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Texans sign QB Orlovsky


Quarterback Dan Orlovsky signed with the Texans on Sunday and is projected to back up quarterback Matt Schaub.

The Texans filled another need in free agency by signing quarterback Dan Orlovsky on Sunday. Orlovsky, 25, started seven games for the Detroit Lions last season. He will replace Sage Rosenfels, who was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, as the backup to Matt Schaub.

Orlovsky (6-5, 230) left Detroit because Lions management told him he would be a backup next season. He also was being pursued by the Denver Broncos, but was drawn to Houston by his comfort level with Texans coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan during his two-day visit.

"I feel it's a good opportunity just to learn from those guys," Orlovsky said at Reliant Stadium on Sunday. "I told them I'm really hungry to get coached, to get pushed and to see where I can get to. Coach Kubiak carries a reputation with quarterbacks.

"(Choosing a new team) was about the opportunity to learn and get better. I know I have a long career ahead of me, and my biggest thing was to try and become as good of a quarterback as I can. I think that this situation presents that."

Rosenfels started 10 games in relief of an injured or ill Schaub over the past two seasons, another factor in Orlovsky's decision to sign with the Texans.

"Obviously, seeing the history that Sage has had an opportunity to play weighs into it, but it's not one of those things where it was the deciding factor," Orlovsky said. "I hope (Schaub) plays 16 games next year and is healthy for all of them and into the playoffs, but I will be prepared and I will be ready to play if needed and called upon."

On a winless Lions team last season, Orlovsky completed 143-of-255 passes for 1,616 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. He kept the Lions competitive – they lost by more than 10 points only once in the games he started – and nearly led Detroit to a comeback victory at Reliant Stadium on Oct. 19. Orlovsky threw for 265 passing yards and a touchdown in that game, a 28-21 loss.

But the former fifth-round draft pick out of Connecticut is best known for a gaffe against the Minnesota Vikings last season. In his first career start on Oct. 12, Orlovsky unknowingly ran out of the back of Detroit's end zone for a safety.

Despite the negative national attention that the play received, Orlovsky smiled when asked about the play on Sunday and said he had no trouble moving past it last season.

{QUOTE}"Ten seconds after, I realized how idiotic it was and how dumb it was, but I wasn't going to change it," Orlovsky said. "It's one of those things that you wish your name was never attached to, but it was. At that moment, I had the decision to make if either that safety was going to hold me down for the rest of that game and into the season or if I was just going to try to overcome it, and it was one play.

"I think the good thing for me last year, growth-wise, was to realize just playing every play individually and not trying to be Superman."

Orlovsky has the same forward-thinking attitude about having been a part of the first 0-16 team in league history.

"It was the toughest thing I've ever done athletically in my life," he said. "It's nothing you want your name to be a part of, but you can either take it as something that will define you or something that will make you better. It was embarrassing… but it is what it is. You just plan on moving on."

In four seasons with the Lions, Orlovsky completed 150-of-272 career pass attempts for 1,679 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has appeared in 12 games with seven starts in his career.

He becomes the second free agent signed by the Texans this offseason, joining defensive end Antonio Smith, who signed with Houston on Feb. 28. Houston has also re-signed four free agents from its 2008 roster and placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on cornerback Dunta Robinson.

Following are the free agents the Texans have signed:
QB Dan Orlovsky 6-5, 230
DE Antonio Smith 6-4, 285

Following are the free agents the Texans have re-signed:
TE Joel Dreessen 6-4, 260
DE Stanley McClover 6-2, 263
C Chris White 6-2, 292
FS Eugene Wilson 5-10, 195

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