CLEVELAND -- With the news that multi-time Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck would miss part of the 2017 regular season because of shoulder issues, the Indianapolis Colts acquired quarterback Jacoby Brissett in a trade with the New England Patriots prior to the start of the year.
As such, the Colts (0-2) have been playing catch-up in terms of getting Brissett ready to guide the team to success, and in this week’s lead-up to their game against the Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Lucas Oil Stadium, that work has ramped up.
“No easy task, but we will make no excuses, obviously,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “He is learning a little bit more of the playbook with each day that he is here. He has done an excellent job since he has been in the building. He did a nice job last week other than one play we would all love to have back, but he is doing well and our coaches have done a good job with him.”
In the Colts’ 16-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Brissett completed just 20 of his 37 attempts (54.1 percent) for 216 yards with one interception and a fumble, and was sacked four times for 26 lost yards.
However, Pagano and the Colts are confident Brissett can fill the void admirably while Luck does what he can to return to the team sooner rather than later.
“He is a big, strong, athletic guy,” Pagano said of Brissett. “He has a strong arm. He is smart. He is tough. He makes good decisions. He hangs in there under duress. He has great poise and he has great command.
“For the short time that he has been here, he has really handled himself like a real pro, and obviously, he has been trained really well and our coaches continue to do a great job here with him, but he is going to have to really be on his Ps and Qs this week.”
In order to give Brissett and the offense a chance to find success against the Browns, tight end Jack Doyle could be a key weapon, as Cleveland has struggled to defend tight ends over the last two seasons.
“He gives us a chance to move the chains,” Pagano said of Doyle. “He has been targeted 10-11 times and caught most of him, so he is a reliable guy. Have all the trust in the world and the quarterback trusts him. He has been that way ever since he has been here.
“He is good in the run game, he is good in protection and certainly, he is good in the pass game. He has good instincts and he can find soft spots in zone coverage, and he can use his big body versus man coverage and create some separation. He has excellent hands, and is very, very reliable.”
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