Former UConn, NFL QB Orlovsky retires
UConn, Shelton star ends 12-year career in NFL
When Dan Orlovsky met with the Connecticut media in the spring, the UConn football program’s career leader in total offense, passing attempts, completions and yards wasn’t ready to close the door on his playing career.
Orlovsky attempted to play his 13th NFL season when he competed for a backup spot with the Los Angeles Rams but he was cut late in training camp. On Wednesday, the 34-yearold Orlovsky announced his retirement from football in a post on sportsspectrum.com titled, “It’s Time.”
After quarterbacking Shelton High School to the program’s first state title in 12 seasons as a senior, Orlovsky arrived at UConn early in the Huskies’ transition from Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision level. Going from playing New Hampshire, Maine and Northeastern on an annual basis, the Huskies would now be meeting West Virginia, Louisville and South Florida. Orlovsky, who passed on scholarship offers from established FBS programs, quarterbacked the Huskies to their first two bowl appearances, first bowl victory and first win over an FBS ranked opponent.
He was taken in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. He played for the Lions from 2005-08 and returned for the 2014-16 seasons. In between there were stops in Houston, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay. His final NFL totals are 3,132 passing
yards while competing 58.2 percent of his passes with 15 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.
“The game that has brought me some of my greatest friends.
“The game that forced me to prove myself to myself every single day.
“That game for me as a player, is now done.”
That is how Orlovsky announced his retirement.
Before heading to camp with the Rams, he fulfilled a promise he made to UConn coach Randy Edsall by returning to campus and earning his degree. It gave him a chance to work with the 2017 Huskies as a volunteer during spring practice.
“I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate it more, realize the magnitude of it and how cool it was,” Orlovsky said of his time at UConn during the spring. “It’s fun to be back among some familiar faces, kind of see how the campus has grown and appreciate what transpired.”
Knowing that his time in the NFL was drawing to a close, Orlovsky reflected on what a run it has been.
“I think there would be a massive sense of pride,” Orlovsky said. “I know how hard it is to play in that league and stay in that league for three, four or five years, and being there for a dozen years is really cool. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay healthy, I was fortunate enough to have a really good foundation from my dad, a work ethic from my high school coaches, so I think just a sense of pride but I think as I get older, I realize how awesome it is. I want to play more now than I did 10 years ago, I want to be part of the group. I was telling the quarterbacks that there are 100 of us NFL quarterbacks on the planet, that’s really cool. I think I relish it more than I did when I was young. I was dumb, ignorant and kind of just going rather than just realizing how special it is. I look back at the teammates I’ve had, the friendships that I’ve had, the things I’ve been able to do, it’s been awesome.”
Quarterback Dan Orlovsky, then with the Lions, is sacked by Tim Bulman of the Texans in a game on Oct. 19, 2008. Orlovsky, a former star at UConn and Shelton High, retired after a 12-year career in the NFL.
The Colts’ Dan Orlovsky throws a pass during a Dec. 22, 2011, game against the Texans. The former Shelton High and UConn star retired after a 12-year career in the NFL.