QB Coach: Andrew Luck still a work in progress

Former Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck is predicted to be the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft. But some be believe he still has to improve his skills before become successful. Photo by: Michael Li / Flickr

BY ZACK KELBERMAN, Helmet2helmet.net 

Eschewing an enormous amount of hype and major declarations from pundits, Andrew Luck’s personal coach thinks we should hold off on placing the former Stanford Cardinal in Canton.

George Whitfield Jr., whose worked closely with Luck as his private quarterbacks coach, told the Indianapolis Star that the consensus No. 1 overall pick in this month’s draft is “far from a finished product” as he continues to perfect his mechanics.

“Let me tell you: He’s far from a finished product,” Whitfield said. “He’s very far along, but there are still things he’s working on mechanically and there are lots of things he’ll get better at by being in the NFL. People are now seeing him throw those intermediate and perimeter passes, and those are throws he’s been dying to make. You don’t think (Stanford coach) David Shaw didn’t want to make more of those perimeter throws or go downtown more during the season? But look at Stanford’s skill position guys. You can only spend within the budget you have.

“But he’s athletic. He’s cat quick. He’s strong. People are saying he’s a prototypical pocket passer, like they’re putting him in this category. But there’s a lot more he can do.”

Though Whitfield believes Luck still has a ways to go, he warns the Colts they’d be making a grave mistake if they instead selected Robert Griffin III, who Indy owner Robert Irsay recently hinted could stunningly be the pick.

“If they over-think this, they’re going to make a mistake they’ll regret for years,” he said.

Shifting gears to a more positive overture, Whitfield used a creative analogy to describe his pupil.

“He’s constantly being categorized as being safe, the sure thing, almost to the point where it’s a negative like there’s a ceiling, no apparent way for him to get better,” Whitfield added. “It’s like they’re describing a girl you’ve never seen as smart, witty, funny, consistent, without saying anything about her physically. It almost feels like they’re looking at him as the guy with the least amount of negatives.”

And much of what he’s saying is very true. Luck has been regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning, his probable predecessor in Indianapolis, and a once-in-a-generation type of player. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but the accolades are certainly there.

For what it’s worth, Bob Kravitz, who wrote this column for the Star, guarantees there will be no surprises on draft day.

“It’s going to be Luck, people. It won’t be official until the Colts hand the card to the NFL people the night of the April 26 draft, but it might as well be official,” Kravitz said.

Griffin, the reigning Heisman-winner, may possess the superior physical gifts, but Luck is better equipped in almost every other facet, including his intangibles, which scouts have raved about for well over a year.

Both should go on to have exceptional NFL careers, though I — and most others — tend to side with Kravitz: Luck will be the guy.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Helmet2Helmet.net.

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