Colts QB Scott Tolzien ready to step in and 'play like a kid'

Now in his sixth season, Scott Tolzien has 721 career passing yards with one touchdown and five interceptions. David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS -- Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien doesn't come across as a fiery person. He didn't stand in front of the media Tuesday and talk about what he plans to do if he ends up starting against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, which at this point appears to be the case with Andrew Luck still in the NFL's concussion protocol.

Tolzien, in fact, came across as a rather bland person who prefers to keep his conversation simple. He repeatedly talked about simply doing his job in some form countless times during a six-plus minute interview session.

"I don't know if that's who I am or who I'm not, but I think it's really about the preparation and always remembering it's a kid's game," Tolzien said about his mild demeanor. "I've played this game since I was 7 years old when I started. You have to remember that always you still have to prepare but when game day comes, play like a kid and play it loose."

Tolzien didn't seem too concerned that he'll likely be the starting quarterback for a team that's on a two-game winning streak and trying to remain in playoff contention while facing a Pittsburgh team that's thoroughly handled them the past two seasons.

Coach Chuck Pagano said Tolzien was still at the team's facility at 10:30 p.m. Monday watching film in preparation for his first start since Nov. 24, 2013, when he was with the Green Bay Packers.

Tolzien is 56-of-91 for (61.5 percent) for 721 yards in his career. The alarming stat is that he's only thrown for one touchdown and he has five interceptions.

"He appears to be a quick decision maker," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "He has good arm strength, he gets the ball out and makes good and quick decisions. I just watched a couple videos from Green Bay when he played significantly."

There's no replacing Andrew Luck in the Colts' offense. The Colts don't expect Tolzien to be Andrew Luck, either. They just want him to play football.

"Just play, you can't press," Pagano said his message was to Tolzien. "Prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare. It's better to sweat in times of peace than times of war. So get prepared and when Thursday comes, go play. Get the call, get them out of the huddle, get to the line of scrimmage, go play. Go execute. He doesn't have to put the whole thing on his back. Andrew never does."

What could help the Colts is that Tolzien is familiar with the first unit because Luck has been limited in practice on Thursdays for almost the entire season. Tolzien and rookie center Ryan Kelly spent extra time Monday going over how they both prefer to do things so that they're not having to do it on the fly during the game Thursday.

"It's going to be a little different," receiver T.Y. Hilton said. "But we've been throwing since OTAs, minicamp. We know what to expect from him. The five star (players) have to play like the five stars. That's just it."