Dan Orlovsky
refer to caption
Orlovsky with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012
No. 9, 6, 7, 8
Personal information
Born: (1983-08-18) August 18, 1983 (age 40)
Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Shelton (CT)
College:UConn (2001–2004)
NFL Draft:2005 / Round: 5 / Pick: 145
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing attempts:512
Passing completions:298
Passing yards:3,132
Passer rating:75.3
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Dan Orlovsky (born August 18, 1983) is an American football analyst for ESPN and former professional football player. He played as a quarterback for 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) primarily as a backup.

Orlovsky played college football for the UConn Huskies. As a junior, his 33 passing touchdowns ranked seventh in NCAA Division 1-A. He was selected by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Orlovsky also played in the NFL for the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Rams.

Early years

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Orlovsky played high school football. "When I was younger, I would have garbage cans set up all around the yard," Orlovsky recalled. "And I would have like 20 balls and just fire them into the cans. I really had nothing else to do back then."[1]

Orlovsky attended Shelton High School and became the starting quarterback during his sophomore year.[2] As a senior, he threw for 2,385 yards and 24 touchdowns as the Gaels went 12–0, winning a state championship.[3] His overall record as a high school quarterback was 28–4. He earned All-American honors from Prep Football Report, SuperPrep and Prep Star, and was also named Connecticut all-state, Class LL MVP, the New Haven Register's Connecticut Player of the Year and winner of the McHugh Award.[citation needed][4]

Despite offers from Purdue and Michigan State, Orlovsky committed to play at Connecticut, where he wanted the challenge of elevating the Huskies into a Big East contender.[citation needed]

College career


Orlovsky became the starter at Connecticut during his freshman year when Keron Henry suffered a sprained knee.[5] Orlovsky threw for 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns on 128 of 269 passing (47.6 percent) while being intercepted 11 times.[6]


Starting every game as a sophomore, Orlovsky hit on 221 of 366 attempts (60.4 percent), with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His 2,488 yards passing rank fourth on the school's season-record list.


As a junior, he completed 279 of 475 passes (58.7 percent) for 3,485 yards, 33 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His 33 scoring tosses were tied for seventh in the NCAA Division I-A.[7]

vs. Philip Rivers

On October 11, UConn traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to take on Heisman trophy candidate and future first round draft pick, Philip Rivers and the N.C. State Wolfpack. Even though UConn lost the game on 31-24 on a pick six interception return, Orlovsky threw for 299 yards, compared to Rivers 234 yards.[8]


Orlovsky did not match his 2003 figures as a senior, but guided the team to victory in its inaugural bowl appearance, winning the Motor City Bowl, while earning Game MVP honors. He gained 3,354 yards with 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions on 288 of 456 throws (63.0 percent) in 2004.

Orlovsky holds the school record for most pass completions (916), pass attempts (1,567), yards passing (10,706), touchdown passes (84), interceptions (51), total plays (1,710) and total yards (10,421).

Orlovsky, along with head coach Randy Edsall, served as the "face" of the UConn football program during the early 2000s.[9]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft 5 in
(1.96 m)
225 lb
(102 kg)
31+78 in
(0.81 m)
9+58 in
(0.24 m)
5.02 s 1.77 s 2.97 s 4.39 s 7.33 s 29.5 in
(0.75 m)
8 ft 11 in
(2.72 m)
All values from NFL Combine[10][11]

Detroit Lions

Orlovsky was selected during the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, 145th overall by the Detroit Lions.[12] When Jeff Garcia went down with an injury in the '05 preseason, Orlovsky emerged as the Lions' primary backup. He played in two regular season contests in 2005, including the nationally televised Thanksgiving Day game against the Atlanta Falcons. In the two contests combined, Orlovsky completed 7-of-17 passes for 63 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Prior to the 2006 season the Lions traded Joey Harrington and released Jeff Garcia, while signing Jon Kitna and Josh McCown. Orlovsky spent the 2006 season as the third-string QB. Orlovsky was projected to be the second-string quarterback in 2007 because Drew Stanton, who was picked in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft, was placed on injured reserve; however, the Lions acquired J. T. O'Sullivan, who bumped Orlovsky back to third on the depth chart. Orlovsky did not take a regular season snap in either 2006 or 2007; in 2008, O'Sullivan went to the San Francisco 49ers and emerged as the starting QB there.

On September 15 against the Green Bay Packers, he finished the game, completing two of four attempts for six yards.

Orlovsky made his first career NFL start on October 12, 2008, in a 12–10 Lions loss against the Minnesota Vikings. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 150 yards, with one touchdown and no turnovers. However, early in the first quarter when he lined up in shotgun formation, he inadvertently ran out of the back of his own end zone for a safety, in what turned out to be the margin of victory.[13] "When they started blowing the whistle, I was like, 'Did we false start, or were they offsides or something?'" Orlovsky said. "And I looked, and I was just like, 'You're an idiot'".[14] The game ended up being the closest the Lions would come to a victory in their historic 0-16 season, as many of their other games including on Thanksgiving ended up being blowouts.

In the following week of the Lions' winless season, Orlovsky connected with Calvin Johnson on a 96-yard touchdown pass.

Orlovsky also started in the final game of the 2008 season, but was unable to lead his team to their first victory of the season. Orlovsky announced his intention to explore the free agent market at the end of the 2008 season rather than accept a contract as a backup quarterback in Detroit.[15]

Houston Texans

Orlovsky during his tenure with the Texans.

He signed with the Houston Texans for a 3-year, $9 million deal on March 1, 2009. He was beaten out by Rex Grossman for the backup quarterback position during the preseason, and served as the Texans number three quarterback. After the 2009 season, Grossman signed a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins, making Orlovsky the backup quarterback for the Texans.

Indianapolis Colts

He signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent on July 30, 2011.[16] He was one of the final cuts as NFL teams trimmed their rosters to 53. The Colts later re-signed Orlovsky on September 27, 2011. He was named the starter over the benched Curtis Painter on November 30, 2011. The next week, Orlovsky went on to complete 30 of 37 passes, with 353 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception, for a total passer rating of 113.1 in his first start as a Colt against the New England Patriots, in a 31–24 loss.[17]

On December 18, 2011, Orlovsky and the Colts won their first game of the season (after starting 0–13) against the Titans. This was Orlovsky's first official win as a starter in the NFL. On December 22, 2011, Orlovsky led the Colts on a 12-play, 78-yard drive in a comeback victory over the 10–4 Houston Texans with less than two minutes remaining in the game.[18]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On March 15, 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Orlovsky to a two-year-contract.[19] On April 4, 2013, Orlovsky was cut by the Buccaneers.[20] On April 8, 2013, four days after being cut, Orlovsky re-signed with the Buccaneers.

Detroit Lions (second stint)

On April 2, 2014, the Lions signed Orlovsky as their backup quarterback to Matthew Stafford.[21] On March 2, 2015, the Lions re-signed Orlovsky to a one-year contract.[22] In a game against the Cardinals, Orlovsky came in for a struggling Stafford, and threw for 191 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

On March 11, 2016, the Lions re-signed Orlovsky as their primary backup quarterback to Stafford.[23]

Los Angeles Rams

On July 20, 2017, Orlovsky signed with the Los Angeles Rams.[24] He was released by the Rams on September 2, 2017.[25]


Orlovsky announced his retirement from football on October 11, 2017.[26] He joined ESPN as an analyst.[27] On May 18, 2022, Orlovsky joined the #2 ESPN NFL crew with Steve Levy and Louis Riddick Jr., replacing Brian Griese.[28]

Career stats

Year Team Games Passing
GP GS Record Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Sck SckY Rate
2005 DET 2 0 7 17 41.2 63 3.7 0 0 1 3 51.8
2006 DET 0 0 DNP
2007 DET 0 0 DNP
2008 DET 10 7 0–7 143 255 56.1 1,616 6.3 8 8 14 95 72.6
2009 HOU 0 0 DNP
2010 HOU 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 IND 8 5 2–3 122 193 63.2 1,201 6.2 6 4 14 84 82.4
2012 TB 1 0 4 7 57.1 51 7.3 0 0 0 0 80.1
2013 TB 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2014 DET 0 0 DNP
2015 DET 2 0 22 40 55.0 201 5.0 1 1 0 0 66.8
2016 DET 0 0 DNP
Career 26 12 2–10 298 512 58.2 3,132 6.1 15 13 29 182 75.3

Personal life

Orlovsky is an outspoken Christian.[29] He is married to Tiffany Orlovsky and they have four children together.[30]


  1. ^ Agostino, David. "The Passer: Dan Orlovsky state's best QB". YourCT.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  2. ^ [1] Archived October 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/07/nyregion/the-view-from-shelton-high-school-quarterback-pins-his-high-hopes-to-uconn-s.html
  4. ^ "2000 New Haven Register All-State Football Team". Iwasallstate.com. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  5. ^ Price, Terry (October 23, 2001). "Uconn Passes Job To Orlovsky". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "Connecticut Huskies". Sports Illustrated. 2002. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  7. ^ https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/2003-leaders.html
  8. ^ "NO CAROLINA ST 31, CONNECTICUT 24". (Ticker). Retrieved June 9, 2023.
  9. ^ "Edsall, Orlovsky keeping focus", New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), December 11, 2004, Sean O'Rourke
  10. ^ "Dan Orlovsky, Connecticut, QB, 2005 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  11. ^ "Dan Orlovsky, Combine Results, QB - Connecticut". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  12. ^ "2005 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 7, 2023.
  13. ^ Orlovsky ran out of the back of his own end zone
  14. ^ Orlovsky red-faced, but confident in Lions. Archived October 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Orlovsy Plans to Enter Free Agency Yahoo Sports, February 23, 2009
  16. ^ Larrabee, Brandon (July 29, 2011). "Dan Orlovsky To Sign With Colts, According To Report". SBNation.com. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  17. ^ Smith, Eric. "Dan Orlovsky Nearly Leads Colts on What Would Have Been a Great Comeback". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  18. ^ "A STIRRING VICTORY FOR COLTS". www.colts.com. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  19. ^ "Bucs sign QB Orlovsky to be Freeman's backup". ESPN.com. March 15, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  20. ^ Sessler, Marc (April 4, 2013). "Dan Orlovsky, D.J. Ware cut by Tampa Bay Buccaneers". National Football League. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  21. ^ TWENTYMAN: Lions find their backup quarterback in Dan Orlovsky Archived April 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Detroit Lions, April 2, 2014
  22. ^ Twentyman, Tim (March 2, 2015). "Lions re-sign quarterback Dan Orlovsky". Detroit Lions. Archived from the original on March 4, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  23. ^ "Lions re-sign QB Dan Orlovsky". Detroit Lions. March 11, 2016. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  24. ^ Sessler, Marc (July 20, 2017). "Dan Orlovsky, Los Angeles Rams agree on contract". NFL.com.
  25. ^ Han, Jamie (September 2, 2017). "Rams Announce Roster Moves". TheRams.com. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018.
  26. ^ Rothstein, Michael (October 11, 2017). "Dan Orlovsky, known for taking safety while chased by Jared Allen, retires". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  27. ^ Reisman, Jeremy (July 11, 2018). "Report: Dan Orlovsky to join ESPN's NFL, NCAA coverage". Pride Of Detroit. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  28. ^ "Dan Orlovsky moves to ESPN's No. 2 NFL announcing booth after Fox Sports pursuit, per report".
  29. ^ "INCREASE STORY: A Prayer for Fathers - Dan Orlovsky". Sports Spectrum. June 18, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  30. ^ "dorlovsky". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.