Willie Colon is a former offensive lineman, so he knows a thing or two about quarterbacks — being that offensive linemen are a quarterback’s best friend. Colon also knows a thing or two about winning at a high level. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2006-2012 before joining the New York Jets from 2013-2015. He helped Pittsburgh win Super Bowl XLIII over the Arizona Cardinals.
Still, one has to wonder if a recent “hot take” Colon delivered on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football show was justified. It certainly had its merits, but he undoubtedly came hard after Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts. Colon said that the former Stanford star and No. 1 overall pick needs to start making better decisions with the football. Jon Schlosser of All22 recorded his thoughts:
“The multi-million dollar man, Andrew Luck. I’m looking at Luck because there’s one thing he has to do,” Colon said on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football. “He has to make better decisions with the football. He threw 13 interceptions in 15 games. Not good. Especially when you’re getting paid that much money. I feel like this team can be good, but he has to make better decisions with the football.”
On this point, Colon actually makes a ton of sense. Quarterbacks are ultimately as good as their ball security, and Luck has struggled a bit in that regard. Last season for the Colts, he threw 31 touchdowns, but he also threw 13 interceptions. That split looks much better compared to 2015, though, when Luck played in only seven games, throwing 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
To be fair to Luck, Indianapolis’ offensive line has been terrible, basically ever since he entered the league in 2012. That’s something that Colon pointed out, but he went even further than that. He believes that Luck’s days in the league may be numbered, or at the very least he’s on the back nine of his career. That’s a bold statement to make for a player who’s only 27 years old, but Colon does have a point: Luck is no-longer a bright eyed and bushy tailed NFL quarterback, and the Colts have had issues keeping him upright and healthy.
“I’m kinda of the belief that Luck is on the downside of things,” Colon said. “The older you get and the less healthy you get, that shortens your career. So I’m worried about his health and how he’s going to do going forward.”
Of course, Luck has enough natural talent and smarts to overcome many adversities in the NFL, but when push comes to shove, will he be able to stay healthy? He played only seven games in 2015 due to injury and in 2016 he was hampered by a shoulder injury that has been plaguing him since the season before.
He’s not getting any younger and if Indianapolis struggles to protect him again during the 2017 season, Colon could be right — there’s potential that Luck enters the twilight of his career much sooner than he should be.