From the ashes of a dreadful 2017 season, owner Jim Irsay envisions a "great renaissance" in Indianapolis this year.
In stark contrast to the lingering skepticism from the football cognoscenti, Irsay has "no doubt" that Luck will reach even greater heights after overcoming a painful shoulder injury that left him unable to throw and uneasy about his NFL future.
"Trust me when I say this," Irsay insists, "it's made him a better football player, and a better man, a guy in the end who is going to give us even a better chance for greatness."
If there's a silver lining to Luck's mysterious absence throughout 2017, Irsay suggested, it's the trade that brought Brissett to Indianapolis for 15 starts in a lost season.
"All of a sudden, we have the best backup quarterback in football," Irsay said, via the Indianapolis Star. "I don't think we'd accept a [first-round pick in a trade] for him, we think he's that good."
That's high praise for a quarterback who directed an offense ranked a lowly 30th in Football Outsiders' metrics last year.
While Brissett's most noticeable flaw was a reluctance to pull the trigger that contributed to one of the highest sack rates in NFL history, he deserves kudos for a strong arm and an ability to maintain poise as all else crumbled around him.
"He's committed, he's a great teammate, he's got juice, he holds people accountable, he holds himself accountable. I love Jacoby," general manager Chris Ballard explained in April. "Jacoby Brissett is going to play in this league a long time. If I learned anything last year, it was the value of a backup quarterback who can get it done, and I think Jacoby can do that."
Ballard and Irsay have put that praise into practice, rejecting a pair of trade offers early in the offseason, per the Indianapolis Star.