Are the Indianapolis Colts looking to sign a former Super Bowl champion at quarterback?
As the Colts continue to scramble in looking for a replacement for the recently retired Andrew Luck, they made some strides on Tuesday by hosting former starting quarterback Brock Osweiler for a visit, as reported by ESPN’s Mike Wells.
“The Indianapolis Colts had free-agent quarterback Brock Osweiler in for a visit Tuesday, a source tells ESPN’s Field Yates.
The Colts are looking for a veteran backup quarterback to play behind starter Jacoby Brissett following the surprising retirement of Andrew Luck last weekend.”
Osweiler has had the definition of an up-and-down career. Originally drafted as the heir apparent to NFL legend Peyton Manning back in 2012, the former second-round draft selection has been a starter for three different NFL teams — only to fail to establish himself as a clear-cut starter in every stop.
Although Osweiler has not lived up to the hype, he did have a decent year with the Miami Dolphins last season. While subbing in for the injured Ryan Tannehill, the 28-year-old Osweiler went 2-3 while completing 63.5 percent of his passes and throwing for 1,247 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. His completion percentage was a career high and his quarterback rating was at its highest since he started seven games for the Denver Broncos in 2015 — the year they won the Super Bowl.
That’s not to mention that he had the best individual single-game output of his career in 2018 when he threw for 380 yards in an overtime victory over the playoff-bound Chicago Bears.
In other words, although Osweiler may not be a capable 16-game starter, he is a capable backup — and he proved that with the Dolphins last season. At this point, the Colts are just desperate for a veteran to back up Jacoby Brissett. Osweiler happens to fits that mold.
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Their other current backups are Phillip Walker and Chad Kelly. Neither guy has ever thrown a pass in an NFL game, while Kelly is suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
While he didn’t put down his current backups, head coach Frank Reich didn’t exactly express confidence in them either. He spoke of the need of adding a backup quarterback in the wake of Luck’s sudden retirement.
“Those are all really good things to consider — that we are considering very strongly,” Reich said Monday. “Phil [Walker] has been here for a while so we have a lot of belief and confidence in Phillip. He knows our offense. He knows this locker room. Those are going to be the decisions that we have to make in the next week to 10 days.”
Right after Luck’s retirement, general manager Chris Ballard did not hesitate to express confidence in his new starter, Jacoby Brissett, via Jake Arthur of Colts.com.
“We’ve got a good football team. This is a good football team. We’re young, good on both fronts. [We have] some good young skill players and a good young quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. We’re not gonna ask Jacoby Brissett to be Andrew Luck. Andrew Luck was a unique, unique player, but Jacoby Brissett is a winning football player in this league. Jacoby Brissett is a rare, rare leader. He is. He’s a rare human being, man. That locker room loves Jacoby Brissett. They love him.”
Although this isn’t the ideal situation for the Colts, having a veteran backup with experience leading a Super Bowl team may be their best option at this point.
Follow D.J. Siddiqi on Twitter @DJSiddiqi