Tag:Andrew Luck
Posted on: February 23, 2012 7:54 pm
 

Harbaugh on Luck: 'He's got all the qualities'

Breaking news: Jim Harbaugh loves Andrew Luck. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a weird bit of symmetry going on in Indy for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. He spent Wednesday night sitting on the bench with his brother-in-law, Indiana Hoosiers coach Tom Crean, and several of Harbaugh's former players at Stanford are prominent prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft.

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Perhaps you've heard of one of them: Andrew Luck. Luck is, according to what one scout told Mike Freeman, "almost the perfect prospect." While Harbaugh wasn't quite as effusive with his praise of Luck, he's clearly enamored with the former Stanford quarterback.

"You ever play spades?" Harbaugh asked a confused-looking crowd of reporters. "It's a trump game? He's holding a lot of aces in a lot of suits."

Harbaugh, in case you're wondering, is having fun this week. He continued to have fun with the media, bantering back and forth with a group of reporters "looking for bullet points" about his former pupil.

"He's got all the qualities, really, mentally, physically," Harbaugh said. "He's really good? How about that one? He's got a lot of talent."

Hooray for platitudes! But, no, seriously, Jim. People are putting a lot of pressure on Luck, who's been deemed the best thing since Peyton Manning supplanted sliced bread (and Harbaugh himself, actually) as the greatest thing on the planet. Is it fair?

"Fair or unfair, it's the nature of the business," Harbaugh said. "And he's very equipped to deal with. He's very mature."

Luck's definitely mature. We spoke to him at the Super Bowl and even in a few minutes, it's clear just how measured he is in his responses, without being contrite in the slightest. That doesn't make his task -- which is almost certainly going to be "filling Peyton's shoes" -- any easier. But if anyone's going to be able to do it, it's Luck.

Just ask Jim Harbaugh. Or don't.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:27 pm
 

Dolphins OK with 'short-term' fix at QB right now

The Fins are open to a long- or short-term fix at quarterback. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Perhaps you've heard already: the Miami Dolphins are in the market for a quarterback. There are myriad rumors about who they want; Matt Flynn works because Joe Philbin's his old coach. Peyton Manning works because, well, he's Peyton Manning. What about Robert Griffin III? And don't sleep on Ryan Tannehill, who Mike Sherman coached at Texas A&M.

According to Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland, the team is in fact open to a short-term solution at the position, despite having never successfully filled the role since the departure of my esteemed colleague Mr. Marino many moons ago.

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"I don't think it has to be a long-term solution," Ireland said. "I think you can get a short-term solution. Obviously you'd like a long-term solution, but you can do both. You can certainly try and get both in that regard. But it's my job to try and grow the team for today and for the future. And Joe's responsibility is to try and win today with a mind to the future as well."

Philbin echoed Ireland's sentiments, saying that there's "not necessarily" a preference when it comes to acquiring a quarterback for the future or a quarterback who can step in right now and win.

"Not necessarily," Philbin said. "The quarterback is an important position in the offense and an important position on the football team. We've got to have a player perform with success at that position. But we don't have a mandate that the player has to be 24-years-old or 33-years-old or 29-years old.

"We're looking for a manager, a leader, an accurate passer, a decision maker and a guy who can make a play when we need it. And however that shakes out, it's fine by us."

Since Marino departed, the Dolphins have rolled out the following quarterbacks as starters: Jay Fiedler, Damon Huard, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels, Brian Griese, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen and Matt Moore.

That's sixteen quarterbacks since Marino last played in 1999. The Dolphins, more than almost any team in the NFL (with the possible exception of the Redskins) need a long-term answer at quarterback.

But that long-term answer might not come this year, especially whatever short-term solution they're eying gives the Dolphins a chance to win now.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:15 am
Edited on: February 23, 2012 10:28 am
 

Colts could sign Luck as soon as Friday

Luck appears to be the future in Indy, the only question is when. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The road to the first-overall pick isn't a smooth one. There's all the losing, the waning fan interest, the almost certain turnover on the coaching staff and the roster. But once the offseason arrives and the new faces are in place, hope is renewed.

Now that Colts fans seem to have accepted that Peyton Manning's best days are behind him and Andrew Luck is the future, there are reasons for optimism. Typically, the NFL Draft takes place on the last weekend of April, but the Colts, should they choose, can sign Luck (or any other draft-eligible player) as early as … Friday. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that after a pair of coin flips locks in the draft order, Indianapolis can ink Luck to a contract.

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Greasing the skids: the new CBA includes a rookie wage scale which means that holdouts are much less likely since there isn't much to negotiate. One of the benefits to doing this sooner than later: it will officially close the book on the Manning era, something owner Jim Irsay is probably eager to do, and the focus would be on Luck, the Colts' next franchise quarterback.

(Then again, maybe Irsay wasn't joking when he said he "would love to have Manning back.")

Should Indy sign Luck before the draft, however, it doesn't mean that the Rams would immediately be on the clock with the No. 2 pick. Aiello explains that only the team holding the first-overall selection has that option.

This is good news for the Browns, Redskins and any other outfit in the market for Robert Griffin III, who is expected to go as high as second overall. It's also good news for the Rams because they'll be able to trade out of the pick and improve their roster in the process.

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Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:00 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 10:28 am
 

Could Skins be interested in Weeden in 1st round?

Would Washington trade down for Weeden instead of trade up for RG3? (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang ranks Oklahoma State Brandon Weeden fifth among draft-eligible quarterbacks behind Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannenhill and Brock Osweiler. NFL Network's Mike Mayock has Weeden fourth.

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And friend of the Eye on Football Blog, Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar, wrote Wednesday in a pre-combine post that "Brandon Weeden has all the on-field savvy in the world — and at age 28, he'll be given credit for the savvy he doesn't have — but he needs to display the consistent arm that will convince scouts that he can hit tight windows at the NFL level."

We mention this because of something Sports Illustrated's Don Banks noted in his latest mock draft regarding the Redskins, their No. 6 pick, and franchise quarterbacks.

"(LSU cornerback Morris) Claiborne is likely the safest pick for the Redskins in this scenario, but so much hinges on what the Redskins do at quarterback in free agency. I gave them Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill in my first mock, but here's an interesting theory I heard recently that makes some sense: Mike Shanahan loves Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden, who he coached in the Senior Bowl, and might try to trade down into the 20s of the first round to take him. Weeden is 28 and that scares a lot of teams, but he's mature and ready to play in the NFL right away, and the Redskins don't have time to wait around for someone to develop."

Worthing pointing out: Shanahan also loved Rex Grossman and John Beck enough to not pursue other options prior to the 2011 season. Predictably, Washington now has the sixth-overall selection in April's draft.

Then there are these tweets (sent Monday) from Farrar, who spends much of his free time watching film and evaluating players:

SC_DougFarrar
After watching a fair amount of tape, I'm convinced that the words "Brandon Weeden" and "NFL-ready" should not be in the same paragraph.
2/20/12 8:25 PM

SC_DougFarrar
Weeden doesn't have the gun to hit tight windows, needs work on touch passes, and doesn't adjust to WR re-direction. Zone passer.
2/20/12 8:28 PM

SC_DougFarrar
@johndsandell Not saying that Weeden is horrible. Saying that there are certain things I look for re: NFL-ready, and I don't see them here.
2/21/12 8:44 AM

Maybe Weeden isn't the next Chris Weinke. And honestly, it's too early to pass judgments on anyone -- it's February, after all -- but if the Redskins are truly serious about finding a quarterback then they should give serious consideration to trading up for Griffin, trading down for Tannenhill or making a play for Matt Flynn (or Peyton Manning -- or whomever they fall in love with in free agency).

The point: don't settle. Look where that's gotten you. 

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Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:44 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 10:50 am
 

Luck could throw at combine; Colts might nix it

Luck

By Josh Katzowitz

Robert Griffin III already has made the decision that he most likely will not to throw at the scouting combine, saying “It’s still up in the air but I'm probably not going to throw." Instead, he only will toss the ball in front of scouts at Baylor’s pro day on March 21.

Although it was reported last weekend that likely No. 1 pick Andrew Luck also won’t throw in Indianapolis this week, ESPN.com is reporting that Luck could throw and that he’ll be prepared to do so.

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That’s the word from quarterback trainer George Whitfield, who has worked with Luck in three sessions heading into this week’s combine and who also tutored Cam Newton before the 2011 draft. Whitfield also plans to work with Luck in Palo Alto, Ca., in the weeks leading up to Luck’s March 22 pro day.

"There are things he wants to work on, but this is refinement not an installation or a surgery," Whitfield told the website. "It's about getting reps and he's really a marvel to watch. Very sound. Very consistent. Physically impressive. A power guy. A strong guy which people underestimate. One thing we've been doing is working the throws out on the perimeter -- those throws outside the hash marks."

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star reported that Luck originally wanted to throw at the combine but that the Colts advised against it. So, the chances are good that Luck probably won’t throw, especially if his (almost-assured) future employer is advising against it.

But in case there’s a last-minute change of mind, Luck sounds willing to throw and is ready to make it happen.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:52 am
 

Sherman likens Tannehill to Favre, Rodgers

New Fins OC Mike Sherman thinks Tannehill is a Favre-like leader. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

When it comes to quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft, the general consensus out there is that Ryan Tannehill is the No. 3 signal caller behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. But that doesn't mean he's doomed to falling in the draft, as there are plenty of potential suitors picking in the top half of the draft.

One such suitor, the Miami Dolphins, recently hired Tannehill's coach at Texas A&M, Mike Sherman, as its offensive coordinator. And Sherman, speaking to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, said that Tannehill reminds him of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

"Like all good quarterbacks he had great poise. Very confident in any system, west coast or not," Sherman said of Tannehill. "Any quarterback has to be confident in his own skin and believe in himself. They always say a great quarterback makes those around him better. I thought [Brett] Favre did that. I think Aaron Rodgers does that. I think Tannehill does that as well."

We'll forgo debating the comparisons between Favre and Rodgers, made only on the premise that Tannehill is a leader. Instead, we'll point out that it was actually Sherman who moved Tannehill to wide receiver before the 2008 season. Tannehill lost out in the competition for quarterback to Stephen McGee and Jerrod Johnson and remained a wide receiver in 2009.

Tannehill caught over 100 passes for more than 1,400 yards in two years before being moved back to quarterback, and completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 5,388 yards, 42 touchdowns and 21 interceptions over the next two years.

But again: Sherman's the guy who moved him to wideout. It's impressive as hell that Tannehill was a dominant college wide receiver, and even more impressive that he transitioned back to quarterback, but if he was "like Brett Favre," the move to wide receiver is an indictment of someone here.

Oh yes, and Sherman was fired from his job as Texas A&M head coach after this past season.

Having said all that, we tend to agree that Tannehill's stock is on the rise and that he's highly unlikely to even fall towards the end of the first round. NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler slotted him as high as sixth to the Redskins in the latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft. (Rob Rang has Tannehill going 22nd overall to the Browns.)

But if new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin feels the same way about Matt Flynn as Sherman apparently feels about Tannehill, it won't matter much that the Dolphins OC is that interested in his former wideout/quarterback protégé.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:00 am
 

Could the Vikings be interested in Luck, RG3?

Ponder will start for the Vikings again in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

Assuming Andrew Luck goes with the No. 1 pick to the Colts in April’s draft and then somebody trades up to take the Rams spot at No. 2 to select Robert Griffin III -- still somewhat of an assumption, of course -- the Vikings won’t have a shot at either of them.

That’s because Minnesota will pick at No. 3 and because the Vikings took a quarterback in the first round last year. And while it seems somewhat silly that Minnesota would entertain the idea of replacing Christian Ponder so quickly -- Ponder began the year behind Donovan McNabb and played decently for one of the worst teams in football before injuring himself and giving way to some spectacular performances by Joe Webb -- it’s not out of the realm of possibility I suppose.

Especially when general manager Rick Spielman goes back and forth when discussing Ponder’s future with the club.

"I know we're very confident in Christian, but if one of those quarterbacks is too good to pass up, you also have to weigh that in too," Spielman told local reporters, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But we're very, very confident in what Christian Ponder brings. As we go through this process and our coaches come into this process and we put this thing together in April, I don't know where we'll be."

Although Luck and Griffin could be categorized as “too good to pass up” by Spielman, that might say more about the team’s confidence in Ponder -- who was 2-8 as a starter while completing 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,853 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year -- than anything else. The Rams, for instance, most likely won’t stick around the No. 2 spot because they’ve already got full confidence in Sam Bradford.

The Vikings, though, will vet Luck and Griffin, interviewing them at the NFL combine and perhaps having them make visits to Minnesota.

“We'll be at their workouts, yeah," said Spielman, who said last month that Ponder would be his starter heading into offseason workouts. "We'll be doing full monty on [Luck] and RG3."

Chances are, Ponder will be safe from having to compete with Luck and Griffin for Minnesota’s affections (Webb, though, might be a different story). But the Vikings will do its due diligence either way.

Said Spielman: “You never know what happens on draft day, and I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared."

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:09 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Peyton Manning's latest surgery

What will the latest surgical report do to teams' interest in Manning? (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Peyton Manning was sick of Randy Moss stealing the spotlight, obviously. Taking the attention back Wednesday was a report of a fourth procedure on Manning's neck, which, actually, probably didn't make Manning happy.

We break down that news, discuss how it affects Manning's value on the open market, what it means for "politician" Jim Irsay and all the Manning news that's fit to print.

Then we break down whether or not Andrew Luck is a "once-in-a-lifetime prospect," if Robert Griffin III can realistically compete with Luck for the No. 1 draft pick, where he would fit in the NFL. We also talk about Terrell Owens being broke, the possibility of Moss going to the IFL, Jerry Jones wanting Super Bowl L to come back to Dallas and what it means with Ron Jaworski getting the boot from the MNF booth.

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com