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INDIANAPOLIS – The $140 million franchise quarterback was jealous of the guy who was smiply a place holder until his return.

Jacoby Brissett was never a threat to take Andrew Luck’s job.

It’s laughable to even think about such a scenario.

But Luck was envious of the guy who had taken his job, during that 2017 season, with No. 12 on injured reserve and spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in the Netherlands.

“Coming back into the building, early last year, I was very jealous and resentful of this fun, happy dude that was in my spot as a quarterback on this team,” Luck admitted, during his retirement press conference late on Saturday night. “I obviously did not have any confidence in myself either. I obviously could not have been more wrong in so many ways.”

Now, as Luck walks away from the game that he loved so much during his return season last year, he will watch in 2019 with plenty of fandom for the new quarterback under center.

“A lifelong friend, he means so, so much to me,” Luck says of Brissett. “He’s a big part of me, and a big part of me having one of the most rewarding years of my life last year. Cannot wait to support him and see him lead this team. Excited for the future of the Colts, in large part because of Jacoby.”

That last statement is certainly something Chris Ballard and Frank Reich have not shied away from whenever talking about Brissett.

Having such a safety net in Brissett led to Ballard being very hesitant to entertain any trade speculation that might have been coming in for his then* backup quarterback.

“We are not going to ask Jacoby Brissett to be Andrew Luck,” Ballard said on Saturday night of a new era under center. “Andrew Luck was a unique, unique player. But Jacoby Brissett is a winning football player in this league.

“I think you heard what Andrew said, 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. I think you saw it last year, as we went through the season, this is a special guy, man. And I’m excited to watch him play. I am.”

Hearing Reich and Brissett continue to express their intrigue around Brissett was nothing new on Saturday night.

But it was, publicly, for Irsay.

For an Owner that has had Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck start 19 of the last 21 seasons for his franchise, he knows what it means to have elite quarterback play.

“The quarterback position and getting high play out of that is paramount for franchise success,” Irsay said over the weekend. “But that’s the reason I know the three of us (Irsay, Ballard and Reich) feel, we are ready to go to battle. We have tremendous, tremendous certainty that Jacoby is a guy that can change this narrative.”

And Irsay is one holding out serious hope that Brissett can provide the NFL world with another surprise, this one being a tad more positive than what transpired this weekend.

“I was there when (Drew) Bledsoe got hurt and (Tom) Brady came on the field. ‘Who’s this skinny guy from Michigan?’” Irsay began on Saturday. “(Reich) was there for the Nick Foles thing. I can see Dick Vermeil crying now, and look what happened (Kurt Warner taking over in St. Louis).

“It doesn’t always happen, but man, that’s the greatness of waking up and being in this game. This is incredible stuff. It affects all our lives. It has a symbolic effect on how we look at life and how we move though life. Andrew is a special guy. He really is. Uniquely talented. Seven billion people on the planet, maybe five or six can do what he can do. We’re hoping that it’s seven and Jacoby’s that guy.

 

 

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