Colts backup QB Painter will be under microscope

Posted June 30, 2011 @ 11:43 a.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

One could make a compelling argument for Colts backup QB Curtis Painter having the easiest job in the NFL. Sitting behind Peyton Manning on the depth chart — Manning holds the league's longest active streak for consecutive starts with 208 — Painter spends most of his time during practice and games holding a clipboard.

We hear Painter could face more pressure this season, however.

Entering his third season, Painter has completed only eight passes during the regular season and has a career passer rating of 9.8. The preseason hasn't been much kinder to Painter. Playing mostly against the opponent's second- and third-string defenses, Painter has completed only 55.7 percent of his passes during the preseason, with a 1-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

The Colts' front office caused a stir leading up the draft when it brought in TCU QB Andy Dalton and Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick for workouts. Some wondered if the club was trying to identify Manning's successor, which seemed to be odd timing with the club prepared to make him the richest player in NFL history once the lockout is lifted. But it could be that the Colts were looking to upgrade the security behind Manning, who underwent his second neck surgery in as many years earlier this offseason.

Painter's greatest asset is his knowledge of the Colts' extremely complex offense, which we hear the club values as much if not more than sheer talent given Manning's remarkable durability.

Last offseason, the Colts brought in undrafted rookie QB Tim Hiller to compete in training camp. Don't be surprised, the way we hear it, when the club brings in a few undrafted free agents to compete with Painter this summer.