That would be ideal, but Colts coach Chuck Pagano isn't ready to commit to playing time yet.
“That’s something that we haven’t made a final decision on how much playing time,” he said. “We know both guys, all three guys, are going to play. We’ll talk about that later.”
The third preseason is often the final dress rehearsal for the key players prior to the start of the regular season. The starters often play until at least halftime in that game because they routinely sit out the preseason finale.
The two other quarterbacks Pagano was referring to are Stephen Morris and rookie Phillip Walker. Morris moved ahead of Walker on the depth chart earlier this week. And now it’s a matter of whether Morris is better suited than Tolzien to start until Andrew Luck (shoulder) is healthy enough to reclaim that role.
The starting-quarterback situation in Luck’s absence wouldn’t even be an issue if Tolzien was playing with some consistency. But Indianapolis has only one first down and a total of three points in that span with the seven-year veteran leading the offense.
“We just want to move the chains,” Tolzien said. “It’s a simple statement, but if we move the chains and score points, that’s our goal. That goal should never change.”
Pagano, meanwhile, doesn’t sound worried about Tolzien’s play.
“I think he’s done a great job handling the situation that he’s been thrust into, put into,” Pagano said. “He’d be the first one to tell you that he needs to play better and will play better. Needs to hit some things. But it’s team football and everybody’s got to be on the same page. Again, when you win and you play that position, you probably get too much credit. When you don’t win and you don’t play well, that position gets most of the blame. So I’m excited to see him and see Stephen go.”
Morris has put the pressure on Tolzien because of how well he’s played against backups in the first two preseason games. Morris is 24-of-35 for 205 yards, and the Colts' only two offensive touchdowns of the preseason came with the 24-year-old taking the snaps.
The question is: Will Pagano be willing to give Morris some playing time with the starters to see how he does with that group, or might he make the switch against the Steelers if Tolzien continues to struggle?
“We’ve been good at taking care of the football,” Pagano said. “Eliminate the sins, if you will, the penalties, but we need to move the football on offense. We’ve got to put some points on the board. I think that’s obvious. We know how this team’s built that we’re playing, so we’ve got to move the football. We’ve got to put points on the board.”