INDIANAPOLIS – With the Colts bringing on plenty of quarterback drama right now, it’s only fitting that the opposing quarterback this Sunday afternoon is Jacoby Brissett.
In recent days and weeks, plenty have brought up the mistake the Colts made in not bringing Brissett back in 2021.
However, we often forget that free agency is a two-way street.
Do you really think Brissett, who has not shied away from stating that he is a definite ‘starter’ in this league, wanted to sit behind a quarterback in Carson Wentz, who the Colts just acquired for major draft pick and financial resources?
Conversely, back in the spring, the Colts were content with giving Jacob Eason the backup job.
When news broke of the Dolphins and Brissett inking up on a one-year deal for the 2021 season, a high-ranking Colts official reached out to me to acknowledge that this meant Eason was moving up to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.
“We have to find out who (Eason) is,” was what that person said.
The Colts got an even greater look at Eason in training camp, and the preseason, with Wentz out due to his foot injury.
But after having Eason backup Wentz in the first two weeks of the season, an indicator the Colts felt comfortable throwing the second-year QB into the fire of a sudden-change moment during a game, their thoughts have since changed, with the kids glove being used on No. 9 again.
Brett Hundley was the backup last week, and will be again this Sunday, with the Colts foregoing a chance to truly ‘find out who Eason is.’
“One of the other reasons we made the decision with Brett (besides experience) was because Brett has continued to look good in practice, even running the scout team and just seeing him get more comfortable with our offense,” Reich said of Hundley, who took zero meaningful reps with the starting offense in camp, or even before last week. “That’s really a credit to Brett.
“In all fairness to Jacob, until he actually gets in there in a game where really everything is on the line, there’s no way of telling. That’s why we have confidence in both of them and what’s going to always be the guiding part of our decision is what gives us the best chance to win this week? What’s the right decision for this team this week, given all the factors? Those guys are continuing – even though they’re not getting starting reps, they’re being evaluated every week. Jacob and Brett, even though they’re running scout team, are being evaluated every week and how they’re getting better during the season. They’re both doing a great job. Brett has continued to kind of show us some things that give us some reason to put him in that position right now.”
That still doesn’t mean what happened in March was the wrong move by the Colts.
With Brissett’s more than 30 starts in his NFL career, we know what the 28-year-old is in this league.
He’s a nice backup, with a defined ceiling. Brissett is a career 59 percent passer, showing hesitancy to push the ball down the field.
That’s been seen in Miami, too, with Brissett completing 62.9 percent of his passes with an ugly looking yards per attempt of 4.3.
In Brissett’s two games with the Dolphins this year, his yards per attempt number has been so low, it would rank near the bottom of what we’ve seen from any Colts quarterback over the last two decades.
The Colts, and Brissett, made the right moves, for each party to part ways back in the spring, although that doesn’t make anyone feel any better about the current QB situation for Indianapolis.
It was time for the Colts to see what was there in Eason, if he was needed to be thrown in there.
When you draft a quarterback with limited college experience, at some point, the only way to see what you truly have in that player is to throw him into the zoo that is playing QB in the National Football League.
Yet, the Colts decided to shy away from making that move last week.
How did Hundley get experience in the NFL?
Oh yeah, that was back in 2016, when a 23-year-old Hundley, who was taken in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft, was put into a game as a second-year pro.
At the end of the preseason, the Colts decided to cut Hundley, which wasn’t a total shock considering he barely took any meaningful reps in camp and didn’t play in the first 10 (of 12 total) quarters of the preseason.
Despite that, and all those reps Eason took this offseason, the Colts have demoted the second-year QB.
Fittingly, here comes Brissett—a player who is used to being a reserve quarterback for the Colts—in Week Four.
Throughout Brissett’s career, Reich has called the former 3rd round pick a ‘top-20 quarterback in the NFL.’
Such a statement would be inaccurate, no matter how you analyze it.
But if there’s a defense that could make Brissett look like that, the Colts have a unit that could provide such an opportunity.
Putting all the Brissett/Colts backup quarterback drama to the side, this Week 4 matchup boils down to this: the Colts cannot lose to a Brissett-led Dolphins team.