Since shocking the football world by retiring from the NFL 16 months ago, Andrew Luck has maintained a very low profile. But Luck was willing to step up publicly to support his friend and former teammate Jacoby Brissett for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
In a video published by the Colts, Luck talks up Brissett as a football player and a man.
“Why he is such an effective leader is his energy. I saw that first hand on the football field and at practice,” Luck said. “We’ve seen that transcend football and in the community. He’s so full of energy, he’s so willing to learn and educate himself and help others.”
In an indication of what kind of teammate Brissett is, two of the people who speak most highly of him are two teammates who have worked closest with him on a daily basis, Luck and Philip Rivers. In the same video, Rivers noted that when the Colts signed him, Brissett welcomed him with open arms, rather than being resentful that he was losing the starting quarterback job.
“You don’t really know how that’s going to play out,” Rivers said. “We compete. We pull for one another. He’s been unbelievable on game days and throughout the week. That professionalism is why guys in the locker room really respect and admire him. He could have gone the other way this year and he chose not to and has been a real pro.”
The Walter Payton Man of the Year award honors players for their work both on and off the field. The Colts nominated Brissett for activities including promoting voter registration, working with the Indianapolis Urban League, donating $50,000 for internet hotspots for Indianapolis public school students, distributing Thanksgiving meals and visiting a local juvenile detention center.