Dungy Connection Brings King to Colts

Veteran quarterback Shaun King's career has been teetering on the edge of a forced retirement as of late. But his connection to Tony Dungy has given him one more chance to keep his NFL hopes alive. Colts fans will be glad that Dungy and King have reunited.

The Colts have been struggling for some time to find a veteran quarterback willing to come to Indy because the job description -- quite frankly -- just isn't very exciting. The classified ad would look something like this:

Help Wanted: Veteran quarterback who is willing to backup a franchise quarterback and future Hall-of-Famer who hasn't missed a start in eight seasons. Barring an event as unusual as the sun and the moon colliding, candidate must be willing to settle for preseason action and perhaps muddling through some meaningless plays once regular season games are in the bag.

But while the Colts were having a difficult time finding a veteran who had actually seen some real NFL action and who would settle for such a role, a funny thing happened in Detroit.

Former Buccaneers and Cardinals quarterback, Shaun King, who didn't have an NFL employer in 2005, was released by the suddenly quarterback-rich Detroit Lions.

Can you say, "a match made in heaven?"

King still certainly has some gas left in his tank, but he hasn't had an easy time of it since the 2000 season when he started all 16 games for the Buccaneers. Over the past five years, he has appeared in just 12 games and started in only three of those games.

According to a report at Colts.com, Tony Dungy commented that King is "...an experienced guy who has played in a lot of big games and won. I think he's going to be a good fit for our system and what we do."

King has undoubtedly played in big games for Dungy and his Bucs, but he helped the team get into the playoffs with his feet as much as he did with his arm. In his only season as a 16-game starter, King posted a 54.4% completion percentage and rolled up 2,769 passing yards. But it was his 353 rushing yards that helped keep defenses on their heels a bit, adding to his success that season.

And that raises an interesting point. Beyond the fact that the Colts are looking for veteran experience and that Dungy has a clear connection with King, is he truly a "good fit" for the Colts system? That's an arguable point. And in the end, only the team's opinion on that really matters. But unless King has morphed into a different style of quarterback over the past five years, some may disagree that he fits the the Colt system, which is built around the offensive skill set of pocket-passer Peyton Manning.

Regardless, King is a nice addition for this Colts team. They do need a veteran presence behind Manning, especially with Jim Sorgi's shoulder situation up in the air. And with Sorgi in the final year of his contract, unless Josh Betts or David Koral can become the next Sorgi -- or better -- King could have a home for more than just one season in Indy.

Perhaps just as important, the Colts are adding a veteran who is a good person, yet another individual who people will admire for the good work he does in the community. Visit his official website at ShaunKing.net to learn more about Shaun and the great work he does through his foundation. He's the kind of guy that you'll find yourself pulling for during this year's training camp.


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