Friday, April 2, 2010

The Next Brady

Did I get your attention with the headline? I have been reading and hearing so much talk about Tim Tebow and the New England Patriots. Personally, I would love to see the Pats draft him. However, he wouldn't be my first choice to someday to take over the job as quarterback of the New England Patriots.

This quarterback is not in this years draft. Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford could be very good pro quarterbacks. In my opinion they will not be the quarterback that the "Next Brady" will be. Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford currently playing will also be very good quarterbacks. I am looking for a guy who can take over the mantle of a "living legend".

This quarterback is currently playing College Football close to where Tom Brady grew up in Northern California. His name is Andrew Luck and he plays for Stanford. Next year he will only be a sophomore. His first year playing at Stanford he was a redshirt freshman. He is 6ft. 4 inches tall and weighs 235 pounds. He resides in Houston Texas and his father Oliver Luck was a former NFL quarterback with the Houston Oilers.

Now what makes this redshirt freshman the "Next Brady"? In my opinion it is the intangibles you just can't measure. Tom Brady is extremely intelligent and has excellent pocket presence. What separates Tom Brady from the rest comes down to his decision making. Drew Bledsoe had all the natural ability to be a great quarterback. The difference between Bledsoe and Brady are the intangibles. To me the intangibles are the difference between good and great quarterbacks.

I was watching an ESPN College Football show and they were touting Andrew Luck. Stanford was about to play Oregon. The hosts of the show kept mentioning you need to check out this redshirt freshman form Stanford. I had no plans on watching this game. I took their advice and sat down and watched the game between Stanford and Oregon.

Two players jumped out at me right away and they both played for Stanford. Toby Gerhart is a great running back and I would love to see the Pats draft him. However, it was the quarterback Andrew Luck that caught my eye right away. For a freshman his pocket presence was fantastic. He knew just when to release the ball and it was a laser to his receiver. He did this time after time in this game against Oregon. Stanford won this game in a shootout 51 - 42. I am not a stat guy to be honest with you. I go by the eye test. In this game he was 12 - 20 for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns. The eye test told me he was better than the statistics in this game. This team you could tell was more about the running game than the passing game. With all that said, Andrew Luck was extremely poised in the pocket and made great decisions.

Now, that was just one game. What would happen next week against USC on the road? I decided I needed to see more so I watched this game. Would Luck get rattled in this game against USC? In the beginning to be honest he was a little shaky. As the game went on he settled down. Again, he made good decisions when under pressure. Stanford beat USC 55 - 21. His statistics won't overwhelm you. He was 12 - 22 throwing for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. Again though the eye test told me he was better than the statistics. After this game I thought he might be the "real deal".

Now, the next week Stanford would play California. Andrew Luck came back to earth and had a very bad game against Cal. He was 10 -30 and threw an interception in a 34 - 28 loss for Stanford. Again, he is only a freshman and every quarterback has bad games. The question is how would he bounce back.

The next game was against Notre Dame. Andrew Luck was 14 - 20 and threw for 198 yards. His completion percentage was 70%. Luck did bounce back and help lead Stanford to a victory against Notre Dame 45 - 38. To me a quarterback that has a short memory, and can follow up a bad game with a good game is extremely valuable.

Andrew Luck's statistics are not going to overwhelm you. He played in an offense that was geared more for the running game last year. What impressed me is the intangibles you just can't teach. Luck is an intelligent quarterback with great instincts for football. He knows when to make the right decision. He throws the pass just at the right time. He also can take a hit. After watching a good sample of games from Luck I realized he was a special quarterback.

I am in no hurry to replace Tom Brady. I am as huge a fan of Brady as they come. I even named my son after him. At some point though life goes on and the Pats are going to need a new quarterback. Why not replace him someday with someone that has those similar qualities that Brady possesses?

Andrew Luck is going into his sophomore season at Stanford. This will be he third year at Stanford as he redshirted his first year. When he decides to go into the NFL draft I hope the New England Patriots do whatever they can to draft Andrew Luck.

If you want to see for yourself watch this youtube video of Andrew Luck