Thursday, January 6, 2011

So Andrew Luck is returning to Stanford

The entire NFL establishment is reacting with dismay to Andrew Luck's announcement that he is returning to Stanford for the 2011 season. He says he wants to finish his degree. Insiders say that there are still elements of his skill set that he wants to polish before entering the NFL.

I'm proud of you kid! You made the right call. Stay in school! I knew you were a smart guy when I saw your chart. It's the Virgo thing you and I share. You just proved yourself wiser than your years. You just earned my respect. Now don't waiver. Lock out these guys who are yammering at you.

The NFL establishment continues to coax Andrew, describing this as a high-risk financial decision. I don't think so. I bet he doesn't either. Even in the worst possible case scenario, Sam Bradford still wound up being the #1 pick in 2010. I doubt such a situation will develop in Andrew Luck's case. His offensive line is far better than Sam's was in 2009.

Why was Andrew right in making this decision? Only one of two scenarios are going to play out in the upcoming 2011 season. Either we are going to have a lock-out that screws everything, or we are going to have a rookie Salary cap. In either scenario, Luck stands to make far less money that the pundits would have you believe. It's more than he will make in college next season, but in the long run, that doesn't matter.

There is another far more profound reason why Andrew made the right choice. Andrew needs to think about his long-term future, not short-term gain. If he wants to make a run at the Hall of Fame, he needs set himself a strong foundation. Just about 90% of all underclass quarterbacks go bust in the NFL. There is some statistical noise in that figure, but it essentially holds true.

We all know why. The quarterback post requires uncommon maturity, intelectual development and skill development. In this process, age is a good thing. Like fine wine, you would be surprised what a year or two of additional aging will do for the quality of a college QB.

Andrew has had two fine seasons. One more should clench it for him. Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford have proven a Red-Shirt junior is just about as good as a senior. Next year will be better for him.

Now everything hindges on what Jim Harbaugh does. Sources say he is close to signing with the Miami Dolphins. I sure hope not. I love the Dolphins, and I like Jim Harbaugh. Still, I consider this a bad move. It just doesn't feel right. I don't think it is good for either party.

I hope Harbaugh will return to the Stanford Cardinal also. Those two should finish together, and enter the NFL together. There is a great deal of dynamism in their relationship. Together they form a pretty devestating combo. It would be good to keep them together.