Chris Ballard, Frank Reich Have Seen Winning Football From Jacoby Brissett

Chris Ballard, Frank Reich Have Seen Winning Football From Jacoby Brissett

Blog > Kevin's Corner > Colts Coverage > Chris Ballard, Frank Reich Have Seen Winning Football From Jacoby Brissett

Chris Ballard, Frank Reich Have Seen Winning Football From Jacoby Brissett

Heading into the bye week, we take a closer look at how Jacoby Brissett has performed for the 2019 Colts.

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – The comments came a week apart by the people who will eventually make the call on Jacoby Brissett.

Yet the words mirrored each other in many ways.

The Colts are very pleased with how Jacoby Brissett has handled things in this 3-2 start.

“He’s the same guy he was since the first day we traded for him,” Chris Ballard said of Brissett just before the win over Kansas City. “Somebody asked me a question in my office about Jacoby and his leadership. I said, ‘What makes him really special is he’s authentic, he’s real and he’s the same guy every day. And he’s been that way since the day he walked in this building.’ He prepares. He’s always prepared like the starter. And I remember saying this during Andrew’s (Luck) press conference when he retired that Jacoby won’t flinch. And he hasn’t flinched. He’s played really good football. He’s played winning football for us each and every week.”

One week later, Frank Reich shared his thoughts on Brissett’s start to the 2019 season.

“I just think he’s playing winning football week in and week out,” the head coach said. “Jacoby is very unselfish. He has a good feel for each game, for what it takes to win each game. When he has had to throw it more for us to win, he embraces that. Then when we’ve got it going in the run game, he feels that. He’s on the sideline calling for runs as well. He’s handled the communication, A+.”

Through the first 5 weeks of the 2019 season, Brissett’s numbers look like this (with league rankings in parenthesis):

-Completion Percentage: 64.7% (19th in the NFL)

-Touchdowns: 10 (tied for 8th in the NFL)

-Quarterback Rating: 94.9 (18th in the NFL)

-Yards Per Attempt: 6.36 (31st in the NFL)

-Interception Rate: 1.80% (15th in the NFL)

For what the Colts have asked Brissett to do, the quarterback has largely checked those boxes.

He’s improved his accuracy and decisiveness, protected the ball pretty well, stayed away from the pre-snap issues and kept some plays alive. The Colts have been better than average situationally, too, which Brissett deserves credit for.

While questions are still there about Brissett being the definite long-term answer as quarterback, he’s handled things fairly well in the early part of 2019 season.

Strides still are needed in stretching this passing game down the field and taking advantage of all the attention coming towards stopping the Colts’ run game. Given all the defensive resources coming to try and slow down the Indy run game, this passing offense should have tremendous opportunities to flourish. We’ve seen some struggles finding a hot read against heavy blitzing, and not enough progressing through reads, with defenders reading Brissett’s locked-in eyes on a couple of interceptions.

But we’ve definitely seen a quarterback who is not holding the offense back from playing complementary football.

“The things that I always look at that make good quarterback play is the decision making and accuracy,” offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni says. “When you can make decisions on rhythm and when you can deliver the ball accurately, that’s what makes a good quarterback. Jacoby just continues to develop in that aspect. I really see him fully understanding what the defense is doing and what they are trying to do, knowing where he wants to go with the football once he identifies that and delivering accurate throws.

“The great quarterbacks that I have been around, really, it’s Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck. What makes (Brissett) a little different than those guys is he’s just a strong man. He is strong. There will be a guy that comes through the line and he will just be able to get him off of him. It’s very Ben Roethlisberger-like where he can just get rid of a free defender or a guy who is coming free. He is just a strong guy that can keep his eyes downfield. So I think that’s really where I see Jacoby a little different. Andrew obviously was able to escape and do things, but Jacoby is just able to escape, do things and do it even when that guy gets a hand on him. That is a little bit where Jacoby is different than those other two good quarterbacks and it’s been great seeing Jacoby develop and playing the way he has been playing.”

Sirianni pointed out that Brissett has fine-tuned his mechanics with the help of quarterback guru Tom House and assistant Marcus Brady.

“Mechanically, he’s done a great job over the last year and a half both with his feet – and as a collective effort, he has worked with Tom House a lot over the offseason,” Brady, the team’s quarterbacks coach, says. “So he is able to work on his throwing mechanics. He has tightened up his throw. He has a quicker release now, he has fixed that. It has just helped him fine tune mechanically. Now he can just go on to the field and worry about the mental part of the game.”

So far, not bad at all from Brissett in this new era under center.

Needed growth is there, but the Colts have received quarterback play in 2019 that has been sound enough to carry a 3-2 mark into their bye.

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