The Indianapolis Colts surprised the NFL world yesterday when they traded former 2015 1st Round draft pick Phillip Dorsett to the New England Patriots. To call the return on a first round investment disappointing is an understatement and so fans were understandably shocked at the trade.
Stampede Blue will go into greater detail on the trade in another story but we wanted to take a good look at what Brissett may bring to the table and why Ballard and the Colts front office targeted him. Keep in mind that the majority of these plays show positives and do not show all of his incompletions, completions, and does not show his fumble last year in the regular season.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at Jacoby Brissett and see what he might bring to the quarterback room that differentiates him from backups Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris.
As was mentioned in the part I of our film breakdown on Jacoby Brissett, he has a good internal clock in the pocket. You see him work through his reads on the left side of the field and after a count of three he tucks the ball to run out to the empty side of the field. He keeps his eyes downfield for a receiver to come up an pump fakes to get the defender to hesitate as he picked up a couple of more yards.
This play shows exactly why the Colts brought Brissett into the fold. This is a fantastic slide to avoid taking a big hit!
Seriously though, this is another player where Brissett rolls out of pressure and scrambles to pick up a first down. It’s important to be mobile and elusive in the pocket and he’s showing some of those things.
Once again, on a count of about 3 seconds, Brissett recognizes that nothing has come open and he has a clear running lane to his left. It is third down and he makes the smart choice to simply carry the ball for a first down. His right end does come open on a flag route but pressure was coming from the middle and getting the first down was more important.
Here Brissett steps up to avoid pressure and has a strong enough base to not allow the arm tackle attempt around his leg to take him down. He goes right to where the pressure came from and picks up the first down.
The Gians brought a lot of pressure to get Brissett off of his spot and generate pressure on 2nd and long. This backfires and Brissett abuses the over-pursuit to the outside for a first down.
Here is another example where Brissett feels pressure in the pocket and rolls away from an attempted tackle to pick up about 10 yards in a 2nd and long situation.
TOUGH IN POCKET
There are few quarterback in the NFL that are strong enough to stay in the pocket and take a big shot on a pass rush and still keep the play alive. The two that come to mind most are Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck — maybe Jared Lorenzen? This isn’t the only example of staying strong in the pocket but Brissett takes a big shot from a blitzing linebacker and stays on his feet.
Keep in mind that this play occurs with under a minute to go in the game on a drive they had to keep going in order to win. While the pass was incomplete, the team could not afford a sack that would force them to blow their last timeout on the 37 yard line. Brissett gets free and throws the ball downfield, stopping the clock and breathing life into the comeback chances (spoiler, they got into field goal and took the lead on this drive — extra spoiler, they still lost).
This is another example of having pressure in his face and coming around the edge only to steps away from the pressure and up into the pocket finding the running back for a shot pass that resulted in a first down.
Jacoby Brissett is a second-year quarterback out of N.C. State. He has a career record as a starter in the regular season of 1-1 and also closed out another win in 2016. He just had one of the best statistical games for a quarterback in preseason history. The cameras cut multiple times to Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski extremely impressed with what he was able to do on the field.
All of this is not to say that he could repeat his performance against the Giants last week with any regularity. It is to say that he has more wins in the regular season than either Scott Tolzien or Stephen Morris, that he is 24 years old and has only one full season on an NFL roster behind him while Stephen Morris had 3 and Scott Tolzien had 6, and that while Tolzien is entering the last year of his $2 Million contract, Brissett is in the second year of a four year contract that will cost about $2.2 Million over three years for the Colts.
Also, for those keeping score, he was a New England Patriots 3rd round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, selected #91 overall.