I think the Andrew Luck situation will be featured on an NFL Network “Top 10 Wasted Talents” list. When I saw Andrew Luck burst onto the scene, I was stunned and although he didn’t have the rookie season that Robert Griffin III (who I thought was going to be better than Luck before he was derailed by injury) had I felt he was going to be special.
He had an amazing ground game, a large frame and a cannon arm to boost. With this combination I envisioned his bust being revealed in Canton. Maybe I wasn’t premature in those thoughts or I could have been way off.
The first thing I saw in Luck that struck me was how the man could scramble. He wasn’t going to be a Randall Cunningham or Mike Vick but he was still a mobile threat. Comparisons to a young Ben Roethlisberger (who’s first six seasons played will be used for stat comparisons as that’s how many Luck played) slipped into my mind.
Both were two time Super Bowl champions and I saw Luck achieving those or greater achievements. By the time he hung up the cleats, Luck had rushed for 1,590 yards. For a comparison, Roethlisberger only rushed for 698 yards.
Luck has thrown for 171 touchdowns and 23,671 yards over his time in the NFL. Roethlisberger threw for 19,302 yards and 127 touchdowns over his first six seasons. Over his career, Luck was sacked 174 times. That’s three more sacks than touchdowns thrown. Ben has been sacked 242 times during that beginning span.
Luck has lost a total of 1,124 yards over his career due to sacks where Roethlisberger has lost 1,601 yards in the same manner over the sample size. Luck made it to the Pro Bowl four times without a lineman in the game where Ben made it to just one, despite seven different Pro Bowl selections for his linemen. Luck was denied the line he needed and still put up amazing stats; imagine if he had the line Ben did. Maybe he could have brought home two Super Bowls in his first six years seasons played.
By the time Luck hung up his cleats he said “I felt stuck and the only way out of it is to no longer play football. It’s taken my joy away from the game.” Andrew Luck is worth 40 million dollars, which is more than many people will make in a lifetime. I don’t want to hear that 20 years down the line Luck commits suicide due to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, otherwise known as CTE. I want this man to have left with his body and mind still intact as much as a body can be after a football career.
As much as I loved watching Luck play on the field, there is more to life than football and I respect his choice. To Colts fans, he didn’t deserve to get booed off the field like he did but I can understand those in attendance may have been in a state of shock and I can sympathize with people who overreacted.
I can’t stand behind people who have decided to burn his uniform just because he didn’t want to undergo any more punishment against his body. I hope to see him enjoy retirement and in the Hall of Fame soon.
Note: All stats are from regular season play only