Although he had a stellar career at Kentucky, Jared Lorenzen has yet to establish himself in the NFL, appearing in only four regular season games since the Giants signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2004, and attempting just eight passes in his four-year NFL career.
He did manage to win the backup job to Eli Manning in New York last season, when two of his appearances occurred and all of his pass attempts. He was granted his release on June 23rd, but also got a Super Bowl ring for his troubles.
He has gained a fair amount of notoriety for his weight — listed at 6-feet-4, 275 pounds, which seems generous — and a list of unflattering nicknames for the hefty southpaw can be found here.
On top of his lack of experience and seeming inability to stay in game shape during the offseason, he is also throws left-handed, which will require an adjustment from the Colts receivers. Many of them, particularly the veterans, have not had to attempt to catch a pass from a non-right-handed quarterback in nearly ten years.
Lorenzen has a strong arm, but isn't light on his feet
AP Photo/Darron Cummings.
Ken Palmer of TheGiantInsider.com echoed these criticisms and added some insight of his own, having covered Lorenzen since the Giants signed him.
"The strong arm and lack of mobility are what one first notices about Jared Lorenzen, who was battled weight problems since well before entering the NFL," Palmer said. "Due to his strong arm he often overthrew receivers and still had problems with finesse and touch passes. During his time in New York, though, Lorenzen definitely improved on his accuracy, but not really his mobility."
Palmer was sure to point out, however, that Lorenzen's girth did come in handy occasionally. "Because of his massive size, on a couple occasions the Giants inserted Lorenzen so he could execute a quarterback sneak," he noted.
However, Lorenzen certainly looks the part, stands tall in the pocket, and has excellent arm strength. He was very successful in his four years at Kentucky, running a pro-style offense and was strong enough at the position to win the top backup job for an NFL team, which is no small feat.
In a previous breakdown of backup options, Scout.com NFL Expert Adam Caplan did mention that he had a chance to be a decent backup, which is precisely what the Colts are looking for at this point.
Palmer agrees, "He seemed to be well-liked by his teammates and a good locker room guy. The Giants thought enough of him to keep him around as long as they did, mostly because of his strong arm. But they came to the conclusion that he wasn't ever going to be anything more than a career backup, so they drafted a younger fellow Kentucky product in this year's draft — André Woodson."
Palmer sums it up pretty succinctly, stating that, "Indy could do worse at backup quarterback, but, needless to say, Peyton doesn't have to worry about his job — just like Eli didn't in New York."
If the Colts did not already have Quinn Gray and Jim Sorgi — two men with a good deal more experience than Lorenzen — then there would be more cause for concern. Although he may not have a tremendous amount of quality experience, he is still more accomplished than either Josh Betts or Adam Tafralis, and has been able to stick around in a very competitive NFL landscape for four years.
If Peyton Manning's injury proves to be more severe than originally anticipated, then Gray or Sorgi will start in his stead and Lorenzen will hold the clipboard as a capable backup. If Manning is healthy by the time the regular season starts, the Colts will have to decide whether or not they are willing to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, in which case Lorenzen is a very capable third-string quarterback.
And, ultimately, since there are so many bodies ahead of Lorenzen on the depth chart, Indianapolis will have bigger fish to fry if they are to depend on him to be their starter.