Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A horshoe full of Luck
Obviously when you're a highly drafted quarterback expectations are swollen and results are inevitably insufficient. The combination of potential and excitement usually override common sense, which is why some NFL clubs like the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins, for example, are starting QBs who should be holding a clipboard and drinking too much Gatorade.
It's especially hard sitting top five picks who are proclaimed superstars before they lace up. Take the 1998 draft, in which Peyton Manning went first, and Ryan Leaf second: You couldn't fault either pick by the Colts or Chargers respectively, nor could you question starting either player as a rookie. They were the next big things in the NFL. And yet, while each stumbled in their first year, Sportscenter is still playing Manning highlights, while any scrambling Leaf is doing is more likely to appear on Nightline.
That rookies Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are lighting up the young 2012 season simultaneously is special. Each man carries himself with confidence and swagger, but most impressively, each is a leader, seemingly born for pro football's prime-time burden. Expectations are high, but in this instance of touted picks, the results are more than sufficient---they're astounding.
While many commentators are enamoured with RG3's speed, power, accuracy and Predator-like movement around the NFL battlefield, Luck looks so at ease, too, that it now feels harsh to have second guessed Indy's decision to move on from No.18. Manning's legend will live forever among the legion of blue and white, but Luck is branding a new Colts legend altogether.
The early signs of a winner are there. When the pocket collapses, Luck steps up and through it like John Elway once did. He has a knack for scrambling and sliding that reminds you of Aaron Rodgers. His three-step drop and rifle into the end zone is, well, Favre-esque. And finally, that deep throw, the one following a smooth shuffle backward, with arc and zip more tightly bound than Jennifer Love Hewitt come awards night, soars wonderfully across the fading summer.
Luck threw 20 of 31 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns in week 2. Yes, those numbers are good, but they pale in comparison to the thrill and good fortune of his first win, which is surely one of a many this season.
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