Colts’ Darius Leonard throws support behind Jacoby Brissett amid Philip Rivers talk
The Indianapolis Colts have been mentioned as the favorite to sign Philip Rivers this offseason, but veteran linebacker Darius Leonard feels people need to start showing Jacoby Brissett more respect.
Leonard was asked about the Rivers reports during a recent appearance on the “Rapsheet + Friends” podcast, and he took the opportunity to praise Brissett. Leonard said he has full confidence in Brissett and wants him to remain Indy’s quarterback in 2020.
“No. Why would I (think about) something like that? I believe in Jacoby,” Leonard said of a potential QB change. “Jacoby’s a pretty good quarterback and he showed that early in the season when he had everyone healthy. You can look at any quarterback — when your receivers go down, your numbers go down. When he had everybody he went 5-2.”
Brissett had a passer rating of 98.5 through the first seven games of the season. The Colts went 5-2 during that span. The former Tom Brady backup then hurt his knee and played through the injury, posting a 74.4 passer rating and 2-5 record in seven games to close out the year. Brissett also lost top receiver TY Hilton and running back Marlon Mack for multiple games, which Leonard says played a significant role in the decline.
“You can look at any other quarterback, like Tom Brady for instance. This year, he didn’t have the big-time receivers, so his numbers went down,” Leonard said. “A lot of people don’t give (Brissett) enough credit for the type of quarterback he is.”
It remains to be seen if the Colts consider Brissett their quarterback of the future, but Rivers threw just 23 touchdowns compared to a whopping 20 interceptions last year. Some view that as an outlier, while others point to the fact that he is 38 and may have rapidly declining skills.
Rivers has been linked to other teams besides Indy, so it’s not a guarantee that he will be replacing Brissett. If he does, Leonard and others might be skeptical of Rivers’ ability to provide the team with a significant upgrade at the QB position.