Impromptu press conferences don’t drum up particularly pleasant memories in Indianapolis. You can forgive the Colts fan base for holding its breath then when Zak Keefer announced Saturday morning that Colts owner Jim Irsay would be holding a press conference this afternoon.
Something we didn't know about until today: Colts owner Jim Irsay will be speaking to the media from the team's facility tomorrow afternoon. Topics he'll address: the Colts, the NFL combine (which he wants to keep in Indy) + philanthropy.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) February 22, 2020
Given all of the smoke that has started to build about what the Colts are planning to do at the quarterback position, there are a lot of different directions the press conference could take. Some fan can’t help holding onto the chance the Andrew Luck may return. Indianapolis has been linked to Philip Rivers and Derek Carr in recent days. There is still a rather strong contingent among the fan base who either thinks Jacoby Brissett should remain the start in 2020, or that he likely will.
Let’s take a look at what Irsay shared on each of these topics.
NOTHING NEW TO REPORT ON ANDREW LUCK
Let’s start by getting this out of the way, there is nothing new on Andrew Luck. He is still retired and there has been nothing rising above the level of idle speculation to indicate that he is planning a return to the NFL.
Jim Irsay:— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) February 23, 2020
"I know you guys wanna ask me about Andrew. Andrew’s my friend, and I miss my friend. I miss winning games with him... but right now, I know coach has had dinner with him, Chris has (too), but I can’t comment on anything in terms of will he ever come back."
Irsay on Luck: “Andrew’s my friend, and I miss my friend. ... Will he ever come back? I don’t know.”— George Bremer (@gmbremer) February 23, 2020
Says Reich and Ballard have had dinner with him. But Luck’s doing life’s most important work now as a father. #Colts
Irsay tried to sway Luck, and it’s clear the door remains open in Indy for a potential return. “But we have to go on with the assumption he’s not coming back.”— George Bremer (@gmbremer) February 23, 2020
“I know we’ll find the right answer.” #Colts
There is no escaping the reality that Luck staying in Indianapolis, spending time at the team facilities, and having dinner with the general manager and head coach will do nothing more than fuel rumors that he could contemplate a return to football. With that said, there has been no reliable piece of information that indicates the Luck is even thinking about a possible return.
Guys... I gonna say this for the record because I know some want to believe otherwise:— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) February 23, 2020
Andrew Luck isn't coming back. Ok, carry on.
At the end of the day, fans who are hoping for Luck to come back should probably be prepared to be just as surprised at that announcement as they were that he retired. Rumors and speculation will not go away, water cooler talk will keep the discussion alive, but if Luck returns it’s unlikely there will be reliable information indicating he has reached that decision until he announces it himself.
COMMENTS ON JACOBY BRISSETT
While Chris Ballard has always made it clear that he’ll look for opportunities to improve every year at every position, he has also been shrewd in free agency. This trait is part of the reason why so many fans have a hard time believing that the Colts will make a big-time move involving a large contract or draft picks to snag their quarterback of the future.
Beyond this, the reality is that Brissett suffered a knee injury in this middle of his season and noticeably dropped of in terms of production when he returned. Frankly, I wasn’t surprised at all to see him struggle and thought there were plenty of reasons to have him shut it down, rather than have him push it and cost the Colts football games.
Either way, Irsay made some comments today that will continue to fuel the idea that there is a very real, if not a very high, possibility that Jacoby Brissett will remain the starting quarterback for the Colts in 2020.
Irsay: "I think Jacoby is on the rise and you have to give him time to develop."— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) February 23, 2020
Irsay: Jacoby Brissett. Jacoby is on the rise and got to give him time to develop. Peyton, the greatest ever, was 3-13, then career took off. 'We had injuries last year.' Lot to overcome. 7-9 wasn't bad.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) February 23, 2020
Irsay on QB situation: "We're really open-minded. There's a lot of ways this could turn. But right now, Jacoby is the starter."— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) February 23, 2020
INTERESTING COMMENTS ABOUT DRAFTING QUARTERBACKS
One of the more interesting topics that came up in his press conference involved the 2012 NFL Draft. Irsay mentioned that the Colts were ready to draft Russell Wilson in the fourth round but the Seahawks took him in the third. This is after spending the top overall pick on Andrew Luck.
Irsay says the #Colts had planned to take Russell Wilson in the fourth round in the 2012 draft -- even after drafting Luck No. 1 overall. Obviously the Seahawks drafted him in the third.— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) February 23, 2020
Irsay with the random revelation that the Colts were preparing to take Russell Wilson in the fourth rd before Seattle scooped him up. I think this is his way of saying they aren't focusing on the first rd singularly as it relates to a quarterback in 2020.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) February 23, 2020
This could indicate that the Colts are going to approach the position with an open mind. Perhaps something happens in free agency and then also in the middle of the draft? Perhaps the Colts get their guy at 13 but still snag another talented prospect who is available? Only time will tell.
Irsay says "All options are open" at the QB position, also says they'll keep evaluating.— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) February 23, 2020
So there's been two sides of the QB coin in this, a support for Brissett's development and leaving open the door for change.
Perhaps the only thing that is actually clear following Irsay’s comments at quarterback is if the Colts have a plan on how they intend to address the quarterback position, they’re not going to let anyone outside of the organization know about it.