Would Colts turn down a first-round pick for Jacoby Brissett?

The Colts were forced to rush Jacoby Brissett into the lineup last season, but they love his makeup and believe he has a bright future. AP Photo/Darron Cummings

WESTFIELD, Ind. -- Jacoby Brissett didn't have to turn far to find somebody to talk to about how to handle going from starting quarterback to backup. Brissett, in fact, didn't even have to seek the person out.

New Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich sought out Brissett.

That's because Reich knows firsthand what Brissett is going through. He had it happen to him during his 13-year NFL playing career, and also went through it last season as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Reich, a backup for the majority of his career, is known for leading the Buffalo Bills back from a 35-3 third-quarter deficit in their 41-38 victory against the Houston Oilers in the playoffs on Jan. 3, 1993, while starting in place of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. Reich was 4-4 as a starting quarterback for the Bills from 1988 to 1994.

Brissett went from being acquired from the New England Patriots a week before the beginning of the 2017 season to starting 15 games for the Colts in place of the injured Andrew Luck during a disappointing 4-12 season.

Luck is back and Brissett is back to being the backup quarterback.

"We actually talked right at the beginning of camp, and I just cannot emphasize enough how fortunate we are to have Jacoby," Reich said. "I think this guy's one of the top 20 quarterbacks in the NFL, and we have two of them on this team. It will be a different role for him. We talked about that, and Jacoby is a real pro in every sense of the word, and I told him, 'Just don't change who you are just because you're playing a different role. Just be who you are.' He brings a lot of juice to the field, and just keep bringing that and keep pushing Andrew, keep pushing each other. That's what we do."

It would be easy to say Brissett is the forgotten player in the quarterback room now that Luck is back as the starter. That's actually far from the case.

The Colts look at Brissett as an asset. That's why general manager Chris Ballard didn't field any trade calls about Brissett during the offseason.

"All of a sudden, we have the best backup quarterback in football," owner Jim Irsay said. "I don't think we'd accept a [first-round pick in a trade] for him, we think he's that good."

It's hard to believe the Colts would turn down a first-round pick for Brissett when you consider all their roster needs, but Irsay made his point -- the Colts place a high value on the third-year quarterback.

Reich -- and the rest of the Philadelphia organization -- realized the importance of having two capable starting quarterbacks when starter Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL in December. Nick Foles, who had started 36 games prior to last season, stepped in and helped lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl title with a win against the Patriots.

Luck has been impressive so far in training camp, but nobody can say he's all the way back yet because he hasn't taken a hit in a game or had to test his surgically repaired right shoulder by making 40 throws in a game.

"At any position, you want to create depth and competition, and the quarterback position is no different," offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said. "If somebody goes down, heaven forbid, [Brissett's] ready to go. I think Jacoby is one of the best 20 quarterbacks in the NFL. There are 12 teams that's trying to get one of those guys that's in the top 20, and it's a huge luxury to have that."

Because he arrived late in training camp, Brissett didn't have a full grasp of the offense, but he made the most of a tough situation in 2017. He replaced Scott Tolzien in the fourth quarter of their Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Rams and went through the season with a lot of trial and error. Brissett threw for 3,098 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions and was sacked 52 times.

Lost in Luck's return has been an impressive training camp by Brissett so far. He has had command of the huddle and line of scrimmage and is playing with the confidence of a starting quarterback in Reich's offense.

"Nothing changes," Brissett said. "Go out and compete against him. Make each other better and go out there and try and do the best that I can when I'm out there. There's no such thing as going out and practicing to be the No. 2. ... Just always be ready. That's what [Reich] always emphasizes to everybody in the room, and that's [the] approach we're taking."