CP Interview: Colts Quarterback Tom Arth

Colts quarterback Tom Arth is an unrestricted free agent heading into the 2006 season. And it appears that he'll be pursuing a new opportunity in this new year.

Tom Arth has been an understudy to Peyton Manning for the past three years. And he worked as the scout team quarterback every week this season against one of the top defenses in the league while on the practice squad. Now as an unrestriced free agent, he's hoping another team will give him a real chance to compete for the second or third quarterback spot on their 53-man roster. ColtPower talked to him about his plans for the future.

Q: At the moment, you're an unrestricted free agent. What's been running through your mind as you try to balance any thoughts of opportunity versus uncertainty?

A: That's exactly what it it. It's a good opportunity for me, but it's also uncertain. The Colts offered to sign me back, but we thought that it might not be in my best interest with the way the situation is in Indianapolis. Peyton's obviously the starter, Sorgi played great so he earned the backup spot. The way things have been, they're a team who keeps two quarterbacks, so we thought it might be best for me to go somewhere else where I'd have a chance to compete for either a third spot or second spot.

Q: What do you feel are the strongest attributes you can offer a team who is looking to add some talent and depth at the quarterback position?

A: I don't think you're going to find anybody who's willing to work harder, not only to prove myself but to help the team win. I'm a big, strong-armed athletic quarterback that I think is capable of doing a lot of things.

Q: What's the most important element of any offer a team might put on the table right now…a better opportunity to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster, or the length of the contract and the dollars?

A:  The biggest factor will be going to a team where I'll have the opportunity to compete and earn a spot on the roster. With my situation of not having too much film, it would be very difficult for me to go out there and ask for a long-term contract with a big signing bonus. I know that's not realistic. Hopefully somebody will be willing to take a chance on a guy that they may not have a whole lot of film on, but who has been with a great organization for the last three years and who has had an opportunity to learn from one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

Q: You were on the practice squad all season and worked against the starting defense each week as the scout team quarterback. Did you feel you were giving them a better challenge as the year progressed?

A: Definitely. I think that as the year progressed I became a better quarterback. And that was my goal going into it -- to improve every week. I think from the beginning of the season to the end of the season I became a better player -- and that helped our defense prepare even better. I was able to give them a better picture. So hopefully it helped them when they got out there to play on Sundays.  

Q: Tell us a bit about the areas of your game that you feel were strengthened through a full season on the practice squad.

A: Just being able to practice against the great defense that we had this year -- guys that are extremely quick, fast and move around well -- was very important to me in learning how to adjust to the speed of the game and make quicker decisions.  Being there the whole year and practicing helped make me more comfortable and become a better player.

You've been an understudy to Peyton Manning -- arguably the best quarterback in the NFL today – for three seasons now. You spent two years breaking down film for him and this season as the Colts' third-string quarterback as a member of the practice squad. What have you learned from him that you've tried to incorporate into your approach to the quarterback position?

A:  The biggest thing I've learned from him is how to prepare and what it takes to be successful in the NFL. The effort he puts into preparing, making sure he's in the best physical condition he can be in and his mental conditioning is just unbelievable. I've learned so much by watching him on the practice field, in the meeting rooms, everywhere. And that's really going to help me down the road.

Tom answered some additional questions about whether any teams have expressed interest in him yet, whether he will return to the Colts if he doesn't get another offer from an NFL team, and what other options he's considering. This bonus content is available exclusively to our Premium Members. If you aren't a Premium Member yet, click our 7-day free trial in the banner at the top of the page here at ColtPower.com and give it a try!

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