How Andrew Luck’s retirement reflects on Eagles’ mission to protect Carson Wentz


On Saturday night, the world received news that I would never have expected to receive. Being the huge football fan I am, it blew me away to read that Andrew Luck was retiring at the age of 29. A talent that once sat on top of the NFL before he was broken down by injuries. The more shocking revelation was the timing of the news, the Colts were still in the middle of their preseason game against the Bears. Now I know what you’re thinking right now, ‘this is Philly Sports Network, not Indy.’ You’re right, but this news alone explains why there are no black clouds over Lincoln Financial.

In Lucks first 3 seasons, the QB led his team to an 11-5 record each year while also advancing further in the playoffs each season but never reaching the Super Bowl. Andrew Luck threw for 86 touchdowns, 43 interceptions and 12,957 passing yards but there’s one stat that should’ve alarmed the Colts brass of what the future could hold, hence the retirement. In that time span the Colts QB was sacked 100 times, no exaggeration, that’s the exact number. Not counting QB hits. During the years of 2012 to 2014, the Colts drafted 6 offensive linemen, none of which start for the team today. Mind-blowing isn’t it?

So where am I going with all of this? What does this have to do with the Eagles? Well, I’m getting there, just hold your Colts(horses), bad joke, I know. Anyways, People should’ve seen the warning signs, after his first three seasons Luck began to falter due to the constant injuries and the Colts GM just didn’t surround Luck with the talent he needed to help him in his career. Luck finished his career being sacked 174 times in 6 seasons. Again, not counting QB hits. He’s never had an effective running game, His first coach was a defensive-minded coach, he’s never had an elite offensive line to protect him either. The support wasn’t there for the Colts QB cause the front office just didn’t know what they were doing, Let’s not forget the way Peyton Manning was forced out.

The Eagles are the polar opposite of the Colts in this regard. Since Wentz has been around, the sole focus of the team has been to surround him with not only the weapons he needs but the protection he needs. Which is why they invested in Andre Dillard and the reason they build through the trenches first, more than any other team. This philosophy is what will help preserve QB Carson Wentz for the rest of his career. It’s taken some time but the Eagles may finally have the right pieces around Wentz, which is why the coaches have kept Wentz in the pocket all offseason. No pun intended. They’ve emphasized to Wentz the need of him trusting his receivers and running backs. They drafted Wentz with three former quarterbacks waiting to help him develop, only one of them remains but Coach Pederson is all Wentz really needs.

In Wentz first three seasons he’s been sacked 92 times, an alarming number for sure but this offseason has shown that the Eagles front office is well aware of what they need to do. They’ve beefed up the O-line, added two stud running backs, drafted a wide receiver and even brought back one of the best deep threats in the NFL in DeSean Jackson. You see, the “new norm” is the motivation for Jeffery Lurie, Howie Roseman, and Doug Pederson. They know exactly what they have in their arsenal compared to what they need to reach the Super Bowl. The Eagles brass has even shown how much they value every single player on the team. They reward Nick Foles bonus money just because they wanted to do right by him. Alshon Jeffery was praised by the Eagles brass even after missing that cash in last years playoffs. As for Carson Wentz, they extended him and let Nick Foles walk even though it was the most unpopular decision.

This is the culture that resides in South Philly, one where the team values its players for their dedication and hard work. Unfortunately for Luck, this culture never existed until Frank Reich walked into the building. A move that was too little too late for Luck to even try to be a part of. Luck and Reich were a great pairing, he stood by Luck all last season as the world questioned the QB’s health. The damage was beyond repair for the Colts QB, mentally. Which is why the Eagles front office will do all they can to stand by Wentz.

Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke