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No revenge factor for Jacoby Brissett in facing Colts — just win and hit some explosive plays along the way

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 9/29/2021 David Furones, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett went through such an up-and-down roller-coaster in his four years with the Indianapolis Colts, it makes playing for the Miami Dolphins look like a kiddie ride.

The South Florida kid from Dwyer High who now plays for his hometown NFL team was a starter in 2017 because of an Andrew Luck injury, reverted back to being a backup in 2018 with Luck’s return and found himself immersed into the starting role again with Luck’s abrupt retirement during the 2019 preseason.

Struggling in the second half of 2019 as the Colts fell out of the playoff picture, the franchise signed Philip Rivers for the 2020 season. After Rivers’ retirement, the Colts went with Carson Wentz this past offseason, never quite giving Brissett another shot to reclaim a starting role and he signed with Miami.

“Obviously, good, bad, sad, happy memories from there,” Brissett said Wednesday as he prepares to face his former team in his second consecutive start in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa, “but that’s about it. Just playing football now.”

And he’s not making Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoff at Hard Rock Stadium against the Colts something more than it has to be.

“I’m not in here for like a revenge game or anything like that,” Brissett said. “I want to go to win.”

Beyond any desire for revenge, there is still familiarity between the two sides. There were four seasons of it — training camps, weekly prep for opponents, countless hours in the facility with one another. Colts coach Frank Reich was there for three of Brissett’s four seasons. Several former teammates are still in Indianapolis.

“They’ve got a history with Jacoby. They know him. He’s got knowledge of some of their players, as well,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “At the end of the day, there are some things that they could take from that, but it comes down to execution. It’s a team game. It’s not Jacoby against one other person or that one player against Jacoby. It’s a team game.”

Brissett doesn’t think it’ll factor in too much on Sunday.

“It’s that ‘chess match,’ but obviously, I’m in a different scheme from when I was there. They’re a different team,” he said. “I have some type of familiarity with them, going against them for four years, but they know that, as well. Obviously, they’re not just going to come out and say, ‘Jacoby, remember this from training camp your second year? And we did this.’ It’s not going to be like that. I’m sure they’re going to have their own wrinkle.”

Starting 15 games for the Colts in 2019, Brissett completed 60.9 percent of passes for 2,942 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. Also getting 15 starts in 2017, he had a 58.8 completion percentage with 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

In Brissett’s first start for the Dolphins, the offense was not able to strike many big plays down the field. It wasn’t until Miami was down 11 in the fourth quarter that the offense opened up, leading to the comeback that forced overtime in the 31-28 loss.

“We just missed them,” Brissett said simply of the lack of explosive plays. “We just got to hit them.”

Brissett also noted postgame that Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley likes to take away the deep routes, so going underneath was what the Dolphins had to do. Miami’s offense will weigh out taking what the defense gives versus dictating to the opposing defense in preparation this week.

“That’s how this game works. The other team’s getting paid to make plays too,” said tight end Mike Gesicki, who factored in largely in the comeback, including a 27-yard catch on fourth-and-20 to extend the game. “I think every week there’s a lot of optimism, there’s a lot of us out there working, trying to execute.”

The offensive line will also have to provide enough protection to allow downfield routes to develop.

“I think it’s there. We have some plays where we throw the ball short, some plays where we’re throwing the ball long,” said left tackle Austin Jackson, who has struggled pass blocking in two games this season. “I definitely think this offensive line can do both.”

One potential limitation for the Dolphins offense is the possibility that it will again be without wide receiver Will Fuller. After missing Week 1 due to suspension and Week 2 dealing with a personal matter, he was injured late in overtime against The Raiders. He missed Wednesday’s practice with a bad chest and elbow.

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