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Colts give Stephen Morris second-team reps over Phillip Walker

Stephen Morris

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – There’s been a change at quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, but not one some might have preferred.

Stephen Morris will get the backup repetitions this week as the team prepares for Saturday night’s preseason meeting with the Steelers in Pittsburgh, leapfrogging Phillip Walker.

Scott Tolzien remains the guy.

“Scotty’s still going to get his amount (with the starters),’’ Chuck Pagano said Monday, “and Stephen’s going get the second-team reps.’’

Morris, in his third season with the team, has been relegated to mop-up duties as the Colts opened the preseason with losses to Detroit and Dallas. However, that was a reflection of the coaching staff wanting to get an extended look at Walker, a rookie out of Temple. The staff already had a firm grasp on what Morris brought to the position.

“The first day I was really down on myself, as I think anybody would be,’’ Morris said of the decreased practice reps. “As a competitor, you want to play.

“I’m not trying to prove anything to the coaching staff or to anybody. I’m just trying to be the best I can be. Before, I wasn’t doing that. I wasn’t playing up to par in the early part of training camp.’’

In a battle of preseason statistics, Morris has dominated his colleagues. The rundown:

  • Morris: 24-of-35 (68.6 percent), 205 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, a 93.1 passer rating. The Colts have only two offensive touchdowns, and Morris has led both fourth-quarter drives.
  • Walker: 14-of-28, 119 yards, no TDs or interceptions, a 61.5 rating.
  • Tolzien: 12-of-19 (62.3 percent), 94 yards, no TDs or interceptions, a 75.3 rating.

Pagano didn’t sound like a coach on the verge of replacing Tolzien with Morris, or even allowing Morris to push for the starter’s job.

“We’ve got two preseason games left,’’ he said. “Scotty didn’t play bad. Scotty didn’t play bad. It takes 11 guys hitting on all cylinders . . . Scotty did not play bad.’’