Tag:Andrew Luck
Posted on: January 4, 2011 9:46 am

Report: Harbaugh unlikely to take Michigan gig

Posted by Will Brinson

Sure, it seems like we've been talking a lot about Jim Harbaugh these days, but he's so damn hot right now. And given his refusal to speak about future jobs on Monday night, it sure does seem like he's not hanging around Stanford (at least he's not lying about staying though).

However, the Detroit Free Press now reports that Harbaugh is "highly unlikely" to accept the job at Michigan. That means one of two things: he's either coming back to Stanford or he's heading to one of five NFL teams who desperately covet him.

This would mean, based on what we think we saw last night, that Harbaugh is headed to the NFL. The timing would be perfect, too. A slew of teams --the Broncos (John Elway, Stanford alum, now runs things), the 49ers (Harbaugh and likely GM Baalki share an agent), the Raiders (Harbaugh and Al Davis are boys somehow), and the Panthers (he'd probably get to coach Andrew Luck again) -- all stand out as viable locations for the hottest name in coaching.

That doesn't include the Dolphins -- who sent a team of "ownership scouts" to the Orange Bowl Monday night, the Browns or the Bengals. (Have we covered everyone sufficiently? If not, check out our coaching tracker for all the latest.)

Anyway, look, Andrew Luck should go pro. He can get too much money and the timing's too right. And Harbaugh should follow suit in jumping ship from Stanford, because, really, there's not a whole lot of room to grow outside of a national championship.

If Michigan's out the window, then it's NFL time.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 1:03 am

Harbaugh, Luck's silence says it all for future

Posted by Will Brinson

IF Jim Harbaugh goes to the NFL and if the Orange Bowl is any indication, he should be a pleasant guy to deal with during press conferences and after games.

I kid, I kid, but he clearly got fed up with all the "WHEN ARE YOU LEAVING STANFORD COACH BECAUSE WE KNOW YOU ARE?!?!?" questions over the past few hours.

Because when asked pregame by Michelle Tafoya of ESPN when he was making a decision, he quickly sidestepped the question. When Tafoya approached him after the game, he wouldn't even talk to her. And he had a little sumin'-sumin' for Rece Davis too.

"I'd just ask you to to respect the game and what these players did tonight -- it's all about them," Harbaugh said when asked about his future decision by Davis.

Andrew Luck was a little more open after the game, although you can tell he already knows how to deal with a tough question -- when asked immediately after the game if he was going "I'll definitely enjoy this, i don't want to make any impulse decision," Luck said after the Orange Bowl victory. "I'll talk to my folks and figure something out in the next couple days."

A-HA. He was all good until he said "couple of days," because that CLEARLY means he's leaving for the NFL. Thanks for your assistance, Watson, but I don't need you here any more.

Actually, Luck's a little short on time -- he's got until January 15th to declare for the NFL Draft, but, really, he'd be foolish not to leave.

He would land in a pretty good situation (the Panthers have a good running game, a good defense, a strong offensive line and as I said on Twitter, he threw more touchdowns in the Orange Bowl than Jimmy Clausen did his entire season for the Panthers). There's a good chance he'll slip in under the new rookie wage scale. He can finish his degree any time he wants. He probably won't be playing for Jim Harbaugh anyway.

And his stock will never, ever be higher than it is right now. Neither will Harbaugh's -- which probably explains why neither of them would provide any sort of confirmation or denial as to their future plans. But their domination on the field and their refusal to talk off it should say everything anyone wants to know.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: December 26, 2010 9:18 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2010 10:05 pm

Tebow helps Panthers clinch No. 1 draft pick

Posted by Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers are on the clock for the 2011 NFL Draft. And so are the New England Patriots (at least on the second day anyway -- the Panthers sent their second-rounder to New England in exchange for the wonderful shot at turning Armanti Edwards from a FCS quarterback into an NFL wide receiver).

That's because Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos stormed back on the Houston Texans and pulled off a semi-miraculous comeback to win 24-23. The Broncos needed to lose out and have the Panthers beat the Falcons in order to "win" the top overall pick.

This means the next meaningful deadline for Panthers fans becomes January 15th, when Carolina will learn whether or not Andrew Luck, the highly coveted junior quarterback at Stanford, declares for the NFL draft.

The ramifications of his decision are pretty widespread. If Luck enters the draft, the Panthers have to decide if they like Jimmy Clausen enough to pass up the chance to pull the trigger on Luck (and, perhaps, a combo of Luck and current Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh). They could also choose to trade the chance at grabbing the potential franchise QB, as there are plenty of teams that might be interested in moving up in the draft.

But maybe Luck won't even go pro -- Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Football Night in America reports that, having talked to Harbaugh, "academics are important to Luck" and Harbaugh doesn't believe the junior will leave early. (Although a quick purview of any basic mathematics class will inform him how much money he's missing out on by playing college football.)

In the possible event of Luck returning to college, he'll hurt the Panthers leverage in the top spot of the draft (regardless of how much is owed to the No. 1 pick) and he'll likely turn the draft world upside down.

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Posted on: December 24, 2010 12:41 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 1:06 am

Panthers need to move on from Clausen, already

Posted by Will Brinson

As expected, the only interesting thing to come from the Heinz Field on Thursday -- at least from the Panthers perspective -- was whether or not Jimmy Clausen is the team's quarterback of the future. 

The answer, after a 27-3 beatdown in which Carolina posted 119 total yards (the second-lowest total in franchise history),  is a pretty resounding, "No."

And honestly, it's the only area of immediate concern for the Panthers. John Fox is as good as gone and there are plenty of free agents sitting out there that will need to be signed. But more pressing is the need for a quarterback that can actually become a competent passer. Clausen's not that guy, and it seems that everyone outside of Carolina knows it.

The question is whether or not GM Marty Hurney and owner Jerry Richardson can admit the organization made a mistake in the second round last year and move on as well. (Not that Clausen is the only flub in recent history -- there's the 2011 second-rounder the Patriots have which landed the Panthers Armanti Edwards and there's the lost first-rounder in 2010 that landed the Panthers Everette Brown, most notably.)

If they can, Andrew Luck is most likely theirs, barring the entire city of Atlanta collapsing in on itself within the next 10 days; even the backups would probably handle the 'Cats if the Falcons have already clinched homefield advantage.

If the Panthers do secure the top selection in the draft (only a win against Atlanta and Denver losing out would drop them to second), there's still plenty of intrigue though.

Quarterback-needy teams will abound in the top part of the draft, as Cincinnati, Arizona, Buffalo, San Francisco, Washington, Minnesota, and Seattle are all potential top-10 teams that would love to get their paws on a franchise guy like Luck.

That turns the top pick, especially with the Panthers sans a second-rounder, into a potential goldmine.

There's also the labor situation to dissect. If a rookie wage scale is in place (or will be in place), taking a potential franchise guy like Luck with the top pick is much more palpable than it would be if it required the $50 million in guaranteed that Sam Bradford earned in 2010.

The good news for the Panthers is Richardson's intimate knowledge of the labor negotiations (he's one of the leaders in terms of NFL owners negotiating the collective bargaining agreement) mean they'll know as early as anyone what to expect in terms of how a new collective bargaining agreement might alter rookie salaries. (The Panthers top pick, then, also might lend a clue to the general progress of a new CBA at the time, provided there's still a lockout in progress.)

The bad news is that the labor strife might mean no new coaching staff in Charlotte by the time the draft rolls around, which puts the onus for draft picks entirely on Hurney and Co. And if the front office remains stubborn in its support of Clausen -- which is entirely possible -- there's a chance they could miss the franchise quarterback they've never had in Luck.

That seems impossible given the team's abysmal performance on Thursday night. But then again, a two-win season never seemed likely in September, either.

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Posted on: December 12, 2010 11:35 am

Report: Luck will only leave if Harbaugh's gone

Posted by Will Brinson

Even though Cam Newton's the "best player in college football" (or whatever you want to call the Heisman Trophy winner), Andrew Luck is the current prize of the 2011 NFL Draft.

However, a report from ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Sunday indicated that Luck might not actually be available.

"Sources familiar with the thought process say Luck is more likely to return for his junior season if Jim Harbaugh remains his coach," Mortensen said. Potential injury and loss of wages will not weigh as heavily -- Luck planned on four years and a college degree."

In other words, the only real way to lure Harbaugh out is to get him hired by an NFL team (or another college team). The Panthers stand out as an obvious location for both guys, because they'll need a new coach after 2010 and are likely to hold the top spot in the NFL Draft.

However, Mort notes the Panthers would need "a stroke of luck" to get Harbaugh, who apparently would prefer staying on the West Coast.

That makes the position of the San Francisco 49ers very, very interesting because if the Niners hired Harbaugh, they'd probably be unlikely to grab Luck without making a deal. Given the strong connection between Luck and his coach, there's no question they'd be interested in moving up, but they certainly wouldn't be able to pretend they aren't desperate.

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