Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 5/30/12
Let’s face it, coming into the NFL is a dream come true for many players.  Working hard through high school and college to find themselves receiving a call from an NFL team and meeting the commissioner face to face is a big deal and one that would never be forgotten.  After the hoopla of combines, interviews and draft night what is left?  The preparing and planning to prove to the team that selected you that they didn’t make a mistake and to prove to the fans that you will give them something to cheer for all season.  The pressure of being in the NFL is high but the pressure of being a number one pick overall, even greater.  In this article we want to look at Andrew Luck and how he is the unluckiest player entering the NFL in the 2012 season.  As we all know before the draft, even before the college season started Luck was already touted as the first pick in the NFL draft and even with that pressure he performed well at Stanford, but that is not the NFL.  There are many things that will contribute to why he is unlucky and we want to look at three:   1) The obvious, following a legend: The pressure of NFL life is great but it gets even tougher trying to replace a legend.  For Andrew Luck the battle is just getting started as he will try to replace Peyton Manning.  Manning did incredible things on the field for the Colts (a 4-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl Champion and many times a 4,000 yard passer) but he also did a lot for the city of Indianapolis off the field.  Luck can say he isn’t worried about trying to replace Manning but the fact is every time an interception is thrown, a fumble is lost or a bad decision is made the ghost of Manning will be in his thoughts.  The most difficult thing will be that Indianapolis is a city that has won for many years and last year left a bad taste in the mouth of fans, players and the front office.  So now the hope to get back to winning ways is now in the hands of a rookie quarterback out of Stanford, advice for Luck when it gets rough don’t take it personal when you hear the Manning chants.   2) It’s a rebuilding situation or is it? The fact is the Colts dumped many of the players that were on the team for many seasons, names like Clark, Addai, Brackett, etc… players that were many fan favorites and lost many to free agency it looks like an all out rebuild but you resign Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis so is it really a rebuild?  And because of keeping certain players and releasing others some may look for Indianapolis to still be able to contend or even win. Either way it will not be a easy season for the rookie a quarterback, defense hasn’t been a standard for the Colts in many seasons and now they are changing the scheme of the D, a new coaching staff and many new faces the possible saving grace for Luck is the fact that the awful season the team had last year; the hope for fans is that Luck will come in and save the day but all must remember he is only a rookie, advice it’s going to continue to be bad before it gets better (but hopefully not a 2-14 season).   3) Manning is still in the league and Luck is still a rookie (Cam Newton didn’t help) There are unimaginable pressures placed on rookie quarterbacks but many that can rise above them like Cam Newton for Carolina still receive criticism (his demeanor on the sidelines, his interview skills, etc…) For Luck it was good for the Colts to have had the miserable season but it was bad for him that Newton had such an amazing season, now fans will compare all season between the two (not fair to Luck, but it is what it is).  On top of the comparisons Peyton Manning is still in the NFL and from all reports looks to be on point to make a splash in his new town Denver.  There again if Luck struggles and Manning is successful no doubt he will hear it from the locker room to the field.  On the same level he will be compared to Manning as well (again not fair to Luck but well you know) advice, it’s supposed to be your team all you can do is go out and own the spotlight, play with confidence.
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