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INDIANAPOLISWell, this is supposedly why Chris Ballard sleeps easier at night.

 

With Andrew Luck missing every single team rep in the 2019 offseason (19 practices in total), the Colts have relied on the right arm of Jacoby Brissett to lead their starting offense.

 

Reasons like this are why Ballard was always hesitant to entertain any trade offers that could have come his way for Brissett.

 

Yes, the Colts, and Andrew Luck, still fully expect for Brissett to be back in his backup role once the regular season arrives on September 8th.

 

But for the entire offseason they’ve needed Brissett to help this offense develop in Year Two in Frank Reich’s system.

 

While the offense has definitely been the lesser unit this camp, the Colts are pleased with Brissett’s progress.

 

“I think he’s done a great job so far of handling the first-team reps,” offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said after Wednesday’s practice.

 

Where has been the biggest jump for Brissett, who is entering his 4th NFL season?

 

“Really I think it’s the ability to process the play and see the defense and know where the ball is supposed to go,” Sirianni says. “I’ve seen that so many times with him that instead of hitch, hitch, throw, he’s hitting his back foot, hitch, and throw. What that does is it makes our offensive line better because they don’t have to protect as long and it makes our receivers better because they can get initial separation and not let the guy catch up. Everything skyrockets from there when you can get the ball out on time.”

 

From starting 15 games for the Colts in 2017, to throwing less than a handful of meaningful passes last season, the playing roles have been at two ends of the spectrum for Brissett.

 

Without Luck, the Colts are missing the type of quarterback who gives them serious hope at playing into February.

 

While the talent level of Brissett is not at the same level of Luck, Colts players are still seeing leadership from the most important position on the team.

 

“Great leader,” Darius Leonard says of the QB he’s been facing in practice every day. “He doesn’t care who you are. I saw him in OTAs getting on vets. Usually if a vet messes up, anybody just walks by, but Jacoby won’t let a mistake walk by.

 

“So you see a leader on the field and off the field the way he carries himself. He’s just a great guy on the field and off the field.” 

 

 

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