In the coming days, millions of Americans will open their mailboxes to see one of four regional covers celebrating the new generation of quarterbacks that took the NFL by storm in 2012. The covers will feature one of the following four quarterbacks depending on where you live — San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, Washington’s Robert Griffin III, Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck. The covers are celebrating “The New Kings” of a new breed of quarterback.
The interesting aspect of this supposed new generation of read-option quarterbacks is there is one that definitely is different than the other, and that’s Luck. Luck was the most celebrated college quarterback since John Elway was at Stanford, but entering his senior year in Palo Alto, Luck was upstaged by the monsoon of press known as RGIII. Griffin won the Heisman and stole all the publicity that was building for Luck, not that he minded.
Griffin was a known commodity, but before winning the Heisman, Luck was the presumptive No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. All of a sudden, that top pick was up for debate and by a stroke of luck — please excuse the pun — Colts quarterback Peyton Manning missed the entire year with neck issues and Indianapolis suffered through a terrible 2-14 season. The Colts released Manning, drafted Luck and the rest is history.
Luck is very much like his predecessor, Manning. A very hard worker, who has no flash to him at all, and doesn’t need the spotlight. Luck led the Colts to a 11-5 record and a wild card berth in his rookie season despite his head coach Chuck Pagano missing most of the year after being diagnosed with leukemia. Griffin was no slouch either, he led the Redskins to a 10-6 record on their way to winning the NFC’s Eastern Division. Griffin’s season was plagued by conflicting opinions about a nagging knee injury. Griffin tore his ACL after noticeably limping during a wild card home loss to fellow rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.