INDIANAPOLIS —Jacoby Brissett, by most accounts, had a successful debut last Sunday in his first start as the Indianapolis Colts' quarterback.
The Colts' offense was visibly much improved from its Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and despite having joined the team via trade just 15 days prior to their Week 2 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Brissett seemed to have obvious command of offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's overall gameplan.
This week, as Brissett prepares for his second start on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, the Colts hope they can expand their playbook even more. Head coach Chuck Pagano said not only will Brissett be exposed to more of the team's situational schemes — the red zone, two-minute and goal line scenarios — but the team will start to incorporate more possibilities down the field.
Asked how much of the Colts' offense Brissett has mastered to this point, Pagano couldn't put an exact figure on it — "Enough to play winning football," he said — but the team is now at a point where it can become more aggressive with Brissett under center.
"You've got to take some calculated risks," Pagano said.
Against the Cardinals, Brissett completed 20-of-37 passes for 216 yards with an interception. The Colts started fast, scoring a touchdown and a field goal, respectively, on their first two drives of the game, but were held scoreless from that point until their first possession of the fourth quarter, when Adam Vinatieri connected on a 29-yard field goal to extend Indianapolis' lead to 13-3.
While the Colts attempted a couple deeper shots down the field in that game, Brissett said he agreed that it's time to throw more of those types of wrinkles into the team's gameplan moving forward, which could definitely help add some pizazz to those would-be stalled drives.
"You've got to definitely know what the risk is versus the reward, and when the opportunity presents itself, you've definitely got to try and capitalize," he said on Wednesday.
The key this week, other than just learning more of the playbook, Brissett said, is to continue working on his timing with his receivers. While tight end Jack Doyle would catch all eight of the passes thrown his way for a career-high 79 yards against the Cardinals, the team's top three receivers — T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Kamar Aiken — would combine to catch just nine passes on 23 total targets in the game.
For Brissett, while there's work to be done on the practice field to get that physical timing down, simply continuing to talk about certain receivers' preferences and schemes will be key, as well.
"It's a mixture of all that," he said. "(It's) conversations about certain things – how they've been going through things and how they got certain stuff done. They just came out of camp, and me just getting thrown in here, so, (it's) a lot of conversations, a lot of watching them from camp and things like that."
Overall, however, the second-year North Carolina State product said he's feeling good about his grasp of the Colts' offense.
"It's just learning as much as possible on a week-in, week-out basis and continuing to grow," Brissett said. "(I'm) starting to get a little bit more comfortable with everything and starting to learn a lot more."