So I’ve been thinking about what the Redskins should do at quarterback this offseason. The scenarios have differed, but Peyton Manning keeps coming up as a possible candidate. Over the past several weeks or so, I have argued why Manning isn’t the right fit for the Redskins. That led me to a random thought that I felt was worth sharing.
In the event that the Colts release Manning and draft Andrew Luck, I really believe that’s setting up Luck to fail.
Here’s my reasoning behind such a strong opinion. Manning has spent more than a decade winning in Indianapolis; he has raised the bar for what a player means to a franchise and has single-handedly kept a small-market team relevant.
Manning ultimately will be remembered for his winning ways, and I don’t care how talented his successor is, he will face enormous pressure to produce.
It doesn’t seem fair. If you ask me, it’s like the perfect storm. Think about it: The most important figure in franchise history — yes, that includes Johnny Unitas — will be departing the city in the worst way possible. The Colts have handle the entire situation very poorly, making Manning into a very sympathetic figure. Ridding loyal fans of that feeling will not be easy to do.
The ideal situation for Luck would have provided a fair opportunity to get acclimated to the league before being judged. He will have a learning curve that’s natural for all rookies.
As if replacing Manning wasn’t enough, Luck will be further burdened by expectations resulting from Cam Newton’s success as a rookie last season. Why does that complicate things for Luck? It’s yet another standard that he’ll be measured against.
A year ago, many experts said Luck, not Newton, would have been the No. 1 overall pick had luck declared for the draft. Newton didn’t win very many games as a rookie but what he did was show that he’s a franchise quarterback. If Luck comes in and loses as a rookie, he better have the same type of style points as Newton — meaning his performances better live up to the hype or else he and the Colts will hear about it.
Furthermore, imagine if Manning recovers enough to play well over another few seasons. Can you imagine the backlash for the Colts? Guess who might be one of the recipients of that resentment? You guessed it: Andrew Luck.
No rookie should have to step into this type of pressure. It’s enough that he has been hyped as a once-in-a-generation, can’t-miss franchise QB.
I’m sure he’s hoping that his career path stays consistent with his last name. He’s going to need a lot of luck if he gets drafted by the Colts.
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