Late Saturday night the NFL landscape was rocked when Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck announced that he was retiring from the league. Luck, 29, is currently battling an ankle / calf injury and was certainly a factor in his reasoning of hanging up his cleats. He leaves in the prime of his career due to what he said (15:00) is a four year cycle of injury and rehab.
The news surrounding the former number one pick out of Stanford will hang around for a little bit, but with the season fast approaching eyes are on newly named starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Brisett was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He got the chance to start two games for the Pats during Tom Brady’s “Deflategate” suspenison but was later moved to Indy in a trade for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.
Since that deal Brisett has started 15 games going 4-11. Not an ideal record for a guy replacing the franchise QB, but Brisett was leading a team that had a terrible offensive line and defense. In 2017 (the year Brissett started) the defense ranked 29th in points and scrimmage yards allowed per game while the offensive line gave up a league high 56 sacks.
A great 2018 rookie class of Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson, and Braden Smith helped change that (only gave up 18 sacks last year and became the 10th ranked defense), so Brisett will have more to work with. He will also be under the guidance of offensive guru Frank reich instead of his former head coach Chuck Pagano.
So with a better defense, a strong offensive line, and a strong coaching staff Brisett has a good chance to succeed right away. And if you add in the fact that the Colts have the best weapons they’ve had in a while (Marlon Mack, Eric Ebron, Parris Campbell, T.Y. Hilton), Brisett could end up surprising a lot of people with his play in 2019.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)