Colts Pagano plays musical chairs at QB


INDIANAPOLIS — Officially, the INDIANApolis Colts have not made
any changes at quarterback heading into Sunday’s regular-season
home opener with Arizona.

Most observers expect the Colts to sit last week’s starter, Scott
Tolzien, and go with recently acquired Jacoby Brissett against the
Cardinals.

Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano, however, is keeping his cards
close to his vest. Pagano isn’t ready to publicly endorse either
quarterback just yet.

“Both will practice,” Pagano said succinctly.

Part of the reason for his reluctance to make an announcement this
early in the week is to try and keep the Cardinals’ defensive
coaching staff guessing.

He also wants to take as much time as possible to look at Brissett
during practice this week and see how quickly the former New
England signal-caller has digested the Indianapolis offensive
playbook.

During a brief mop-up stint in last week’s 46-9 loss to Los
Angeles, Brissett completed two-of-four passes for 51 yards. He
also led Indianapolis to its only touchdown of the game with 11:32
remaining in the game.

Tolzien, meanwhile, had a rough afternoon against the Rams in only
his second start with the team. How bad was it?

He managed to complete 9-of-18 passes for 128 yards, was picked off
twice (both were returned for touchdowns) and was sacked four
times. Tolzien very nearly threw a third pick-six but the ball was
dropped.

“We’ve got to do what’s best for the football team and what gives
us the best chance to move the ball and put points on the board,”
Pagano stressed.

But the question is how to do that. Can Tolzien put last week
behind him and raise the level of his play against the Cardinals?
And can Brissett learn enough of the offense in the days leading up
to the Arizona game to get the start?

“There’s nobody that can come in and digest and learn a playbook in
that period of time,” Pagano said, referring to Brissett’s recent
arrival on the roster. “There’s challenges (in learning the
intricacies of the offense) that would be with any quarterback in
any system in any NFL building.”

That being said, the Colts coach liked what he saw from the former
Patriot.

“(There was) a sense of calm to him,” Pagano added. “Love his
physical traits. Big man. (The game) wasn’t too big for him.”

Finding a way to generate more offense will be crucial against a
team like Arizona.

“Yeah, we’re going to have to,” the Colts coach said. “I think we
missed some opportunities (against the Rams). We had some
opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them.”

Tags: ,