The Indianapolis Colts have started their rebuilding process, preparing for life without QB Peyton Manning. The Colts however have a great player to build around at the quarterback position in Stanford rookie, Andrew Luck. Luck was one of the most highly touted rookies entering the draft since perhaps his predecessor Manning or Broncos QB John Elway. Luck enters this season with a great tutor in offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
Arians has a track record of developing young quarterbacks after working with Peyton Manning and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. Arians “retired” from the Steelers this season, being replaced with Todd Haley but came out of his retirement in order to join the Colts organization this offseason.
Last season, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton re-wrote the record books and raised the bar regarding expectations for rookie quarterbacks. Luck might not be able to duplicate Newton’s on field performance this season, but he should showcase why he was the first overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft and help Colts fans ease the pain of losing veteran QB Peyton Manning.
Speaking to reporters, Arians said he’s impressed with Luck’s ability. “He has a little bit of Peyton, a little bit of Timmy Couch and a little bit of Ben. It’s scary how good he can be. I’m really anxious to see him develop and watch him grow because he’s got the best of all three of those guys.”
While Luck won’t benefit from the strong running game Newton enjoyed last season with the Panthers, the Colts are not completely devoid of offensive weapons. Veteran WR Reggie Wayne returns. Despite a horrible quarterback situation in Indianapolis last year, Wayne nearly topped the 1,000 yard receiving mark. The Colts draft Luck’s former Stanford teammate, tight end Coby Fleener. The duo should emerge as one of the top QB/TE pairing in the NFL in coming years.
However, the Colts have undergone a full blown youth movement with nearly 40 players with less than two years of NFL experience filling the current roster.