Colts Check Out Another Quarterback

Widespread media reports indicated that the Colts held a tryout with quarterback Tim Couch a couple of weeks ago. But ColtPower has learned that they just recently worked out another veteran quarterback.

The Indianapolis Colts continue to evaluate veteran quarterbacks who could come in for their 2005 training camp to compete with backup Jim Sorgi. According to a report from one of our sources, the team recently took a look at Shaun Hill, but apparently didn't immediately sign him to a contract.

The former University of Maryland quarterback was signed by Minnesota as an undrafted free agent out of Maryland following the 2001 draft. He led the Terps to an ACC title, a No. 10 ranking in the nation, and into the Orange Bowl despite only starting 14 games in his collegiate career. Hill made a total of 17 game appearances and completed 59% of his passes for 3158 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. An athletic quarterback, he also ran for 401 yards and 8 touchdowns.

But at the pro level, the 6-foot-3, 226-pound quarterback didn't get to make a regular season game appearance until the final two plays of the 2005 season. Over his first three seasons, he was on the teams 53-man roster the entire time, but was only active for one game.  And when he was finally told to get on the field, it was simply to take a knee on two consecutive snaps. In four years, he's never thrown a pass during a regular season game.

That said, Hill is a viable quarterback for consideration as a backup. After Daunte Culpepper was injured last year, Hill was the primary backup to Brad Johnson the rest of the season. And he learned a few things from Johnson during that stretch.

"I've got average arm strength like he does, and sometimes I try to overcompensate for that by throwing as hard as I can," he said last November in a Scout.com feature article. "He's taught me that you don't have to do that. Just get it out on time and put it in the right spot."

Hill is a quarterback who relies on timing, but shows a good ability to learn and truly understands the game and what's going on around him. He also handles pressure well and brings a scrappy, competitive nature to the field. Even at Maryland, he started out as the number three quarterback his junior year, and few thought that he'd be in the position to be playing Florida in the Orange Bowl a year later.

He displayed his skills well in NFL Europe in 2003 when he led the league with 2,256 passing yards for the Amsterdam Admirals. And he finished second in the league that season with 13 touchdowns.

Although Hill has shown steady progress with each passing year, he's reportedly been told that the Vikings won't re-sign him as an unrestricted free agent. Since then, the Giants are one of the teams that have expressed interest in him. They gave him a tryout in early April.

The Colts will likely continue to look at veteran free agents while they try to determine the extent of a shoulder problem that prevented Jim Sorgi from participating in their recent three-day mini-camp. They currently have undrafted rookies Josh Betts (Miami, OH) and David Koral (UCLA) signed to their offseason roster.


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