beaten out by Rex Grossman on the depth chart, and in 2010 after a lackluster preseason found himself in a battle with Matt Lineart for the job for the remainder of the season. Dan’s a real head scratcher to me. He has many of the physical attributes of a starter in the league, with good mechanics, and a nice touch on short routes. Probably his worst drawback is that he does need to improve his defensive read timing.
Dan has not had to throw a regular season pass since joining the Texans. As we enter 2011, Orlovsky is in the final year of his contract with the Texans, and at this point the team is content with a battle for second string between him, Matt Leinart, and newcomer TJ Yates.
My first Orlovsky sighting actually appeared back around 2005 when I was working on a Tecmo Super Bowl ROM mod called “Tecmo Fiesta Bowl”. I input over 80 teams into the ROM, and when I got to Connecticut, I was extremely surprised to see such a statistically accomplished quarterback playing for the Huskies- who were a doormat of their Conference for a long time. Below are his NFL statistics:
G/Gs 13/7 Att 272 Comp 150 Yds 1679 Pct 55.1 Td 8 Int 8 Rat 71.3
A highlight film of the good and bad of Orlovsky:
UPDATE: 12/7/11 – Orlovsky would be cut by the Texans, but would find himself on the roster of the Colts shortly thereafter. He now has the distinction of being the only player in NFL history to play for two 0-11 franchises.