Colts GM Says 'Jacoby Brissett Is a Rare, Rare Leader' After Andrew Luck Retires

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2019

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) throws during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Jacoby Brissett is now the Indianapolis Colts' starting quarterback in the wake of Andrew Luck's stunning retirement announcement Saturday night. And the Colts' general manager, Chris Ballard, told reporters that he believes in Brissett as a player and leader:

"We've got a good football team. This is a good football team. We're young, good on both fronts. [We have] some good young skill players and a good young quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. We're not gonna ask Jacoby Brissett to be Andrew Luck. Andrew Luck was a unique, unique player, but Jacoby Brissett is a winning football player in this league. Jacoby Brissett is a rare, rare leader. He is. He's a rare human being, man. That locker room loves Jacoby Brissett. They love him."

Head coach Frank Reich echoed those sentiments.

"Our organization, to have that kind of leadership at quarterback to go from Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett, different kinds of leaders, but both elite leaders," he said. "I mean these guys are both elite—Jacoby has those qualities. As a human being, as an athlete, this guy is as good as they come as a teammate."

Brissett, 26, is no stranger to the starting gig. When Luck missed the entirety of the 2017 season following shoulder surgery, Brissett made 15 starts for Indianapolis, throwing for 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions, completing 58.8 percent of his passes. 

While those aren't elite numbers, Brissett was acquired by the Colts in 2017 just one week before the regular season began. He was thrown into the fire immediately two years ago, but this year he'll have the benefit of being in Reich's system for the past two years and having an entire training camp to work with the first-team offense.

He'll also have a better offensive line ahead of him and the support of a roster that reached the postseason last year behind Luck. He may not have the talent level of his predecessor, but Brissett will nonetheless be expected to lead the Colts back to the playoffs.

Like the rest of the organization, however, Brissett will need some time to come to grips with Luck's decision to retire at the age of 29.

"Jacoby and I just had a brief conversation, because this is hard for Jacoby now because these guys are close," Reich said. "My only comment to Jacoby was, 'Let's just take a couple days to digest this and then we'll talk after the game,' because Jacoby was pretty emotional about this as well. They're very close."