Patriots prepare to face third straight backup quarterback

Patriots prepare to face third straight backup quarterback
December 1, 2011, 7:51 pm
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FOXBORO -- It's going to take some digging, but the Patriots are determined to find out all they can about new Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback Dan Orlovsky before Sunday's game.

Orlovsky, who will replace Curtis Painter under center for the 0-11 Colts, has completed 14-of-21 passes for 122 yards with no touchdowns and no picks in three appearances this season. His last NFL start came in 2008, when he quarterbacked the Lions in the final game of their historic 0-16 season. In seven seasons, he's 0-7 in seven career starts.

Needless to say, the Patriots don't have a library full of tapes labeled 'Orlovsky,' but they're making due with what they can find.

"Whatever we have, the coaching staff will get it," Vince Wilfork said. "I don't care where it's from. It's tough when you have a guy you haven't really seen much from and you have to dig and dig and dig. But if that's what we have to do, that's what we have to do."

The Patriots faced a situation like this one two weeks ago when they went up against Kansas City's Tyler Palko in his first-ever NFL start. Similarly, they had to do some sleuthing to find some video of Palko under center. Some of his most relevant film came from his work in preseason exhibitions.

Defending inexperienced quarterbacks may seem to make for light study weeks, but the Patriots insist that's not the case.

"It can be tough at times," Wilfork said. "You just don't know how teams are going to attack you certain weeks. Seems teams always attack us a little different than everybody else.

"We have to be prepared. Whatever it may be, we definitely have to be prepared for it. Whatever they give us. If we have to figure things out on the run, we will. That's where our sideline adjustments, our halftime adjustments come in."

Sterling Moore has become accustomed to long hours in the film room during his first few weeks as a regular in the Patriots secondary. This will be his third straight week of seeing a backup (or in the Colts' case, a backup to the backup) quarterback, and he's digesting whatever old footage the Patriots can scrape together.

"You gotta go back and watch a lot of film on him," Moore said. "You gotta spend a little more time in the film room, but that's every week at this point."

Of course, it's not all about the quarterback. The Colts will likely run similar schemes to what they ran with Painter, and the Patriots will break down that film as well. That Orlovsky is now the quarterback doesn't change everything.

"We're just trying to understand their tendencies offensively," Moore said. "Then we'll watch Orlovsky and see how he throws."