December 14, 2012 |
What might have been a tale of woe for the Indianapolis Colts now reads like a Hollywood story. The franchise, among the NFL's most successful over the last decade, was coming off a 2-14 season and had parted ways with future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. After his team started 1-2, first-year Coach Chuck Pagano learned during the bye week that he had a treatable form of leukemia and handed the coaching reins to Bruce Arians, his offensive coordinator. Arians, 60, who five years ago successfully battled prostate cancer, will never forget the call from Pagano during the team's week off. "He had missed Thursday in the office, so I said, 'Where'd you guys go?
December 10, 2012 |
Twenty-nine years ago, representatives from each NFL team — there were 28 at the time — gathered for the draft in the ballroom of a Sheraton hotel in New York City. No hoopla. No fans with painted faces. Hardly any media. "It was nothing, a gathering of people," recalled Dave Goldberg, who covered the NFL for the Associated Press for 26 years. "There were all sorts of hangers-on from local television who would show up at dinner time for the free food. Other than that, nothing.
December 6, 2012 |
Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer had a lot to say about this season's group of rookie quarterbacks during Thursday's NFL Slam with Mark and Sam, telling former radio personality Mark Thompson that this year's batch compares favorably with the group drafted in 1983. "There are three Hall of Fame quarterbacks taken in the 1983 draft," Farmer said. "John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. "While it is wildly premature to make comparisons, this draft could be as good a draft as in 1983, if not better.
December 2, 2012 |
How to sum up the NFL Sunday of three rookie underdogs? A feat, a feat, and a foot. Feat: On the final play in Detroit, Indianapolis rookie Andrew Luck tossed a short pass to Donnie Avery, who raced untouched to the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown that capped a 35-33 victory by the Colts. It was Luck's fourth touchdown pass of the game and second in the final 2 minutes 47 seconds. Feat: Never mind that Seattle was 1-5 on the road. The Seahawks pulled off a dramatic upset in Chicago when rookie Russell Wilson directed a touchdown drive on the opening possession of overtime.
November 19, 2012
This week's Monday edition of our NFL Google+ hangout -- "NFL Slam with Mark and Sam," starring Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer and Mark Thompson of "Mark and Brian" radio fame -- will start at 11:30 a.m. and cover a host of topics. One sure topic are the games from Week 11. One topic was the dignity with which Andrew Luck handled his Colts' blowout loss to the New England Patriots. "Just the way he handled the loss in his postgame comments shows the potential he has to be an elite quarterback.
November 16, 2012
This week's Friday edition of our NFL Google+ hangout -- "NFL Slam with Mark and Sam," starring Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer and Mark Thompson of "Mark and Brian" radio fame -- spent most of its time talking about the greatness of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. As Farmer wrote earlier this week : If the Colts were looking for a carbon copy of Manning, they made the right call. "He's not Peyton Manning, but I swear he has a lot of the mannerisms," said Hall of Fame coach John Madden , who lives in Pleasanton in Northern California and saw a lot of Luck's games at Stanford.
November 15, 2012 |
Andrew Luck might have the NFL on a string, but that doesn't mean he has the Internet at his fingertips. Smart quarterback? Without question. Smartphone? Slow down there, Wozniak. "I still have a flip phone," Luck told The Times this week, calling from that digital dinosaur. "It served me well and continues to serve me well. If it worked the past four years since high school, why change it now?" It's a fittingly retro device for a guy who's making it feel like the late 1990s all over again in Indianapolis.
November 8, 2012 |
Andrew Luck isn't as advertised. He's better. The rookie quarterback from Stanford has emerged as a physical and emotional leader for the Indianapolis Colts, a team that finished 2-14 last season and looked to be headed for a long winter of rebuilding without Peyton Manning. Last March, I spent 24 hours with Luck in Tampa, Fla., and got an up-close view of his maturity and humility. ESPN's Jon Gruden let me join them for Luck's session at "Gruden's QB Camp," that popular program in which the former coach puts the top NFL quarterback prospects through the paces on the white board and the field.
November 7, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (5-3) AT JACKSONVILLE (1-7) TV: NFL Network, 5:15 p.m. Line: Colts by 3. Over/Under: 42. Sam Farmer's pick: Two teams heading in opposite directions. The Jaguars have been outscored at home, 126-34. Colts are sixth in passing, going against the NFL's worst pass defense. Colts 23, Jaguars 14.
November 5, 2012 |
Join Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer and NFL fan extraordinaire Mark Thompson of Mark and Brian radio fame at 11:30 a.m. PST today for a live video chat on Week 9 in the NFL. Sunday was a day for swing teams that have turned things around -- one way or another. The Indianapolis Colts, a year ago in the depths of post-Peyton Manning depression, have emerged behind their young quarterback. Andrew Luck has proved to be as good as many people thought, and he has the Colts at 5-3 after their 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins.