Simms takes it a step further.
“All these quarterbacks when they’re drafted, there’s probably more that are capable of coming in and playing,” Simms said. “They get so much experience now in the college game, it puts them ahead of even NFL [backup] quarterbacks because they’ve been playing a lot.”
Teams that select rookie quarterbacks — especially so-called franchise ones, such as Luck, Griffin, and Cam Newton last year — are doing whatever it takes to surround them with the tools needed to be successful. It can come in the form of other draft picks or acquisitions geared toward helping the quarterback (skill players to throw to, offensive linemen to protect), and an offensive system that’s tailored to the player’s skill set.
Sometimes it works. Many times it doesn’t. But what a rookie quarterback always provides, without fail, is hope that better days are ahead. For Luck and the Colts, those days might have arrived earlier than anticipated.
“We realize that we’ve put ourselves in the position to hopefully do some good things, but we haven’t gotten to our end goal yet,” Luck said. “I wouldn’t define this season successful by any means.
“If someday I can play at a level that Peyton and Tom [Brady] play at, then that’d be a quarterback’s dream come true.”