The Indianapolis Colts aren’t the first team to turn to a promising young backup after suddenly losing a franchise quarterback.
Vinatieri, of course, was on the 2001 Patriots team that lost Drew Bledsoe to injury during the second game of the season and had to turn to a young Tom Brady, who promptly led New England to a Super Bowl title.
Now, Vinatieri finds himself on a Colts squad reeling from Luck’s retirement … that will turn to a young Jacoby Brissett to lead it forward.
Vinatieri won’t equate Brissett to the GOAT, but the 46-year-old kicker gave his 26-year-old quarterback a pretty strong vote of confidence Tuesday.
“That was a good roster, and this is a good roster,” Vinatieri said, via The Athletic’s Zak Keefer, referring to the 2001 Patriots and 2019 Colts rosters. “Jacoby is no slouch. He’s a damn good quarterback.”
One could argue the 2001 Patriots, who finished 11-5 under Brady and boasted a stout defense that allowed the sixth-fewest points in the NFL, were better-equipped than these Colts, who went 4-12 without Luck in 2017.
Indy has improved over the last two offseasons, though, and it makes sense why Vinatieri would draw this optimistic parallel, especially since Brissett cut his NFL teeth under Brady in New England.
“We’ve got enough in this locker room to get where we want to go,” Vinateri added, via the Indy Star’s Jim Ayello. “So, nothing changes.”
Brissett has the upside to keep Indy relevant this season. But it stands right now, the Luck-less Colts have a long way to go before the rivalry is back on.
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Colts’ Adam Vinatieri makes bold Jacoby Brissett, 2001 Patriots analogy originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
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