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Winless Colts fire coordinator, name new starting QB

(Reuters) - The struggling Indianapolis Colts fired defensive coordinator Larry Coyer and appointed backup Dan Orlovsky as the team's new starting quarterback on Tuesday in a bid to salvage their winless season.

The Colts' have had a disastrous year going 0-11 since quarterback Peyton Manning underwent season-ending neck surgery in the off-season.

Orlovsky, who arrived in July, was waived and then rejoined the team in September, is set to replace Curtis Painter on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

The 28-year-old Orlovsky has played rarely in his three seasons in the NFL. He has made three reserve appearances for Indianapolis this year and has completed just 14 of 21 passes for 122 yards.

Coyer departs as the head of the team's defense in the midst of his third season with the Colts. He will be replaced by linebackers coach Mike Murphy who has spent 14 seasons with the franchise and hopes to help lead them back to their winning ways.

"The move was made to improve communication and production," Colts coach Jim Caldwell told the team's website (colts.com). "We feel this is the most effective and realistic way to move forward and win games this season."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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