Colts’ G.M. compares Andrew Luck to Michael Jordan


Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano don’t just think they got themselves a good player when they chose Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. They think they got an all-time great player.

Albert Breer of NFL Network talked to Grigson and Pagano after Luck led the Colts to a dramatic 45-44 comeback win over the Chiefs, and suffice to say the G.M. and coach love their young franchise quarterback.

“There’s been some great ones,” Pagano said. “But [Luck is] gonna go down as probably one of the best, if not the best, ever to play this game when everything is all said and done. We’re very, very fortunate to have No. 12 on our side.”

Grigson said the way Luck elevates his game in the biggest moment isn’t reminiscent of any football player so much as it’s reminiscent of Michael Jordan.

“He’s always been a different animal in the fourth quarter, his whole life,” Grigson said. “And just even hearing the story from his uncle [and agent, Will Wilson]. He relishes those moments. It’s like Jordan when he’d take that last shot — he wants the ball. This guy, we’re so blessed, he wants the ball in those situations. Other guys don’t want the ball; they want to hand it off. They don’t really want it — they’re gonna be half-stepping it. This kid is gonna rear back and throw a bomb when he has all the pressure on him. And that’s a thing of beauty. You’re born with that.”

Luck is only in his second season, and we should probably wait until he wins more than one playoff game (especially a game in which he threw three interceptions and made some significant mistakes) before we anoint him one of the all-time greats. But it’s easy to see why Grigson and Pagano are giddy about their quarterback.

99 responses to “Colts’ G.M. compares Andrew Luck to Michael Jordan

  1. Colts should lose their 2nd round picks for the next 3 seasons for intentionally tanking an entire season to be in a position to draft Luck #1 overall.

  2. I think Joe Montana and Tom Brady might have something to say about that… Actually, they are too busy counting their Super Bowl trophies to care.

  3. MJ has become a mythical figure these days. It is bad enough the nba brings MJ up to try to make that dying league interesting. But when a NFL GM mentions him. He needs to be fired.

  4. Steeler fan here-

    I loved the look of determination on his face. Even after the 3rd interception- he wasn’t down. He didn’t look shell-shocked. Just upset with himself, and determined to fix his mistakes.

    A lot of QBs would hang there head, and get down on themselves in that situation. They’d go in the tank- and the game would be over.

    Luck just looked more resolved to win.

    Short memory.

    Good for the Colts and Luck.

  5. I’m not arguing that Luck is anywhere near the level of an MJ yet but if you read the quotes I must agree. They’re comparing Luck’s willingness to take the reigns in the face of adversity. Look at the amount of shots Jordan averaged in the playoffs. No matter how awful his field goal percentage was, he kept shooting and came through in the clutch. You can draw an analogy to lucks picks to Jordan’s awful shooting percentage in certain games. All people remember is that last shot or final drive.

  6. Colts are really trying hard to deflect the fact that the best QB they ever had might just win a Superbowl with the Broncos this year.

    Don’t blame them but…..pretty sad. 2 years in and you’re already acting like he’s better than Peyton? Stay classy Indy

  7. NBA players will always be greater because of the very complex defenses that exist in basketball…it really is a mental game. Hahahahahah

  8. Also… Who would he compare Trent Richardson to?
    Maybe they will take a HB in the First Round this year.

    Oh… Wait.

    So much for respecting a word from the Colts’ GM.

  9. Not a good comparison.

    I guess this GM would equate Luck with Gandhi if Luck said we need to solve all our differences in non violent ways.

  10. Remember when Jordan would play awful in the first half of games and give the other team a big lead? The GM must be sitting with Irsay during the games.

  11. When one raises the level of expectation, there is a 100% correlation with increasing the disappointment from unmet expectations.

    For example, if someone tells you they just watched the funniest movie they’ve ever seen in their life – and you believe them and head to the movie expecting the same ===> prepare to be underwhelmed.

    Same story in every other context. Raising the level of expectation to absurd levels (e.g., a second year player is Jordanesque) is not a wise thing to do … if one overlooks the added pressure it creates on the subject.

  12. Colts tanked for Peyton.

    Colts tanked for Luck.

    Check their records the previous seasons.

  13. It’s impossible for any football player to be Michael Jordan. It’s not the kind of sport where 1 player can take over an entire game on his own for multiple games, including the playoffs.

    Plus Jordan is arguably the greatest American athlete of all time.. Absurd comparison.

  14. I really like Luck, but give him time before all this “greatest ever” talk. I understand the excitement & potential we’re seeing, but calm down.

  15. “We’re very, very fortunate to have No. 12 on our side.” …they tanked a season to get him, and a total d-bag owner is rewarded with back-to-back franchise QBs. There’s a lot not to like here.

  16. They are both men. They are both professional athletes. They are both leaders of their teams. They are…..Yeah, lots of comparisons….Just not quite the same ones that he is thinking applies to the two.

  17. Any reasonable, objective observer of yesterday’s sad display by Luck in the first half would agree that he was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the absolute worst number one pick in NFL history. Non-busts don’t become interception machines to put their teams in ridiculous holes in the playoffs. Pathetic indeed.

    RGIII > Andrew Luck

    All must agree.

  18. Luck is something special. I have no respect for manning breaking a record by literally throwing 3 yard Td passes when up by 20. He can take that record and shove it. Well all see manning fail again next weekend and ill love every minute of it

  19. luck’s legacy will be defined by his playoff performance. so far across 2 seasons he is 1-1.

    good start. playoffs both years and already in the W column.

    also i think denv and NE, particularly the latter, are at risk next weekend.

  20. Grigson won Exec. of the year, in his first year!! To say he is an idiot, is ridiculous. The guy compared the willingness of Luck when the pressure is on and you idiots want to act like he just anointed him the G.O.A.T. And if you’re looking at it with an unbiased perspective, then no one could argue that Luck isn’t the best 2nd year quarterback, EVER

  21. Luck is a beast.. He didn’t have a perfect game but he’s not afraid to throw the ball like Peyton. I have never seen a QB pad so many stats against poor competition like Manning. Throwing for a thousand yards against the Texans and Raiders to make up for the embarrassing 150 you threw against the Pats isn’t what winners do. He is and always has been a loser.. hiding behind the stat line he puts up against bottom dwellers.. facts are facts Manning apologists

  22. Mj comparisons premature. However, there is no QB I would rather have on my team. Only a matter of time before it is accepted he is the best to ever play for the Colts.

  23. Luck’s frequent interceptions is just an indication that this young man has the guts to go for it. He’s shown that he has the courage to battle to the end–he’s made a habit of that.

    Did you see him react to that goal line fumble?? It’s not that he handed the ball off and checked himself out of the play, his role being over. No. Luck followed the ball while the play was still unfolding and when it popped out, he acted quickly and with single-mindedness. He alertly snatched it up and dived over the pile for the score. That was frickin’ awesome.

    Comparing him to MJ at this stage in his career may be a bit hyperbolic, but I can see why the owners are euphoric: they’ve got a talented QB who is also a real blood-and-guts winner in Andrew Luck.

  24. Stop with Jordan. He looks like a great player. That being said as of right now he has the same amount of wins mark sanchez had after two seasons 23

  25. Only this clown Grigson could make the RG3 trade look like the deal of the century. A first round draft pick for a fumbling plodder. Maybe he meant to say Luck reminds him of Jordan PRIOR to winning all his titles. The one who scored 63 in a loss to the eventual champion Celtics, cuz there is no similarity between Oliver Jr.

  26. I don’t know about Michael Jordan but even on a bad day he’s clearly better than Alex Smith.

  27. He’s like Jordan? I wasn’t aware that luck has multiple rings, or is known for being the greatest player ever in his sport.

    I also didn’t know that Luck is a degenerate gambler, that his known for being a total chode to work with, or that he has been shamlessly putting his name on everyhting from kids valentines to flea poweder, or that he refuses to sign autographs without a fee.

  28. Why would you even go there… who knows, maybe he will be. But to throw out those statements when the guy won one playoff game is silly.

    Talk about putting unnecessary pressure on a guy

  29. It helps when your opponent loses loses half their team to injury during the game.

    It would be like MJ’s Bulls beating the Lakers after they lose Magic and Worthy at halftime.

  30. Love Andrew Luck and he has made so many plays in the clutch and led a lot of comebacks in his young career, and the comparison was mostly about his clutch play. Still it’s very premature.

  31. Let’s be real, the team’s comeback was nothing short of unbelievable, one of the more impressive performances in sports history. That said, Luck’s role is not as impressive when you consider his sloppy performance earlier in the game. Luck’s great play brought the Colts out of a huge hole, and finish up with the comebacks of the decade, but it was also Luck’s play that got them in the hole in the first place. MJ didn’t start a game with 8 turnovers and 3 fouls, then finish it off by dominating in the fourth quarter, he just dominated the game. If a pilot forgets to fill his fuel tank, but then manages to land the plane with no injuries, it doesn’t mean he’s the greatest pilot of all time, just that he’s a very good pilot who comes through in the clutch.

  32. Lucks frequent intercepts? He threw 9 this season. That is pretty infrequent. The three yesterday were an anomaly.

    He will be one of the greatest of all time like Grigson says. Funny people complain but don’t know the difference between the owner and the GM. I also don’t believe the tanking crap. The players are the roster are trying to stay in the NFL. They are going to give it their best because they want to stay in the league.

    I would like to see a list of Bradys 50 td passes and Mannings 55 from this year. Does anyone have that. Would be curious what the average yards per td catch were for each.

  33. Frank Reich did something similar (just about 21 years prior to the day). Don’t see anyone lumping his name in with MJ.

  34. This statement coming from the person who gave up a First Round Pick and more for Trent”Butterfingers”Richardson. And because they did this, they will have to let go of Donald Brown, who is IMO the much better and reliable back. Jackass.

  35. The Luck was having Manning for all those years, purposely tanking a season and ending up with Luck. If ever there was an argument for ping pong balls this was it.

  36. Colts went into 2011 with giving Kerry Collins a $5 mil contract. They didn’t tank. Starting the season with Curtis Painter would have been tanking. Anyone who claims they tanked are just jealous that their team’s QB isn’t as good. We’re about to have 28-30 years of great continuos QB play. Don’t hate. Just appreciate greatness and be sure to catch Luck at a stadium near you in the future. 😉

  37. Im not sure why the Indy GM thinks inflating Luck’s ego and making him think he’s the greatest ever will help the Colts win their next playoff game. Tone it down a bit, dude. Wouldnt the smart thing be to keep your mouth shut and focus on beating your next opponent? These games are important, and creating distractions are a killer. For example, Im one of those fans who cant stand Belichick, but I have to agree his bland, coy, cookie-cutter quote style of speaking to the media is the wisest approach.

  38. This is a terrible comparison.

    Luck is probably closer to an Andy Dalton type player.

    He still has a WAYS to go to be as good as super-bowl MVP and leagues best quarterback Joe Flacco.

  39. I really wish folks would stop doing this. Luck has had a couple of really successful years but why do folks feel the need to heap all these expectations on his shoulders.

    All these young QBs need to be given a few years to plot their own way in the NFL. Stop trying to shove them in all these preordained slots. They all deserve to be themselves not carbon copies of whoever someone’s favorite sports star happens to be.

  40. Wow. First he gives KC a huge lead due to being terrible.

    Then he manages to barely come back, at home, with lots of help by injuries and refs…

    And suddenly he’s the best of all time.


    The one comparison to Jordan that’s legit is getting lots of help from refs.

  41. McCoy is closer in comparison to Barry Sanders (though not close) than Luck is to Michael Jordan.

    Luck is very good, who knows, maybe he will someday be one of the best ever; but to put him on such a lofty pedestal after only just playing 2 seasons is just foolish banter.

  42. He is an exceptional young quarterback. And a very good quarterback with no qualifications.

    Why do people always feel the need to say too much – when the simple truth is impressive.

  43. umm not a luck fan or hater, he seems to be playing pretty well. however jordan has 6 rings and could take over a game pretty much whenever he wanted too. i believe he would’ve had more rings had he 1 not left for 2 seasons, and 2 if whats his name jerry riensdorf didn’t blow up the team. not sure if that was his name but he wanted to go in a different direction (and somewhere he is still driving in circles.)

  44. He should give more credit to the average fan. Jordan isn’t the only great player in NBA history. And since he is the Colts’ GM, he should know about the legend of Unitas.

  45. Or just lucky! when ur players fumble a ball and somehow it hits ur OL and bounces back to your QB’s face with a clear path ahead .. thats luck.. KC having both RB’s going down with injuries.. i mean.. c’mon.. lucky luck ..

  46. Yeah
    And Richardson is as good as shack!!
    Not even close
    Luck is over rated and hyped.
    He put the colts in the big hole that they had to climb out of.
    How is he so good??

  47. Folks,

    He didn’t say Luck as the second coming of MJ, just that Luck wants the ball in crunch time like MJ did. Lots of guys want the ball in crunch time, but only a few have had the success MJ had when it was all on the line.

    Clearly Luck’s record is far too short to make that comparison (which is not at all what Grigson was saying).

    Fabulous reporting, PFT, as usual.

  48. He means the Colts are jumping on Luck’s back and only going as far as he can take them the same way they did with Manning for all those years and the same way the Bulls did with Jordan back in the day.

  49. Let the media build this kid up, and then to only tear him down. Luck is only 24 years old and has a long ways to go.

  50. One playoff win. Zero rings. Zero division championships.

    When other leauge qbs start wearing his jersey let me know. That was how big MJ was to his leauge.

  51. READ….THE…QUOTE you morons. He didn’t say he was Jordan, Grigson said Luck has some Jordan-like qualities. And he does. The work ethic, the grit, that “it” factor that some QBs just have and some don’t. He had some bad picks yesterday but carried that team on his back for the win. Doesn’t he have the record for the most 4th quarter comebacks as a rookie QB? Yes, he does. He also broke the record for most passing yards by a QB in the first two seasons of NFL play. And the “he must have been drinking again” quotes prove that half of you just read the headline and though IRSAY made the comment. SMDH…

  52. I preffer to compare him to Tiger Woods in the sense that he has some sort of majic that follows him. I noticed it 1st last year late in the game agaist Houston, they were down and need a touch down with little time left on the clock He new it, The crowd knew it, the texans secondary knew it and yet he still floated a beautuful strike right down the seam for a TD to win the game. Some rare atheletes have the power to will miraculas things to happen and I believe he is one of them. I am a Bronco fan and enjoyed watching peyton in Indy before we were lucky enough to get him here. I always was a closet colts fan and once Manning retires it looks like I will be again because this kid is the real deal. Reminds me of Elway.

  53. AGAIN, Grigson said he has some of Jordan’s qualities. Re read the article ppl. Every nfl expert says Luck is the young QB they’d like to have.

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