I have been around a long time and I have seen a lot of young talented qb's come out of college. Some of them Heisman Trophy winners, many of them first round top-ten picks. And, I have seen a lot of them "bust" before they could break out as an NFL star (does anyone remember the Peyton Manning vs. Ryan Leaf dilemma? I'm glad that Polian got that one right!).
I'm convinced that many of these young men could have been good perhaps even great if they would have landed in better circumstances. John Elway and his father understood that and decided that playing baseball would have been better than playing football for Bob Irsay and Fank Kush (I think I spelled Kush right I have repressed him from my memory). My question is, "Are the Colts becoming 'that team' again?" Are they beginning to follow a formula that will bust a talent quarterback rather than allow him to thrive? Here is the formula that I think often contributes to failure.
1). It starts with instability at the head coach position.
For some teams it's because the management throws the qb on a coaching carousel. Every couple of years there is a new guy leading the team because the front office can't get it right the first time (Every qb and the Clevaland Browns is a good example). For other teams the coach they have is not a stable leader (Alex Smith and Mike Singletary immediately come to mind here). Is there real stability at the head coaching position in the Colts organization? I'm not sure!
2). It is compounded by instability with the offensive coordinator and the system of the offense.
I believe that multiple oc's and systems are a plague for a young guy. The Colts are now on their second in Luck's second season and unless something drastic happens we are all going to be hoping that three is the charm.
3). You put him behind a bad o-line and let him get pummeled while he runs for his life.
I don't think I have to explain this to anyone!
4). You become over dependent upon him as a player and expect him to become the great eraser for the rest of the teams mistakes.
The quarterback is the lynchpin of almost every team and he is a huge part of a teams success, but when the only chance a team has of winning lies in the hands of a two or three year pro the organization is setting him up for failure.
5). You make bad off season and personnel decisions.
Again, pretty self explanatory.
Am I saying that Andrew Luck is a bust? No! Most definitely not. I believe that he has more than risen to the occasion. He does make mistakes, but he is only in his second year as a professional qb, which from all accounts that I have read, is much more difficult than it looks. What I am saying is that if something doesn't happen to fix the team around him there is going to be trouble. And, I'm saying that if something doesn't happen to fix the team around him and he still manages to thrive as an NFL qb, just about the time his rookie contract is expiring a few good organizations will be in the market for a polished veteran ready to win a championship (Broncos, Patriots, Giants).
What do you guys think?