2012 NFL Draft: Why a Peyton Manning-Andrew Luck Pairing Will Work

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2012 NFL Draft: Why a Peyton Manning-Andrew Luck Pairing Will Work
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In an article by Phillip Wilson of the Indianapolis Star, Colts owner Jim Irsay discussed Peyton Manning's return in 2012:

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says if injured quarterback Peyton Manning can get healthy in his rehabilitation from neck surgery, he will be back with the team.

Also, in an article on NFL.com, Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star was interviewed by Fran Charles about the Manning-Luck situation:

I really think Jim Irsay, given his options, wants the best of both worlds. He wants Peyton Manning for the end of his career, which is another three or four years, and then somehow he wants to transition to Andrew Luck.

Now as to whether the situation will actually work, well, that obviously remains to be seen. What's favoring the Colts right now though, at least in terms of this position, is history.

Green Bay backup QB Matt Flynn will be one of the hottest free agents this offseason based on his Week 17 performance. As for the Packers in the postseason, if Flynn's services were needed, it's without question that he could keep the cheese on track.

And since 2008, Flynn has been Aaron Rodgers' backup. So three years after being a seventh-round pick, it's clear learning on the side has paid off.

Take a step back and there's the Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers situation.

There, Rodgers was a three-year backup and upon getting the starting role in 2008, has taken pro football by storm and has not looked back. Another starter/backup combination favoring Indianapolis is the San Diego Chargers in 2004 and 2005.

With Drew Brees under center, the Chargers had Philip Rivers as the backup during those years. Brees goes down; Rivers comes in and takes over. However, Brees goes to New Orleans in 2006 and revives the Saints.

Although Brees has had the stronger career, there's no denying how legit the numbers of Rivers are.

Slip back into the late-1980s and beginning in 1987, for the better part of six years, Steve Young was the backup QB of Joe Montana. Young had three years of pro football experience with the L.A. Express of the USFL then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but still needed to develop.

Long story short, Young retired with the highest career passer rating of all time (96.8), which still stands among all retired players.

All this being said, those are reasons why Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck can work for the Indianapolis Colts. Let Manning ride his days out in Circle City while prepping Luck for the ultimate takeover.

He'll hit the ground running and already have built excellent chemistry with his offensive line and receivers. For a team wanting to quickly reload rather than rebuild, drafting Andrew Luck and having Manning mold him will work.

Now they just have to make it a reality.

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