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Colts’ Brissett eyes 2nd chance


Published: Thu, September 21, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS

Jacoby Brissett let Sunday’s big mistake linger long enough.

From the moment he threw his first and last pass in overtime, all the Indianapolis Colts’ new starting quarterback wanted was a second chance.

So after thinking long and hard about what he could have and should have done differently, the 24-year-old second-year pro intends to make amends this weekend against Cleveland.

“You know it’s definitely one you wish you could have back,” he said Wednesday. “But you’ve got to watch the film, be a man about it because other guys are going to do the same thing, so you’ve just got to learn from it.”

Brissett has had an intriguing education.

He started college at Florida before finishing at North Carolina State. He was mentored by Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, tutored by Tom Brady and will become Andrew Luck’s understudy whenever Indy’s franchise quarterback returns from offseason shoulder surgery.

Until then, Brissett will stick to the best advice he’s ever gotten.

“Never let a game beat you twice,” he said.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for two winless teams.

Since the playoffs expanded to 12 in 1990, only three have made the postseason after starting 0-3. The last time it happened was 1998.

Indy (0-2) has only opened one season since 1999 with three consecutive losses: 2011 when Peyton Manning missed the entire season as he recovered from multiple neck surgeries. The Colts actually lost their first 13 that year before winning two of their last three and eventually selecting Luck at No. 1 overall.

The fear around town before Brissett took over was that it could happen all over again.

Luck has not practiced since having surgery on his throwing shoulder in January, though he was activated from the physically unable to perform list on Sept. 2 — the same day general manager Chris Ballard acquired Brissett in a trade from New England.

And while Pagano already has ruled out Luck for the third straight game, there is no timetable for his return to practice.

“You know as much as we know, as God is my witness,” coach Chuck Pagano said, giving his latest update on Luck. “We listen to our doctors and trainers. I hate to sound like a broken record, but that’s what we do.”

The only other healthy quarterback on the active roster is veteran backup Scott Tolzien, who was benched after throwing two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns in a 46-9 season-opening loss to the Rams.

Pagano made the change even though Brissett was still learning the playbook, still trying to get in sync with his new receivers and still putting names and faces together. The change made a huge difference.

Brissett led the Colts to a touchdown on their opening drive and a field goal on their second, and then they converted each of their three third-down chances after going 0 for 10 in Week 1.

“I’m encouraged by his play and the play of our team and the way that they bounced back and responded,” Pagano said. “A lot of good things happened in that ballgame. We got things to obviously clean up and we got to learn to finish and close it out.”

Brissett may always remember his Colts’ starting debut another way. Indy never trailed until the final play of the game — four plays after Brissett was picked off. He just can’t let it affect him in Week 3.

So I’m done with it now,” he said.


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