INDIANAPOLIS—It was no surprise what the Colts did with the overall number one draft pick on Thursday night. Even less surprising? How the Colts couldn't stop from gushing over Andrew Luck, a quareterback they believe that only comes along once a decade.
"I think this thing happened 14 years ago and it's happenening again right before our eyes. You can talk about all of his measurables, the football IQ, his character, his integrity, his passion for the game, his work ethic. I mean from A-Z if you want to label him a 9 or 10 in every one of those categories you can," said Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano.
The Colts new franchise quarterback has already started to learn the playbook, chatting on the phone with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians after the selection was made. The Colts expect the former Stanford quarterback to be a quick learner.
"I know Andrew is eager and I know our coaches are eager," said Pagano.
"It is going to be tough to because of his class schedule, but being what it is and with him not graduating until June 7th, but he'll be here this weekend for the rookie mini-camp. But he has a great football IQ, he is very intelligent, and you only have to tell him just one time and he gets it and he'll move on fast. So he won't have a problem learning and digesting the offensive system."
The Stanford junior has been viewed as the top quarterback for over two years now, but it didn't mean that he lacked competition for being the first name announced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the Radio City Music Hall on Thursday. Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III out of Baylor was also viewed by many to be the next best prospect, but Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson believes Luck can make the team better in a quicker time period.
"We just felt that Andrew was more ready to come in and do the things that we want him to do," said Grigson. "We just felt that offensively, he was the better pick and the more superior player at the time. We have felt that for awhile, and we feel really good about having number-twelve here in the building."
But when it came to the topic of how he'll handle taking over the reins from now Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, Grigson didn't seem to be to worried about how his new franchise player will handle the pressure.
"Nobody is going to need to hold the hand of this guy," said Grigson.
"He is ready and he is mature beyond his years. He is extremely intelligent, and I feel like he is ready to embark on this challenge really in the truest sense of the word. I feel like he is ready on a lot of different levels for a young guy coming out in the draft."
But the truest feelings of the Colts general manager and head coach were summed up in mere words.
"I feel like the luckiest man in the world right now," said Pagano. "It is a great time, and exciting time, and we got our man in the fold."