While his stats may be questioned, Jacoby Brissett and his ability to be a leader is something that can not be disputed.
This season for Jacoby Brissett probably did not end how he hoped it would. Not on an individual level, and certainly not on a team level. When that happens, the criticism kicks up a notch, which has certainly been the case. Simply typing “Jacoby Brissett” in the search engine will get you countless searches on whether or not he should be the starter next season.
The similarity in all the articles? They all focus on the football aspect, the statistical aspect. Everyone is quick to highlight how Brissett was a drastically different player after getting injured in Pittsburgh, and how he has been trending the wrong direction. In many cases, people seem to forget all the factors that went into this, and instead are choosing to just look at the stats.
Truthfully, the stats do not tell the story of the season. Recency bias has never been so real as it is right now, and people are all going to remember the two fumbles Brissett had against Jacksonville in the last game of the season. People seemingly want to forget the great, rather incredible moments that Brissett has had this season.
Against Atlanta in week 3, Brissett completed his first 16 passes in a row in a game where he finished with over 300 passing yards in a win. Or how about when the Colts faced Houston in Lucas Oil this season, and Brissett had 4 TD passes and accumulated 326 passing yards?
What was one of the similarities in those two games? The Colts had a healthy T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, and Marlon Mack for both of them, and in turn the offense proved to be dynamic. As the season progressed, Colts players just could not seem to stay on the field.
This season saw Mack miss 2 games, Hilton miss 6 games, Ebron miss 5 games and Parris Campbell miss 9 games. With those circumstances, it is probable that most quarterbacks would have had similar struggles as Jacoby Brissett. But if you were to ask Jacoby about all that, he would say that there are no excuses.
If we have learned one thing about Jacoby Brissett throughout his three years in Indianapolis so far, it is that he is a leader. After Andrew Luck retired in August, that was the one thing that resonated from management, and it is not hard to see how he became such. When he entered the NFL, he started as a backup with the New England Patriots. He had the chance to watch Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, to see the work ethic that goes into becoming great.
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When he first came to Indianapolis, he was coached by Chuck Pagano, who had a mantra for every situation. And while most would insist that he was not the right coach for Indianapolis, most would also have to agree that he was a great figure to have in the locker room, and the entire team gave their all for him.
In 2017 Brissett dealt with those hard times. He dealt with being the starting quarterback on a struggling team. He saw how the veterans in that locker room handled things. But most importantly, in the case of Chuck Pagano, he saw how in the NFL, being a good person can only go so far, and that wins are what decide who stays in the league.
Jacoby Brissett has been through it all in his first three seasons. The highs, the lows, you name it and he has already seen it. Yet even with the burden of playing with a team dealing with injuries, a season where he became “the guy” just a couple weeks before the regular season began, he has handled it with the utmost composure. He has handled it like a leader.
When Indy defeated Carolina, it was a huge team win, and a great way to finish the home schedule. But for Jacoby Brissett, he had somewhat of a disappointing game, a game where he had just 119 passing yards and no touchdowns. The last four plays included an incredible interception by Pierre Desir, and then three straight kneels by the Colts.
What you may not have noticed was that Brian Hoyer was the one taking those kneels to end the game. Where was Jacoby Brissett?
He had just sprinted over to celebrate with the defense as Pierre Desir ran to the end zone to pose with the cameras. Jacoby Brissett was not concerned with how he played that day, but rather he was focused on the team. He was ecstatic, for the team.
When it comes to leadership, Brissett has it. He loves his team. When Jim Irsay talks about the Indianapolis Colts, he does not just say his mission is to win, but rather to “win the right way.” There is not a better leader, or a better fit for this team than Jacoby Brissett, at least as it stands right now.
So for the next couple of months, we will just have to wait and continue to play the guessing game on what will happen with the quarterback situation in Indianapolis. But let’s make sure one thing is clear. For Jacoby Brissett, the best is yet to come. The only question is whether or not it will be in a Colts uniform.