[Gordon Gekko voice] YOU FIRE HALF THE MANAGEMENT AND NOTHING CHANGES!
The Colts will start Jacoby Brissett at quarterback on Sunday, at home against Arizona, benching Week 1 starter Scott Tolzien and holding on for dear life while they wait for Andrew Luck to return to the field. This comes less than two weeks after Brissett was acquired from the Patriots in exchange for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. The Colts’ puzzling moves at quarterback since Luck underwent shoulder surgery in January can be regarded as first-year GM Chris Ballard’s first demerit, while also adding any number of nails in Chuck Pagano’s coffin.
Luck’s injured shoulder dates back to 2015, and he played (poorly, relative to his standards) through the injury in 2016 before the Colts finally decided to have him go under the knife. They have promised that they won’t trot the franchise quarterback onto the field until he’s 100%, and this past Thursday was the first time that he even showed up on the sideline at team practice in a month. One could make a reasonable argument that, given the events of the calendar year, Luck won’t play in September.
Tolzien has never been NFL-starter quality and may be a bottom-half backup. But the Colts saw fit to have him take first-team reps in OTAs, minicamp and training camp despite practice after practice of poor decision-making and throws. Team owner Jim Irsay admitted the team considered bringing in a veteran (he hasn’t specified who), but that the quarterback they had in mind wanted too much money. Still, empirical evidence from the preseason games showed Tolzien would not be able to win a regular-season contest, just as he had never won one before in his career (0-3-1 in four starts, and in that tie—in 2013 for Green Bay—he was benched mid-game in favor of Matt Flynn, who led a comeback).
The main reason the Patriots are better than the Colts is deflated footballs. And at least they didn’t dishonor America by signing Colin Kapernick!
The other Colts- and incompetence-related issue is how much Jared Goff’s improvement in Week 1 was being freed from Jeff Fisher and how much was the Colts. As Barnwell points out, he was hopeless against even week opposition last year, suggesting at least some improvement.
In other amusing stories, Jerry Jones is apparently really upset with Roger Goodell. Apparently, Goodell didn’t realize that his arbitrary powers to suspend anyone for any reason with no particular need to show evidence or provide due process weren’t supposed to apply to Dallas. The number of other owners who will have to learn this lesson is pretty much the only good thing about the awful process created by the CBA.
I will be on the road today, but will hopefully check in while doing some old-timey radio listening.