Tag:Indianapolis Colts
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:27 pm

Colts deny report they advised Luck not to throw

New Indianapolis Colts' general manager Ryan Grigson flatly denied a report that his team had advised likely No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck not to throw passes at the Scouting Combine this week.

Grigson, speaking to the media at the Combine Thursday, was twice asked about a tweet from Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star that claimed Luck was willing to throw Sunday but was talked out of it by the Colts. 

"I never said anything," Grigson said. "Players are allowed to make their own decisions what they're going to do at the Combine. I've had no bearing on that, believe me."

At least one member of the media may not have believed Grigson. Seconds after answering the first question about whether he'd individually asked Luck not to throw, a follow-up question came asking if any member of the Colts had pushed the Stanford passer's decision. 

"No. Absolutely not," Grigson replied. 
The reality is, Luck's decision to throw or not throw at the Combine this week is unlikely to have any bearing whatsoever on his draft status. The redshirt junior has three years worth of tape proving his talents. He's been the top-rated prospect in the country by NFLDraftScout.com for nearly two years. My CBS colleague Mike Freeman noted that scouts were absolutely "kissy, kissy" about Luck. Frankly, if the Colts stun the world by taking anyone other than Luck with the first pick of the draft, the list of suitors calling the St. Louis Rams to move up to No. 2 overall would likely be a long one. 

Any perceived slight or miscommunication between the Colts and Luck could be significant, however, especially considering the precarious situation Indianapolis already has with their current quarterback, Peyton Manning. Speaking of Manning, Grigson offered little news on the star's progress and asked the media to understand that he and the Colts have little choice but to wait for Manning to improve medically.

"...Peyton has to be healthy," Grigson explained. "It has to be something that’s spoken on and investigated and talked about. Right now, it’s a process. We’re waiting for things to happen. Right now, we’re doing the things we have control of. Things we don’t have control of, we just have no choice but to be patient. We ask all of you to be the same."

Regardless of the Colts' decision with Manning, expect the team to be well represented at Luck's Pro Day March 22
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:25 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:26 pm

NFL: Once order set, Colts free to sign No. 1

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello informed the media today at the 2012 Scouting Combine that once the final order is determined for the first round, the Indianapolis Colts are free to sign whomever they intend to draft No. 1 overall. 

The Colts are widely expected to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, but owner Jim Irsay also specifically mentioned Baylor's Robert Griffin III as another player his franchise is considering with the first pick. Irsay has said that his team plans to select a quarterback with the first pick. Dane Brugler, Pete Prisco and I each project the Colts to ultimately choose Luck in our current mock drafts.

The Colts aren't necessarily expected to actually sign anyone at this early stage of the process but the ability to negotiate with players could make their decision at No. 1 that much easier. 

The vast majority of the draft order has already been determined, but four teams -- the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks -- won't know which pick they'll be using until coin-flips break ties. The winner of a coin flip tomorrow morning will determine whether it will be the Panthers or Dolphins selecting eighth. The loser will pick ninth. The Buffalo Bills own the 10th pick. The Chiefs and Seahawks' coin flip will determine which club gets the No. 11 and No. 12 overall picks. 

Regardless of which teams win the coin flip, the competing teams will alternate picks in Rounds 2-7.   

Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:26 pm

Stanford, Baylor each schedule March 22 Pro Days

Unless Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III defy the trend of top-rated quarterbacks choosing not to throw at the Scouting Combine, talent evaluators are going to have a tough time seeing both throw prior to the 2012 draft.

That's because Stanford and Baylor have each scheduled their on-campus "Pro Day" workouts on March 22, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The conflicting schedule could force teams to split up their decision-makers to take in the workouts. This happened last year when the Carolina Panthers sent head coach Ron Rivera to watch Cam Newton's Pro Day workout at Auburn while general manager Marty Hurney reportedly attended Ryan Mallett's workout at Arkansas.

Another possibility, of course, is that Luck and/or Griffin could schedule their own individual workouts so that scouts could attend both.

If scouts are, indeed, forced to choose one or the other, the smart money is on Griffin generating more interest despite the fact that Luck is regarded as the top prospect in the draft. While both quarterbacks are viewed as exceptional talents worthy of top five consideration, Griffin has many more questions to answer prior to the draft than Luck.

Having established himself as the elite talent in the country two years running, Luck's game has already been dissected by most decision-makers. Griffin's ascension has been more sudden. Furthermore, scouts will want to see how Griffin drops back from center after having taken the majority of his snaps out of the shotgun while at Baylor.

While there remains some debate as to which direction the Indianapolis Colts may go with the No. 1 overall pick, they are thought to be leaning towards Luck. Should they take Griffin or any other player with the first pick, the line of suitors to trade up into the St. Louis Rams' No. 2 pick would be a long one. Should Griffin not be drafted No. 1, however, it remains to be seen if he generates the same trade interest or if he "falls" past No. 2 overall. Among the teams expected to be interested in adding Griffin would be the Cleveland Browns (owners of the No. 4 overall pick), the Washington Redskins (No. 6), Miami Dolphins (No. 9*), and Seattle Seahawks (No. 12*).  *Miami and Seattle's first round pick won't be decided until a coin-flip at the Combine. They may move up one spot each in the draft order after finishing tied with the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively.

As it stands now, I am projecting Griffin to slip to No. 4 overall, where the Browns could nab him. Dane Brugler has the Heisman winner landing with Cleveland, as well.

Scouts are quick to point out that Pro Day workouts in which quarterbacks are throwing "against air" rather than defenses do not ultimately play a significant role in determining his final grade. That hasn't stopped the "Pro Day season" from becoming a huge part of the pre-draft process. Teams dedicate plenty of money and time crossing the country to attend the workouts.

I, myself, have attended several Pro Day workouts of highly regarded quarterbacks, including last year's for Jake Locker, Sam Bradford's in 2010 and Mark Sanchez in 2009.

Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:45 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 1:45 pm

Irsay denies Colts have decided on Luck

Colts owner Jim Irsay denied a report that the team has discussed moving a $28 million option bonus owed quarterback Peyton Manning on March 8. The bonus would trigger the final four years of Manning's contract and prevent him from becoming a free agent.
Irsay also denied an ESPN report that the Colts have definitively decided to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in April. Other potential top prospects include Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
"There has been no discussion of a deadline push,n just like '98 with Manning/Leaf..u have 2 go thru a long,disciplined process of evaluation," Irsay tweeted Sunday, referring to the 1998 draft in which the Colts selected Manning over Ryan Leaf.
With the health of Manning in question after he missed the season recovering from neck surgery, the Colts are prepared to secure a franchise quarterback who will eventually take the baton from Manning.
Irsay is focused on hiring a new general manager after firing Bill Polian last week. Irsay tweeted Saturday that the Colts are interviewing seven candidates.
If they take Luck, the Colts will do so nearly 20 years since Irsay's father, Bob, selected another Stanford quarterback, John Elway, with the No. 1 pick in 1983, but ultimately traded the future Hall of Famer.
The sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen the younger Irsay welcomes the opportunity to complete the circle.
Of course, the Colts already rectified the missed opportunity with Elway by taking Manning as the top pick in 1998 and watching him develop into a future Hall of Famer, who led them to two Super Bowls, including a Super Bowl XLI win over the Chicago Bears.
Irsay said last week that he has no idea if Manning will play football again.
Manning has had three surgeries on his neck, including spinal fusion, and didn't practice or participate in team on-field activities in 2011. He will continue rehabbing at the team facility, a luxury he didn't have during the four-month lockout last year, and is hopeful of resuming his career in 2012.
But Manning will be 36 in March and his continued health isn't certain given the nature of the surgery and the physical demands of the NFL. If Manning is healthy, Irsay had vowed he will return.

Posted on: January 1, 2012 6:34 pm

Baylor QB Griffin heading to the NFL

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III described his Heisman moment as "unbelievably believable."

That moment was extended Sunday with multiple reports that RG3 is foregoing his senior season and entering the 2012 NFL draft.

Rated behind Stanford's Andrew Luck by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2012 draft and No. 3 overall player, Griffin completed 72.3% of his passes as a junior for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns against only six interceptions. Griffin, who qualified for the Olympic trials in high school, is just as dangerous on the ground, rushing for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011.

Griffin led Baylor to a 10-3 record, their first victory over the Oklahoma Sooners in team history and first bowl win since 1992.

While at 6-2, 220 pounds he does not possess the size and experience in a pro-style offense that Luck boasts, Griffin's electric combination of mobility and accuracy does give him a rarer skill-set and more upside than the Stanford star.

It makes for a fascinating decision for the Indianapolis Colts, who by virtue of their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, clinched the first pick of the draft.

The Colts can hope for the success recovery of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, but don't expect team president Bill Polian to waste his chance at securing a franchise quarterback of the future simply out of respect for their current star.

A significant portion of Luck's appeal to NFL teams is his pro-readiness. Should the Colts determine that they cannot rely on Manning returning to his previous All-Pro form, Polian is expected to make the traditional choice with Luck.

If the Colts feel secure that Manning can return in 2012, drafting Griffin and allowing him a season or two to acclimate from Baylor's relatively simple spread offense to the Colts' complicated attack is another strategy that will be heavily debated inside the Colts' headquarters.

If Griffin isn't able to leap Luck, he won't have to wait long before his "unbelievably believable" moment continues.

With Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley already announcing that he's returning for his senior season, Griffin may have gained enough value that the St. Louis  Rams with the No. 2 pick and Minnesota Vikings, picking third, may be prepared to auction off their pick to the highest bidder, as well.

The Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins are other potential landing spots for Griffin inside the top ten.

Posted on: January 1, 2012 3:51 pm

It's official. Colts lose, own No. 1 pick

The fascinating drama some guy predicted back in September might occur, will indeed.

The Indianapolis Colts, in losing 19-14 Sunday to the Jacksonville Jaguars, have secured the rights to the No. 1 pick of the 2012 draft.

If the Colts aren't absolutely convinced that Peyton Manning will return to All-Pro form next year, they'll be hard pressed to pass up the opportunity to draft the franchise quarterback to lead them into a new era.

Many, including NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler and myself, have predicted that the Colts will ultimately select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Those who think the Colts might do something other than take Luck, generally argue Polian could take another passer, Baylor's Heisman-Tropy winner Robert Griffin III.

All of which sets up for a fascinating decision for the Colts. With no clear top defensive prospects to realistically consider over Luck and Griffin, they'll either have to take a quarterback, trade the pick or trade Manning.

The 2011 NFL regular season boasted plenty of drama.

The 2012 pre-draft season is starting off just as intriguing.

Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:45 am

Polian's statement points to Colts taking QB

In a five paragraph statement made to the press shortly following Indianapolis' first win of the season, Colts' vice chairman Bill Polian announced that four-time league MVP Peyton Manning has begun throwing passes to teammates but that there is "no chance" that he will play this season.

"It was determined by the doctors that there was no chance he (Manning) would play this year," Polian said, alluding to a meeting that took place on Thursday. "His rehabilitation has not come far enough to make it prudent for him to step on the field in game action. He may practice in some very scripted and circumscribed circumstances if he wishes. That's entirely up to him."

Perhaps it is just me, but the last sentence in the quote above I found to be particularly interesting.

"That's entirely up to him" is the kind of thing one parent might say to another about a child about to make a foolhardy decision. It reeks of washing one's hands of a decision so that if something bad were to happen fault couldn't be spread.

It sounds like the words of a man who has already made up his mind with what he's doing with the first pick of the draft.

Having spoken with scouts specifically about the Colts and their 35-year old quarterback, the writing has been on the way for months. The Colts recognize the unique talent expected to be available and do not appear likely to be willing to mortgage their future at the game's most important position just to acknowledge what Manning has done for them in the past.

The real question could turn out to be which quarterback the Colts would prefer.

The overwhelming consensus, of course, is that the Colts would take Andrew Luck. As I noted here, however, there is growing sentiment that the higher upside of Robert Griffin III could convince some teams that he's the player who should be taken first.

If running a team needing a quarterback to step in and play immediately, it would seem Luck would be the slam dunk choice. Southern Cal's Matt Barkley, should he also decide to leave school early, is also especially ready for the leap to the NFL due to his experience in a pro-style offense.

If the Colts see enough in Manning's post practice workouts to convince them that he is on schedule to return to his MVP-caliber play, Griffin might sneak up on Luck. He, after all, is expected to need some time to acclimate to the NFL after having earned his Heisman trophy in a spread offense.

But, of course, Polian isn't tipping his hand on which college quarterback he likes best.

That won't come until a press conference scheduled four months from now.

Posted on: November 23, 2011 10:55 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:52 pm

Report: Luck is indeed leaving Stanford early

   It'll be a happy Thanksgiving for a few general managers likely to be perched at the top of next year's NFL draft.

   Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck plans to enter the 2012 NFL Draft according to a Yahoo Sports report, which cites two sources in saying Luck won't be back for a fourth and final college season.

   The redshirt junior, considered the No. 1 overall prospect since the start of the 2010 season, surprised most when he decided after the Cardinal won the Orange Bowl to return for his redshirt junior season in 2011 to finalize his degree in architectural engineering. The Charlotte Observer reported in January that Luck, not Cam Newton of Auburn, was the Panthers' top-ranked prospect. When Luck returned, Newton was the No. 1 overall pick and has put up gaudy statistics starting since Week 1.

   Luck has started since his freshman season and given head coach Jim Harbaugh, who recruited him to Palo Alto, moved on to the 49ers, some saw Luck as a sure bet to follow him to the pros.

   Harbaugh said Luck is the anti-franchise quarterback in that he doesn't follow any "social expectations in his life." As one example, Harbaugh said some of Luck's closest ties outside of the Stanford locker room were with intellectual professors.

     On the field, Luck has been portrayed as the total package at a position considered the most important to winning in the NFL.  He's expected to be a Heisman Trophy finalist and will leave Stanford with a number of passing records and marks for wins, including many that previously belonged to Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.

   NFLDraftScout.com projects Luck as one of three or possibly four quarterbacks who will be first-round picks in 2012
, assuming multiple juniors, including Luck and Southern California's Matt Barkley, opt to leave school early.

   He's been scouted heavily by the Indianapolis Colts, who at 0-10 are the most likely team to hold the No. 1 overall pick. All other NFL teams have at least two victories.

   The Colts' situation could be interesting from many angles. Luck received direct counsel from injured All-Pro Peyton Manning, who played all four years of his eligibility at Tennessee, when weighing his draft-vs.-Stanford decision in January. Manning wants to return to the Colts next season. But he's had three neck surgeries and his health status is very much unknown.

   Indianapolis, which signed Manning to a five-year, $90 million contract in July, can release Manning in March and avoid the final four years of his contract. That would clear the path for luck, a player management and owner Jim Irsay said has to be considered if indeed Indianapolis drafts at the top spot in April.

   Vice chairman Bill Polian, who built his previous teams around quarterbacks -- Jim Kelly in Buffalo, Kerry Collins in Carolina and Manning with the Colts -- has scouted Luck on multiple occasions in person. Polian and Manning said they've discussed the scenario, but have not shared what factors will dictate the direction the team takes in March and April.

Jeff Reynolds,

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