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January 25, 2014

Newton gets more votes, but Luck gets Pro Bowl start


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is playing for Colts coach Chuck Pagano in the Pro Bowl and was the first quarterback taken by "alumni captain" Deion Sanders in Wednesday's draft.

So it's not surprising Pagano said Luck would start Sunday's game -- except that Pagano and Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who is working with Jerry Rice's squad, had agreed they would set up their depth charts based on the final voting results, according to Rivera.

Among the three quarterbacks on the Pagano/Sanders team, the Panthers' Cam Newton finished with the most combined votes in the balloting by fans, players and coaches. Luck was second, and Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles was third.

"We talked about it prior to this," Rivera said Saturday. "He asked and I asked and we both said, 'Hey, why don't we just start them according to votes so there's no hurt feelings?'"

This is the first year the Pro Bowl has used an unconferenced format. In the former AFC-versus-NFC setup, starters were determined based on voting, NFL spokesman Jon Zimmer said.

League officials in Hawaii expected Newton to start based on their initial conversations with coaches: As of Saturday evening, Newton was listed as the starter on the Pro Bowl "flip card" to be distributed in the Aloha Stadium press box.

Although Luck will start, Pagano said Newton and Foles would share the workload.

"We just want to make sure everybody gets enough snaps and enough touches and enjoys the experience, enjoys the game," Pagano said. "We've got three quarterbacks. We'll split it up evenly with reps.”

Newton said early in the week he didn't care if he started, while Luck hinted at a possible trick play by saying maybe he and Newton would be on the field at the same time.

Rivera said Saints quarterback Drew Brees would start for Rice's team. Brees was the second-highest offensive vote-getter in the fan balloting behind Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, who is playing in next weekend's Super Bowl.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 25, 2014 at 07:22 PM | Permalink


Why would he not keep his agreement with Rivera? This is an exhibition game, there is no reason for Luck to start over Cam.

Posted by: MikeC | Jan 25, 2014 9:22:50 PM

Hope that the game is fun and somewhat competitive.

Posted by: Cyteria Knight | Jan 25, 2014 9:38:14 PM

Luck>Cam that's why he's starting!

Posted by: Luck is better | Jan 25, 2014 10:15:26 PM

Maybe cuz luck is his qb an its a meaningless game an 1st string qb is usually out of the game fairly quick

Posted by: wkmartin87 | Jan 25, 2014 10:15:40 PM

Not saying he wants newton to get hurt but if colts dont have luck healthy they dont make playoffs last 2yrs same as the manning era

Posted by: wkmartin87 | Jan 25, 2014 10:18:14 PM

Why does Cam always get the short stick and expected to play nice. Doesn't seem fair . Men keep their words this is coach -quarterback favoritism .(Daddy Ball NFL)

Posted by: Dee Dolores Crowder | Jan 25, 2014 10:27:51 PM

This isn't a debate over Luck vs Cam, but an agreement that was broken by Pagano to start the player with the most votes. It just seems kind of back handed.

Posted by: MikeC | Jan 25, 2014 10:50:07 PM

I'm a packers fan so I can claim no bias to this. Cam should get the start based on the agreement. Pagano obviously favors Luck since that's his qb. In the end it doesn't really matter but it shows that Pagano wasn't capable of keeping his word on a fair agreement.

Posted by: HollowPack | Jan 25, 2014 11:58:27 PM

Why does it matter who starts? Newton said he doesnt care and it is beyond a meaningless game, its for fun and for the fans. I promise nobody cares who starts. Take ur skirts off ladies, grow some and for the love of god, quit ur belly aching over stupid sh**t!!!

Posted by: Crystal | Jan 26, 2014 12:11:34 AM

So Luck and Drew Breez will start in the Pro Bowl game!!! Thathould make it interesting?? May the best man win~~~

Posted by: Nylene | Jan 26, 2014 1:35:39 AM

As a colts fan, I bet luck is only starting cause they are opening with a trick play involving both of them and there gonna have luck be behind center for the start of it.

Posted by: Doug Fitzgerald | Jan 26, 2014 2:00:41 AM

This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Indy and Pagano are one the same as Harbaugh and the 49ers in my book. Don't like either one of them.

Posted by: Angela | Jan 26, 2014 5:16:50 AM

Why have fans vote and than don't use the player with the most votes seems wrong Cam not starting but most of the NFL hates the Panthers!

Posted by: Rich | Jan 26, 2014 6:39:39 AM

First of all, I admit I am a colts fan, and Luck should start because first off, he is the better player. Secondly, he was picked ahead of Newton. And for all of you saying, "Pagano should stick to the agreement", there was no agreement with Pagano. The agreement that Rivera is talking about, was between Rivera, and Jerry Rice, the captain of their team. Not between Rivera and Pagano. So stop saying that he should stick to an agreement between Rice and Rivera, cause that has nothing to do with him or his team. Also, this game is meaningless, stop getting your panties in a bunch over it. Honestly, are any of you even going to watch this game? Seriously?

Posted by: Joe | Jan 26, 2014 6:56:49 AM

Joe, please comment on an Indianapolis Colts site. How many records did Luck break his rookie year compared to Newton?

The point is Pagano is backing out of an agreement to play his son. Very shady regardless of what type of game this is.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jan 26, 2014 7:28:34 AM

It's the pro bowl who cares

Posted by: Sean | Jan 26, 2014 7:43:39 AM

Who did the people pick? The end. Start Cam. Not doing so, tells the world that you are a lying lame ass.

Posted by: Chris | Jan 26, 2014 9:30:37 AM

"He was picked ahead of Newton", but who got the most votes, idiot! Cam! Haters keep on hatin'!!!!!!

Posted by: Geechee Panther | Jan 26, 2014 10:15:33 AM

Hey Crystal, at least we're making insightful and constructive comments on the game... why don't you go back to watching the Kardashians and annoying your man with gossip about every other irrelevant thing women blubber on about constantly.

Posted by: handyman | Jan 26, 2014 10:37:39 AM

An agreement was broken. I and most MEN honor agreements and believe it's wrong to go back on your word... maybe this realm of moral debate isn't your strongsuit.

Posted by: handyman | Jan 26, 2014 10:39:53 AM

He gonna wear his sandals when he starts? Smh

Posted by: Al | Jan 26, 2014 10:41:12 AM

Doesn't surprise me at all and of course Cam handled it with class. But honestly they have done so many alterations, like no , that it's not much of a true football game anyway unless you consider two hand touch true football... just saying!

Posted by: Sandi | Jan 26, 2014 12:49:21 PM

So, first two possession and Luck lucks into a TD on a poor decision to pass into double coverage and follows it with an INT.

Bottom line is that starting Luck over Newton was an insult, not just to Cam, but to the voters who put him over Newton.

If you're fine with that, then why have a vote?

Posted by: John | Jan 26, 2014 8:08:24 PM


Cam didn't throw td but he did throw an interception. If memory serves me correctly Cam is the only QB who didn't throw a td.

Posted by: Mike | Jan 27, 2014 2:17:28 AM

Luck picked first so Luck should start. Why shouldn't they guy Sanders pick first start?

Posted by: Common Sense | Jan 27, 2014 10:35:39 AM

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