Lack of Headliners for Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Casts Doubts About Luck

Robert HoffmanCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal reacts against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Oklahoma State won 41-38 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Breaking News: Chuck Pagano has been named the next Indianapolis Colts head coach.

Did I miss something?

Isn't Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck supposed to be the sure-fire No. 1 pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft?

After all, didn't Russ Lande of the Sporting News refer to Andrew Luck as the best prospect he has seen in 10 years?

I respect Lande's ability and track record of gauging talent a lot. Other notable talent evaluators have mentioned Luck in the same company as John Elway or Peyton Manning.

Yet, the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job is open, and is getting about as much interest as the Australian Open tennis tournament.

Yes, the team went to 2-14 this past season, but with a franchise quarterback on the way you would imagine that candidates would be lining up outside Lucas Oil Stadium for the job.

Here is the list of guys who have either interviewed with the Colts already, are scheduled to or have been linked to the job:



  • Jim Tressel: former head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. This is the same Tressel who resigned in disgrace from the Buckeyes for looking the other way while his program spiraled out of control.
  • Marty Mornhinwig: current offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, former head coach of the Detroit Lions. His career record with the Lions was five wins and 27 losses.
  • Marc Trestman: head coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes. Perhaps one of the more qualified men to tutor a quarterback, but Trestman rarely stays in one place for very long. Since 1981, he has held 15 positions for 11 different teams.

Where is Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher or a big name college coach just chomping at the bit to coach the future superstar in Luck?

The answer could be that the Colts don't want to go the high-profile route with their new head coach.

Except, if Luck were that good, wouldn't high profile candidates campaign for the job whether they were pursued or not? I haven't see one "name" candidate step up and toss his hat into the ring for the job.

While the Colts have some free agent decisions to make regarding the likes of Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday and Robert Mathis, they also figure to have a fair bit of money available.

They'll have even more if they cut quarterback Peyton Manning, essentially a player without a clean bill of health or a significant future role with Luck coming aboard.

Then there is the rest of the draft, where the Colts will be able to stockpile talent. The Colts should be able to get better quickly, even faster when you consider that they lost a ton of starters to injury during the 2011 season.

Perhaps only one conclusion can be reasonably made.

Maybe, just maybe, Andrew Luck isn't a sure-fire franchise quarterback in the eyes of NFL talent evaluators, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of media experts and fans have already held his coronation.