Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay held a press conference yesterday afternoon. He reiterated his belief that this year’s team is closer to the Super Bowl than last year’s. Specifically, among his more notable quotes was the comparison he made of Andrew Luck to former Hall of Fame Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway:
"“Luck’s magic, when you watched him in college, when the play breaks down, in that half a second, he does things that are so innate and so unusual. That’s when the magic happens. He just decides in a split second, and he has the athletic and the physical skills to do that with his arm strength…with his feet. So really the sky is the limit. You hate to bring up comparisons with John being there running their program and stuff, but John was that way of course at Denver.”"
Nov 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos general manager John Elway before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Of course, Elway is now the General Manager of the Denver Broncos. His most notable move in recent seasons was getting rid of the ever-popular Tim Tebow in favor of legendary Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. However, back in his playing days, Elway flashed the same rare physical ability that Luck often does, where all you can do is shake your head in quiet disbelief.
Coming out of the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck was seen as the best blue chip quarterback prospect to come out since Peyton Manning in 1998. Before Manning, it was John Elway who was viewed as the most complete quarterback when he entered the NFL Draft in 1983 out of Stanford. In fact, Elway was actually drafted by the Baltimore Colts 1st overall that year before eventually being traded to the Denver Broncos after refusing to play for the former.
It’s funny how things always seem to come full circle.
After last Sunday’s win, it’s easy to see where Irsay was able to draw such a Hall of Fame comparison with dazzling plays like this:
Irsay also noted that his vision, that led to the difficult Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts separation in 2012 has gone exactly as he hoped for both parties:
"“To me, it’s been tremendous that my vision at the time was it would work out this way, that Peyton would be able to go somewhere, continue his greatness, continue his career,” Irsay said. “We would be able to go forward with Andrew. Again, having the type of success we’ve had so soon I think was a surprise to me.” “Peyton is still playing at such a high level,” Irsay noted. “I thought that he would. It was, again, great that he was able to go to a team and get surrounded with great players like they’ve surrounded him with.”"
While both Manning and the Indianapolis Colts organization have done well since parting ways, there was great initial uncertainty. It was unclear whether Manning would be able to continue his NFL career after lingering neck problems and if he’d be able to regain his prior form.
Meanwhile, no one could be certain whether Luck would live up to the hype or how long it would take the Colts to re-vamp their entire roster for playoff contention. Both have worked out as well as could’ve been hoped for, all things considered.