Protecting the Horseshoe

An NFL Blog with an Indianapolis Colts Focus

Make Your Luck (Nike Football Commercial)

Andrew Luck could have done worse in his first NFL commercial.


March 13, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, Nike | Leave a comment

When will Colts negotiate contract with Andrew Luck?

With Peyton Manning off the Colts roster, they’re currently naked in terms of having a starting Quarterback on the team. The next question logically becomes, when do they start to negotiate a deal with presumed #1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck?

It was reported just before the combine began that the Colts were free to sign Luck before the draft began, a notion that Grigson shot down pretty quickly just the day after the option was presented to the public.

That said, it’s easy to tell if you read between the lines that Jim Irsay is smitten with Andrew Luck. The Colts didn’t even interview Robert Griffin III at the combine at the end of last month. They have made up their mind who is going #1 overall.

Now that the Manning saga has played itself out and the hardest part is behind the Colts, the logical next step would be to cement the sale and sign Luck to his rookie contract, making him the first true building block of the rebuild.

I would be very surprised if we don’t see something around this prior to next month’s draft. The Colts won’t be without a face of the franchise for long.

March 8, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, Ryan Grigson | Leave a comment

Silver: Irsay plans to move on from Peyton Manning, forward with Andrew Luck

Another day at the NFL combine, another big piece of news regarding the big situation in Indianapolis.

This time it’s from Yahoo! Sports Michael Silver.

I’ve been waiting for Silver to weigh in on this with his summary of events–deciding that I was going to go with whatever position Silver presented. He’s mad ea career of being a solid and accurate reporter. When Silver writes something, you can take it to the bank. He’s like a Jay Glazer in that respect. While he leaves the door open slightly for a Manning return to Indianapolis, unless “something dramatic and unexpected” happens, Manning will be released in the next few days.

And for those who think that Robert Griffin III’s insane 40-yard dash time of 4.41 will sway Indianapolis’ front office to look at takind the Baylor Quarterback with the first overall selection, Silver offers this valuable nugget.

As one Colts source said earlier this week, “Luck is The Guy. I don’t care what happens [at the combine]. I don’t care if Griffin flies.”

Silver also makes some really key points that haven’t really been brought to light yet. If Irsay allows Manning to remain in the organization, he’s not really allowing his new hires in Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson a full opportunity at success. Silver also talks about the situations leading up to the new coach and General Manager–the firing of Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell, and the head trainer that was helping with Manning’s rehabilitation. 

With each passing day, more and more reputable folks are staking their claim to the idea that a divorce is coming between the Colts and Peyton Manning. If it happens we’ll be here to react to anything and everything that shakes out. Some gigantic news is coming the way of this Colts organization as soon as the owner can get his bearings straight and decide to start building around the future of the organization.

That most valuable building block ran a 4.59 40-yard dash this morning at the combine. Get him some weapons and reload.

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, Jim Irsay, Michael Silver, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III | 1 Comment

It’s Combine Time

I spent about four hours today watching the NFL Combine on the NFL Network. It’s the first time I’ve devoted much time to the event, and I have to say that it’s great. It makes for a more educated NFL fan. It’s the primer; the meat and potatoes of the game I crave more of. In fact as I write this post, I’ve got the replay of Mike Mayock, Rich Eisen and company replaying and I probably will until I pass out.

The combine is a rite of passage for any fan claiming to be a die hard. It’s flow-over-the-top analysis and more football than anyone really needs. And yet that’s why it’s so great. The combine gives you a chance to get to know an NFL prospect from the very beginning even if you only got to see a guy play once or twice in his four years in college. Or not at all. It’s the chance to know a guy from seed to sprout to fully grown stage. And if you think there’s no difference between a guy like Stanford guard David Decastro and Utah tackle John Cullen, watch the combine. You’ll see who is an athlete and who just isn’t a ‘natural bender’ as Mayock said. I am absolutely hooked.

Tie in all the stuff that’s going on with the Quarterback, the Owner, and the prospect of a lifetime; and we’ve got a real storyline on our hands unfolding in the city that hosts the combine.

The biggest piece of news that worked it’s way out today–and you knew something would–is that due to the new CBA in place the Colts organization would not be permitted to see Peyton Manning throw before making any type of decision on him. That said, it’s my belief that the Colts have already made the decision regardless and Peyton knows the decision.

Now why would those be on clearance?

Here’s some other interesting pieces of note from the day:

-Todd McShay says Andrew Luck over RG3 and it’s not even close. [ESPN]
-Indy wants, and should get another Superbowl soon. [PFT]
-Teammates talk about Andrew Luck. [Stampede Blue]

I think I’m going to wake up nice and early tomorrow and get some coffee and watch the QB’s, receivers, and running backs at the combine starting at 9 am.

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, David Decastro, Jim Irsay, NFL Combine, NFL Network, Peyton Manning | Leave a comment

Scout-Speak on Andrew Luck & RGIII

There’s a reason I love this time of year so much. It’s getting to hear scouts talk anonymously about the guys in the draft. I like to dig up this stuff years later and see what was accurate and what was way off. Thanks to Yahoo’s Jason Cole (via Pro Football Talk) we’ve got some good old fashioned pre-combine and pre-draft scout talk.

This time, it’s the declaration that 14 of 15 NFL scouts would take Andrew Luck as the top selection over Robert Griffin III.

Something that echoes what Colin Cowherd has said about Luck for months that I agree with:

” … He can walk in, run a team right now and do enough things that you can play competent, winning football. That’s the worst he’s going to be. He’s going to be a player on your team for 10 years, barring injury, and in this business that’s saying a lot.”

I’ll say this, his floor is probably around the Eli Manning or Tim Couch range. Yes, I can put those two men together because physically I don’t think there was a huge difference but the difference came in team talent around them. His ceiling is probably something similar to Peyton Manning or Joe Montana.

You’re not getting a guy who will bust in the NFL. You’re getting a guy who at the very least is going to allow you to compete every year and a few of those years when the ball bounces your way and you have the right talent around the guy; you’re going to compete for a title.

Sound familiar?

February 22, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, Robert Griffin III | Leave a comment

Eye Opening Irsay Quotes

Everyone knows of the big news from yesterday. But a deeper look at some of the things Jim Irsay said (in this case, in an SI article by Don Banks) gives an indication of where this is all headed.

“He may not ever be able to play again,” Irsay said. “We just don’t know that yet. It’s a question of whether his arm comes back, and the nerve regeneration occurs. It’s always been an issue about his long-term health after football, that’s the big issue. And then there are salary cap consequences that have to be dealt with as part of his return. But it’s going to be his call whether he stays.

You don’t know that? Peyton would probably not like you saying that. You’ve seen the man throw. You were reportedly ‘pleased’ at the way he threw. If you’re doubting that he can ever play again then this should be a relatively simple conversation and no one should fault you for the tough business decision you must make.

“If he can get healthy and he wants to take the risk of playing, I’d rather see him be here and play for us this year. It can be worked out. If he can get back to the point of being the old Peyton Manning, he can play for us this season and handle it better than a rookie quarterback would be able to handle it.”

So, just this season or what? Isn’t this really just pushing out the real problem at hand one more year? That is unless, you think Peyton will retire in a season. Otherwise, what are you going to do? Sit Andrew Luck for a second year? Release Peyton before next year? The mention of the ‘this season’ shows that Manning is likely not desired beyond this season.

And how do you feel about him taking the ‘risk’ of playing? Don’t you want him to take the risk? Because it sounds like you would not be too unhappy if he didn’t.

“But if he can play, he could do that for us this season and then he’d have the choice of whether to retire, with his number retired, the statue built and the whole thing. If he’s healthy, he’d handle 2012 better than Andrew could. But ultimately I have always wanted him to make the decision, with us having pointed out the risk and the stress he’s putting his neck under by playing. The biggest aspect is I want him to be comfortable with his decision.”

And there it is. The ‘AHA’ quote of the entire article. You’re taking ‘Andrew’, aren’t you. You finally said it. Perfect world, Peyton comes in and mentors Luck for a season on your terms and you’re not the bad guy. And from there you have to do what you have to do, really.

“That’s the last he’d want to do for this team, put us in that kind of salary cap situation,” Irsay said. “He wants to come back and he wants to win. I should say I assume he wants to come back. With Peyton, sometimes you never know. But that’s why we’re going to have a meeting in a few days. I think he has some real comfort in the idea of finishing his career here, but I think he’s conflicted perhaps given the circumstances. We’ll find out soon.”

You probably should have found out man to man before this was any type of story. The fact that you didn’t is pretty telling, at least I think. With Peyton, sometimes you never know. After all, he is a politician.

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, Don Banks, Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning, Sports Illustrated | Leave a comment

Adam Schefter: Irsay/Manning Meeting Could Come Next Week

Heard Adam Schefter on ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning this morning. Here’s a recap:

-He made a few calls yesterday, although things are quiet right now the general feeling is that the meeting between Irsay and Peyton will most likely come next week. The feeling right now is kind of like a longtime couple, they just don’t want to “break up”. As silly as it sounds, that’s what he said.

-Said that something would have happened sooner if the Super Bowl had not been in their city. Something will have to happen by the time the combine rolls around in 2 weeks because that is once again in their city and they’ll want resolution before there are more media types swarming them again. (Although personally, what do these guys care?)

-Again Schefter alluded to the fact that Manning is open to structuring his contract in a way that would allow any new team that signs him to assume little risk. (My thought here, is WHY won’t someone including Mike & Mike ask the question ‘would Peyton do this option for the Colts’)

-Schefter basically said that the Colts are moving on. It’s not that they can’t decide to go with Peyton and Luck this next season; it’s that it doesn’t make sense. You select a QB #1 overall, that player needs all the playing time and all the reps he can get. At that point, Schefter adds, what could Luck possibly ‘learn’ from Peyton Manning from sitting on the bench?

February 8, 2012 Posted by | Adam Schefter, Andrew Luck, ESPN, Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning | Leave a comment

Andrew Luck: "I’d love to be #1 pick, and a Colt"

Not much too shocking with Luck’s admission, but the interview he gave to SI’s Don Banks earlier today is a decent read here on a Thursday afternoon.

I asked Luck if he was good in every way with the notion of playing for the Colts if they make him the top pick, and he said: “Absolutely, I’d love to be No. 1. Being a competitive guy, you want to be No. 1.”

Other pieces of information we learned from the SI piece:

-Luck is looking to have a good showing at the combine and ‘not rest on his laurels from college’.

-He has not yet met Jim Irsay.

-Andrew Luck does not have a twitter account. Yet.

-He mentioned leaning on his father and coaches at Stanford who were former NFL players that played in the NFL to prepare him for the scrutiny that players face in the pro game.

Luck was in Indianapolis not to foreshadow the city he will call his own in just a few short months but for a promotional outing presented by Gatorade. He literally flew into the city at 8:30 AM and flew out around 3:00 PM today if you’re wondering about his whereabouts at the current moment.

And in case you missed it, Jim Irsay was on the radio this morning while you were rolling out of bed.

UPDATE: PFT actually beat us to the punch. I did not realize (because I am at work and read through the article too quickly) that Luck actually talked about forcing the hand of teams to end up elsewhere. The response he gave was interesting to say the least.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, Jim Irsay | Leave a comment