Luck thinks Manning is tops
Likely first pick fan of Colts QB
INDIANAPOLIS - Andrew Luck, the Stanford quarterback who almost certainly will be chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the top overall pick in April’s NFL draft, had his moment in front of the cameras yesterday at the Combine.
After announcing that he won’t throw here, opting to do so instead at his Pro Day, Luck inevitably faced questions about possibly replacing Peyton Manning.
“I’m not too caught up in that right now,’’ Luck said. “I understand that is a possibility. Peyton was my hero growing up, he was my football hero. That’s who I modeled myself after in high school, middle school, whatever it was. You never truly replace a guy like that.’’
Luck added he “absolutely’’ wouldn’t mind playing behind Manning if the Colts were to retain him.
The Patriots have in the neighborhood of 20 players who are set to become free agents March 13. One is defensive end Andre Carter, who had his strong season cut short by a torn left quadriceps suffered in Denver Dec. 18.
Carter’s agent, Carl Poston, said that Carter is coming along nicely after surgery.
“He’s in good shape,’’ Poston said. “He’s ahead on his rehab. That’s not the kind of injury, it’s not like a lower back or a knee, [where] he’s not going to be able to come back. He’ll come back 100 percent. Matter of fact, he might come back stronger.’’
Carter “absolutely, no doubt about it’’ wants to play in 2012, Poston added, and it sounded like he would welcome a return to New England.
The 11-year veteran, who will turn 33 in May, signed with the Patriots as a free agent at the start of last season’s training camp, after having asked for his release from the Redskins before the lockout. He recorded 52 tackles and 10 sacks for New England and was named to the Pro Bowl.
“I think he had a great year. I think Andre was a great signing for the Patriots,’’ Poston said. “When Andre and I sat down and talked [before the 2011 season], he wanted to go to a team that was a contender, he wanted to go to a team where he would play in a system where he had a chance to go to a Pro Bowl, and everything was perfect until the injury. And that’s just part of the game.
“We’d like to think they’d be interested in keeping him on a long-term basis, but it always takes two to dance, so we’ll just have to talk to them when they’re ready to talk.’’
Both sides are monitoring Carter’s rehab, and “when it’s time to talk, they’ll let me know,’’ said Poston. “I called them to see what their plans were, whether they were interested, and I would have been surprised if they said they weren’t interested.’’
New Rams coach Jeff Fisher was asked about his team playing one of its eight home games in London in 2012, and sounded happy for the chance to bring his club overseas.
“When it was released and announced, we were very excited. It’s a great opportunity. I think if you’re going to play the Patriots, it’s best not to play them in North America,’’ Fisher said with a laugh.
As for receiver Brandon Lloyd, a pending free agent who was traded to the Rams from the Broncos last year and has been discussed at length as a potential target for New England because of his ties to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Fisher said he is someone St. Louis would be interested in re-signing.
Arkansas receiver Joe Adams didn’t hesitate to talk up his former quarterback, Ryan Mallett, who just finished his rookie season with the Patriots.
“Ryan’s a great quarterback. He likes to throw the deep ball, he likes to get the ball out quick, and he knows what he’s doing on offense,’’ Adams said. “I’d love to be able to play with him again.’’
Adams, who measured 5 feet 11 inches and 179 pounds yesterday, is considered a mid-round prospect who is also garnering attention for his return ability. He said he’s kept in touch with Mallett.
“He loves it [in New England],’’ Adams said. “He’s just ready to have his chance to be able to play, but right now he’s sitting behind Tom Brady. But he’s waiting for his chance.’’