Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has somehow morphed into a beacon of controversy when it comes to discussing NFL quarterbacks. Luck had a better year in 2016 than people give him credit for, especially considering a lack of help around him and a shoulder injury he's been battling for the last two years.
The shoulder injury is also a source of controversy, sinceto have surgery. , expectations are high for Luck's sixth NFL season. Those expectations come because of the brilliance Luck flashed early in his career -- and the man who was coaching him then, Bruce Arians, happened to raise the expectations even higher with his breakdown of Luck's game.
Appearing on CBS Sports Radio's Tiki & Tierney this week, Arians said that Luck is a combo of Peyton Manning's brain and Ben Roethlisberger's body, adding that he believes Luck has a photographic memory.
"It took Ben a couple years to do no-huddle and call it. Peyton three years. Andrew, three games. He's brilliant. They say he's got a photographic memory. I don't know what the hell it is, but I know you tell him once, and he's got it," Arians said. "And his athletic ability is amazing. When you think of Peyton's brain and Ben's body and toughness and heart, you got Andrew. So much goes into winning. Not just one guy. He probably needed that surgery sooner than he got it."
Not sure if anyone is aware, but Luck went to Stanford, a place that's considered fairly decent at producing academic achievement. The photographic memory thing would also explain why Luck managed to dominate on the field for four years and dominate in the classroom as well.
As for how it translates to the NFL, well, Luck came out of the gates firing, helping the Colts win 11 games in each of his first three years. Those Indianapolis teams were not a result of smart team building: they were a result of Luck overcoming issues on his offensive line and on the defense in order to win football games. It was reminiscent of Manning's days in Indianapolis, albeit in a different way (Manning was more mental, Luck felt more physical at times).
The physicality led to the issues with Luck's shoulder. He still has an incredibly strong build and an incredibly strong arm. He just needs to stay healthy in order to maximize his mental abilities.
If he can do that, then those who point out that Luck has become underrated at this point of his career -- lots of critics don't want to point to him as a top 10 quarterback and would get angry if you called him a top-5 signal caller -- will be justified in the continued support.