NFL notes: Will Colts take Luck or Griffin?

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck celebrates in the third quarter against the Oklahoma...

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck celebrates in the third quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the 2012 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona Jan. 2, 2012. (REUTERS/Rick Scuteri)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:25 PM ET

Since it’s starting to look like a consensus opinion that Peyton Manning won’t be back in Indianapolis next season, Robert Griffin III decided to throw his hat in the ring to make his case to become the Colts’ next star quarterback.

While most of the focus has been on Stanford’s Andrew Luck being the man to replace Manning, the Heisman Trophy-winning star from Baylor wonders why not him?

Though he’s generally regarded as the No. 2 man behind Luck when it comes to available quarterbacks in this year’s June entry draft, Griffin has already turned that table over once.

“He was the de facto Heisman winner and the de facto No. 1 pick,” Griffin told SI.com while making the rounds of the Super Bowl media centre. “We already took one of those from him and we plan to continue to go out there and do that.

“Whether it’s with the first pick in the draft, a playoff win, or who goes to the first Super Bowl. I will use that as a driving force, whether I go first, second, third or fourth in the draft.”

If the Colts are, as expected, looking to decide between the two for their next franchise quarterback, it wouldn’t be the first time that management was faced with a tough decision. They got it right in 1998 when they took Manning over mega-bust Ryan Leaf but this one may not be a slam dunk either.

Colts owner Jim Irsay, who has had an explosive off-season of house-cleaning, has said the Colts will consider both Luck and Griffin. Of course, he also refuses to categorically rule out Manning’s return.

“Every kid wants to be the first pick in the draft,” Griffin said. “I’m glad (Irsay) at least put me in that conversation and hasn’t already made it a foregone conclusion that he’s going with Andrew, like a lot of people have.”

Though Luck has said he wants to be a starter right out of the gate, Griffin hasn’t been nearly so adamant and seems to appreciate the value of being an understudy to a cinch hall of famer.

“You can’t just say it enough, how much that would mean to a quarterback’s career to learn from a great,” Griffin said. “Aaron Rodgers did it with Brett Favre, Steve Young did it with Joe Montana. All these guys have benefited from it and hopefully I’ll be able to do the same.”

THAT EXPLAINS IT

If the news Buffalo Bills receiver David Nelson spilled on Saturday is accurate, at least the team’s fans have an explanation for the club’s brutal collapse in the second half of the season.

Nelson told the Buffalo News that an injury sustained by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the team’s game against the Washington Redskins in Toronto resulted in cracked ribs, which would certainly account for his sudden lack of accuracy down the stretch.

“A lot of people don’t know, but Fitz, during the Washington game, actually cracked a couple of ribs,” Nelson said of an injury that had been rumoured but never confirmed and led to a 1-8 finish for the Bills. “So after that, he was playing hurt.”

EVERYONE LOVES BRADY

Even the refs love him, according to Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, another NFLer making the rounds this week at media central in Indy.

In an interview with Sirius Satellite Radio, Dareus said the key to stopping the Pats is to get pressure on Tom Brady — original thought, that. But Dareus said there’s an added reason.

“Don’t go too crazy because Brady has the referees on his side,” Dareus said. “He cries to referees as soon as he gets a chance, and it always goes his way. So don’t go too crazy, just play the game safe and just get in his face.”

QUICK HITS

Eli Manning will be in the spotlight on Sunday, but the sire of the best QB tandem in the NFL spoke on Saturday. On the fuss around Peyton this week, Archie Manning had this to say: “This week, he didn’t want all of this attention. But I guess maybe it was inevitable because they’re playing the game here (in Indy). But we’re fine. I told Peyton from the get go, ‘it’ll work out. It will work out.’ ... When healthy, Bills kicker Rian Lindell has been one of the team’s most reliable players the past several years, a big reason they locked him up to a multi-year contract this weekend. Though 35 and having missed eight games with a shoulder injury, Lindell is reportedly set to earn $3 million per season ... Because of a potential problem the St. Louis Rams have with their stadium lease, ticket sales for their scheduled regular-season game vs. the Patriots next season in London have been suspended.

rob.longley@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/longleysunsport


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