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December 27, 2010

Reading the Luck-y tea leaves

    The Carolina Panthers haven't had the rights to the first pick in the draft for 24 hours, when the first wave of glee-dampening began.

    At the moment, all anyone in Charlotte can do is dream of Stanford QB Andrew Luck, because at the moment, there's not much else to work with.

    SI's Peter King said on television Sunday night and wrote Monday that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh told him that he thought "it's more likely he'd come back."

    That got everyone stirred up, but the reality is, Luck's not likely to say anything about leaving school while his team is preparing for next week's Orange Bowl game against Virginia Tech.

    He and the rest of the underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft, and most wait until just before the deadline.

    While King's report sounded dire, there were almost simultaneous words from Luck's father (West Virginia athletic director and former NFL QB Oliver Luck) that gave a different impression altogether.

    Speaking to the Orlando Sentinel, the elder Luck made it sound like the NFL was his son's ultimate goal.

    "Well, he'll make his own decisions," the elder Luck said. "He's a smart kid, and he's made good decisions in life, going to Stanford and playing for coach [ Jim] Harbaugh. And he's got plenty of people, me included that will give him advice. 

    "But ultimately it comes down to a pretty simple question, what does he want to do? I think virtually ever college kid, including my son, wants to challenge himself against the best, and the best is the NFL."

    It's the kid's call. But trusting the words of a coach that may want out of Stanford too (you don't keep hearing about Michigan, the 49ers or these guys by accident), or a dad who's trying to protect his son's interests might not be wise.

    The best bet will be to just wait, to see what Andrew Luck himself says, when it matters what he says. That day is not today.

-- Darin Gantt

Posted by Observer Sports on December 27, 2010 at 01:52 PM | Permalink


Anyone ever remember a player deciding to stay in school when he was the consensus #1 pick in the draft?

Posted by: Authority | Dec 27, 2010 2:06:20 PM

Jake Locker last year. He was the top rated QB, above Bradford, but went back for his senior year. He is now projected as a mid-late 1st round pick and has cost himself millions. I really hope Luck knows the risks of going back and decides to go back.

It would be amazing if they take AJ Green this year, Luck stays in, lockout occurs and the same draft positions are used next year and we get Luck :) ahhh, but it's just a dream

Posted by: Josh | Dec 27, 2010 2:13:28 PM

Matt Leinart stayed at USC. That was the only reason Alex Smith was drafted #1.

Posted by: Mas | Dec 27, 2010 2:15:31 PM

Sam Bradford stayed at Oklahoma after his junior year and would have gone ahead of Matt Stafford. He got hurt and still went #1 this year

Posted by: Me | Dec 27, 2010 2:50:29 PM

@Me: Bradford was a redshirt soph when he won the Heisman. He came out after his junior year. And his injury came at the best time, near the beginning of the year. He had time to get well before pro days to show the scouts/coaches what he had. Had he been injured in Dec or the bowl game, there is a very different outcome. Luck has to know that. It would be different if he were slated to be a Top 10 pick. But when you are the consensus #1 Overall, you gotta get your money when you can, even if it may not be as much as Bradford got IF they put in a rookie scale next year.

Posted by: DaveT | Dec 27, 2010 3:23:39 PM

The Panthers will screw everything up, mark it down.

A Harbagh/Luck combo in Charlotte? Never gonna happen. Senile Jerry is on his knees so much in front of the scumbucket Rooney family that all he sees is Russ Grimm.

Jeff Davidson....an OL coach as OC that reeks. Well, now we get to see an OL coach as HC.

Bye bye Panthers...have fun in LA.

Posted by: Phil | Dec 27, 2010 3:36:17 PM


Life is too short to go through it with such negativity. Lighten up.

Posted by: tc | Dec 27, 2010 4:29:59 PM

If Luck comes out, the Panthers MUST take him. He will most likely be an elite franchise QB for the next 15 years. No other single player or multiple lower picks will have the impact of a true franchise QB. That said, we have a few months to sort out the draft. In the meantime, the most important concern is the Head Coach choice. This selection, though more short term in nature (say 5-10 years), will have a great impact on getting the team back on track. A mistake here could set the franchise back for a long time. JR has had at least six months to give serious thought to this decision. I keep hearing that many of the ex-coaches in waiting don't want to come to Charlotte for a variety of reasons. I would hope that doesn't affect the outcome, but we have to be realistic and there may be as many as 10 openings for HC after the season.
I would like to see Gruden and Billick get a look, but I don't pretend to know if either of them would be a good choice. I hope however, that JR knows and will make the right choice!

Posted by: sc ken | Dec 27, 2010 4:42:07 PM

Panthers should draft a franchise QB now IF the right player is available. Otherwise, I would trade down to rebuild.

Posted by: Rick | Dec 27, 2010 5:27:43 PM

It's a shame good ol' boy and friend to the Richardsons, who doesn't even know the names of some of the players he signs, traded away the second round pic of the upcoming draft. Otherwise, getting the heisman trophy winner would have been ideal with that pick!

And who did they give that pick to (which is pretty much a late first rounder)?? WT_.....!!!!!!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Dec 27, 2010 5:29:47 PM

BTW, I was referring to Mental Hurnia (otherwise known as Marty Hurney)

Posted by: SYRPIS | Dec 27, 2010 5:37:27 PM

It's a pipe dream but I'd like to see Luck come out. Then the Panthers could draft him, and then trade Clausen & Steve Smith to Minnesota for Sidney Rice or Percy Harvin and a second round pick. Then trade next year's first round pick to get back in the first round for a chance at AJ Green Georgia or Justin Blackmon from OK State. Then use the second round pick on the BPA. Preferably a DT.

I know trading next year's first round pick wouldn't be popular but it worked out ok with Stewart and Otah. This year not withstanding due to Otah's injury.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 27, 2010 6:50:16 PM

This is not a problem until the Panthers make it a problem. This is suppose to propel them to the next level. You have to take the quarterback.If there is not a legit, well then good luck! As much as as i love wide receiver and all the other positions. Quarterback is the only one that warrants the
money this pick requires. Lets make it count and hope we have Luck on our side! Get er!!!!!

Posted by: spanky | Dec 27, 2010 8:09:53 PM

I'm encouraged to read what his dad said. Hopefully he will come out and we will pick him. Look what happened to Leinart, I'm sure Luck won't want to follow in his footsteps!

Posted by: Elizabeth | Dec 27, 2010 8:44:33 PM

I don't buy the idea that the best choice for the Panthers is a former NFL head coach. I think they will be better off getting a coach who has been a defensive or offensive coordinator who is ready to take the next step. Most of the great head coaches have had their best tenures in their first head coaching job. There are exceptions, but most do their best work in the first job, such as Joe Gibbs, Bill Parcells, Tom Flores, Bill Walsh, John Madden, Mike Ditka, Hank Stram, and Jimmie Johnson. Some of these coaches only coached for one francise, such as John Madden and Bill Walsh. Their are coaches who have won Super Bowls in their 2nd stop -John Gruden, Bill Belichek, and Tony Dungy (of course some would say John Gruden won his Super Bowl because of Tony Dungy). The only ex-head coach I see who has any attraction whatsoever is Brian Billick. I have no interest in Bill Cowher or John Gruden. Brian Billick is an ex-head coach who has won a Super Bowl who probably still has some mileage in him. He was an offensive coordinator who won with a primarily defensive oriented team. Just as important is the General Manager. Is Marty Hurney capable of putting together a Super Bowl winning squad? I am not sure he is. He has been good at picking players at every position except quarterback and wide receiver. His penchant for trading future higher picks for lower picks this year I think is a real concern. This year is an obvious example. Instead of having a virtual first round pick, the Panthers have Armanti Edwards.

Posted by: DJClifton | Dec 28, 2010 12:49:42 AM

Luck will declare. He has to. No CBA right now. Lot's of talk that a Rookie Cap will be included in the next one. He's going to miss 55-57 million upfront money (guaranteed) if he doesn't enter the draft.

The question is NOT if he will enter the draft it's Will the Panthers trade the pick for a lower (Less costly)and more picks. Only time will tell.

P.S. Don't be surprised if Marty S who is living on Lake Norman is not the next coach. If his son comes on board as a assistant he might not be a bad choice. he'd be cheaper than a named SB winning coach and fits the profile that the Panthers like. Keep in mind that Luck may draw Tony Dungy to Charlotte.

Last but not least is the fact that no SB winning coach has won it again with another team. Ever. I picked up that nugget from Jerry Jones when he was on TV the other day.

Think I'm insane about Lucks money ?Look at this site:

Posted by: Onsitecom | Dec 28, 2010 1:24:17 AM

@ Onsitecom
If Luck declares and there is no new CBA in 2011 the Panthers won't offer him huge money. They will wait until there is a new CBA and the pay him the rookie scale for a number #1 pick. Luck will be stuck as his only alternative would be to reenter the draft in 2012. The days of 21-22 yr old kids getting 50 million plus deals is over. Thankfully. That is the only point right now that that the players union and the owners agree on. No more $36 million for fat, lazy drug addicts like Jamarcus Russell.

Posted by: jimcat | Dec 28, 2010 4:33:25 AM

@jimcat : 2010 was an uncapped year as well. They (Rookies) got more money then ever. Don't believe me? Good. Look at the link for proof.
Until there is a rookie cap there isn't one. Which means this would be the last year a Rookie could make that kind of money. The real question is will the Panthers pay it?


Posted by: Onsitecom | Dec 28, 2010 10:21:45 AM

Does it really matter what the PSL owners and fans want? The Panthers seem to be an organization that has cyclic good years and then bad years....an endless rollercoaster! Why? Don't really know, but we seem to be just another Oakland, Houston, Detroit, Washington, etc. We'll never be a New England, or Indy, or perhaps even New Orleans or Atlanta. The organization just doesn't seem to be able to develop and then follow a plan which gets us out of this mediocrity. It's most unfortunate.....Andrew Luck, Cam Newton.....are you serious? Does anyone really believe that we will ever have ownership, progressive coaches and head office personnel which demands perfection and knows how to really acquire and then handle exceptional talent? We go after guys coming off of surgeries or that are even undrafted, like Jake....coaches like Seifert who rode the coat tails of Bill Walsh, and although we, the fans seened to know this, management didn't..,.and found out the hard way, costing us fans much negative emotion and bucks. Hope the organization can prove me wrong this time, please prove me wrong!

Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/12/28/1938614/if-not-andrew-luck-then-whos-no.html##ixzz19Q9Cr1kr

Posted by: EDDIELUCY | Dec 28, 2010 10:32:50 AM

Peyton was another that stayed in school.

Posted by: HooNoo | Dec 28, 2010 11:40:53 AM

@Onsitecom, don't be surprised if Brian is the head coach, and Marty S is his son's co-ordinator.

Posted by: dw | Dec 28, 2010 1:19:26 PM

Question: If Luck decides to enter the draft and then the bargaining agreement doesn't get signed, would he be allowed to go back to school and play- or is he stuck waiting for a year?

Posted by: Gut | Dec 28, 2010 2:48:49 PM

would my last comment even be a factor?

Posted by: Gut | Dec 28, 2010 2:50:03 PM

The CBA is nothing but a set of rules and guidelines between the Owners of the NFL teams and the Players Union. Players can still be signed to contracts and extensions without an agreement. That's how the NFL used to operate before 1968 when the union got an collective bargaining agreement. That lasted until a strike happened and they certificated and filed antitrust lawsuits which was 87 or 88. That took a few years to settle and they re-certified sometime in the early to mid 90's and they've been operating under that extended CBA (2 or 3 times I think) since.
This will not be a strike but a lockup by the owners. The owners want protection from themselves so they are locking out millionaires to save billions. Fun job.

Posted by: Onsitecom | Dec 28, 2010 4:43:07 PM

DW I'm not sure that's a bad idea either. A younger guy can relate to the youngest team in the NFL.

Posted by: Onsitecom | Dec 28, 2010 4:45:02 PM

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