It feels like 1998 all over again. Anyone else remember these kinds of comments about a guy who turned out to have a laser rocket arm?
Overall, Luck was not asked to make many tough throws at the intermediate and deeper levels. I did not see those. I will not say he can’t make them, but based on the 5 games I evaluated it’s a projection. In addition, Luck had a tendency to lift his back foot off the ground before releasing the ball. That prevented him from driving through his throws and at times negatively impacted his velocity and accuracy. He would lean over his front foot and push the ball. That can be corrected with coaching and repetition, but it’s a concern that must be addressed.
Luck was not a special passer based on film study. He is not the same kind of arm talent as Matthew Stafford or Cam Newton. While charting Luck, I was compelled to reflect on Manning. Was Manning a special passer coming out of Tennessee? Most would probably say no. It raises the question: what is the connection between arm talent and high football IQ as it relates to NFL success? We know where it led with Manning. Also remember Peyton’s arm strength increased as played in the NFL.
There are many others, like Merrill Hoge and some of our competitors that are arguing that Robert Griffin’s arm strength is better than that of Luck. Perhaps they’re right but should that change the path the Colts take?
Much like the discussion in 1998 there is a clear cut favorite and an up-and-coming contender. Ryan Leaf’s prospects continually rose until many considered him to be as close to a near-miss as any player. The most often quoted reason draftniks and pundits preferred Leaf was…wait for it…ARM STRENGTH.
I’m not suggesting Griffin will bomb like Leaf. By all accounts Griffin is a high-character guy with all the tools it takes to succeed. I believe he’s going to be a superstar in the league due to his talent, intelligence, charisma and character.
I am suggesting that making the case against Andrew Luck based on arm strength is ridiculous. The kid is remarkably accurate, poised and able to make all the throws. His ability to read defenses, thread the needle and move around is stellar. Giving him a black mark for arm strength is silly.