Well, the draft is over, and as the spotlight begins to shine quite a bit on the number two draft pick, RGIII, who made his debut in Washington and even charmed the President, Andrew Luck is the young man whose name, background and juicy details are just beginning to come to the forefront.
What’s the biggest headline? Well, it seems that Andrew Luck is nothing like the ‘norm’ when it comes to football players. No, this is not an affront to the ‘jock’ label, however Andrew Luck is a self-proclaimed geek. He had a very good grade-point average in school and will definitely be one football player who, after it all comes to an end, will be able to get a very good job in any industry he happens to choose. This is not a young man who seems very into the limelight, the ovations, etc….yet. In fact, during the pre-draft event at the Waldorf in New York, Andrew Luck was over the moon about the simple fact that the Colts took his buddy from Stanford, Coby Fleener, reuniting him with the tight end that he has been able to count on for the last four years.
Fleener remarked that: “I just sent Andrew a text message that had a lot of exclamation points in it. Having played with each other for four years now, it’s definitely a head start as far as timing and feel for each other.”
Why do I point this out? Because Andrew Luck very much possesses that ‘college boy charm.’ Even though he knows he’s in the big leagues now and is well prepared for it, he still is bringing with him the innocence of actually loving the game he’s playing.
Everyone has already started calling Andrew Luck the cornerstone of the Colts – almost as if a new ‘Man’ning has walked in who they will once again build their team around. This is a Grade-A quarterback who is quiet, low-key, and one that will bring the fun back into football.
This whole draft, actually, was far different than what we’ve seen in the recent past, because of the fact that the players chosen seem genuinely happy with their new environments; they speak well and receive standing ovations, but they also look, walk and talk with humility and respect for their new teams and their fans.
Andrew Luck does have more than a few problems, however, coming into his new career. He is, quite literally, joining a Colts team that has basically fallen into pieces. People have come and gone and the roster is a little on the ‘light’ side, so to speak. Another problem comes with the fact that, unlike the Redskins and RGIII who are looking at a ‘revival’ after decades – the Colts are still very much aware of their recent glory days. They still love Manning, and wish their team could be resting at the top of the heap and feared by all the other NFL teams. Unfortunately, that’s not how it is. Andrew Luck is not only the new quarterback of all this, but he is the new ‘face’ of this team – a team that had the worst record in the NFL in 2011.
The Colts are not the only NFL team that is struggling after a brief period of ‘rule.’ Even the defending champion New York Giants used up their very first picks to try and provide some support to Eli Manning who is (whether you like it or not, guys) the core of that team and is doing 90% of the work by himself.
When it comes to their rival – the losing-half of the Super Bowl – New England Patriots, they went to get support for their own sullen quarterback, filling their defense instead of looking for offensive players with flair and fire like they usually do.
But something tells me that the 2012 NFL Season will be all about the quarterbacks and how their rookie year will set the stage for a better, renewed and rejuvenated NFL.
There are quite a few bets being placed as to how Andrew Luck will do in stats and averages versus the high-intensity of Robert Griffin II, who seems to have taken D.C. by storm. These are tough bets this year. The humble (I know. Odd, huh? For a quarterback to be called humble?) But these two top picks actually are. They already know that right now they stand at the very bottom of the list in the NFL when it comes to quarterbacks. They are the new kids on the block, so to peak, yet they seem to be enjoying their stature. Andrew Luck looks bright-eyed and happy, like a college kid who is just about to shake the hand of Vince Lombardi before going out to eat with his bros and his cheerleader girlfriend. RGIII is basically smiling a genuine smile and reaching out to all the fans who already love him and are dreaming that one day he could lead them to the ultimate victory that they’ve missed for so long.
Griffin was the first one to open up his mouth and say that he and Luck were “the two worst quarterbacks in the league now. Because there’s Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton and Eli Manning.” The fun part came after that statement, when a small smile appeared and he edited his speech by saying: “Well…maybe we’re not the two worst quarterbacks in the league. But by no means are we 1-2 at the top of the list.”
All across the land people are saying that the charming Luck has some serious mental toughness hiding under that schoolboy demeanor and is the perfect man to handle the expectations that go along with walking in the footsteps of Manning. Others, like Tony Dungy, have commented that Luck and Griffin are: “Similar to Dan Marino and John Elway. They’re both going to be great.”
In a lot of minds, it’s almost cool that Andrew “Luck” is with the Colt’s, considering Fate has perfectly matched him with their famous horseshoe symbol. And, whether Luck likes it or not, he is going to see marketing deals fly at him in the very near future simply because of his last name.
When all is said and done, right now there is a bit of sadness mixed in with the excitement that’s already emanating from Andrew Luck. Frankly, it’s that inner child that hopes he won’t take all those ad campaigns seriously. We want Luck to continue to be the boy with the great big smile who seems to want nothing more than to have the honor of playing his favorite game. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
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