In 2009, Orlovsky looked to set the market for backup quarterbacks when he got a three-year, $8.5 million deal to be the Texans' insurance for Matt Schaub.
Two years later, he knew he was doomed when Houston re-signed Matt Leinart, and sure enough the Texans quickly cut Orlovsky.
He hardly hesitated before signing with the Colts, but said Baltimore, Cleveland, Seattle and San Diego were among the others who inquired.
Orlovsky said he feels comfortable as he settles in, but equated learning the Colts' offense to getting Rosetta Stone and studying some exotic language. (He's a good guy forever branded by that silly safety in Detroit where he had no earthly idea where he was on the field. He might never be more than a backup, but he's better that he was at that stage.)
Why didn’t he grow into a quarterback who would have been appealing as a starting option during two seasons working in the Houston offense?
“Probably because I didn’t do what they wanted me to do, that’s the reality of it,” he said. “I still think and even having been through four practices now in camp, what I learned there about playing this position from coach Kubiak is irreplaceable. I do think he made me a much better quarterback. I think what I am doing on the field shows that. It didn’t work out probably because I didn’t hold up my side of the bargain, that’s the reality of it. I’m not scared to admit that, it wasn’t because of lack of effort. I just didn’t get it done the way they wanted me to get it done.
“I just obviously wasn't the guy that they thought I would be, I assume. When things went down I didn’t get exact details from coach Kubes. It was a tough situation just based on the relationships that I built there, but I am excited to be here.”
Painter is the favorite to hold on to Manning’s backup job. The team values a guy who knows the system. But it’s not out of the question that the Colts could make a change at the spot if Orlovsky learns quickly and shows himself physically better for the position than Painter.
And of course, with whoever sticks, the hope is he doesn’t take a snap -- or that if he does, it’s for late mop-up work in blowout win.