Indianapolis Colts: NFL Nation Confidential: Franchise player

Live chat: NFL Nation Confidential

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
PM ET’s NFL Nation staff of 32 team reporters conducted interviews with more than 320 players over a six-week period in November and December for its “NFL Nation Confidential” series, which launched on Jan. 9. The anonymous survey asked players around the league to answer a wide range of questions about the NFL. In today’s installment, we touch on the following subjects: “Who is the “NFL’s most respected player” and “If you had to start a team with one player, whom would it be?”

Beginning at 1 p.m. ET, our NFL Nation staff will be on hand to debate the top vote-getters as part of NFL Nation Confidential results chat. You can also join today’s discussion on Twitter, using #NFLUltimatePlayer.

NFLN survey/franchise player: Colts

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
Quarterback Andrew Luck's NFL career consists of a total of 35 games when you add in the three playoff games he’s appeared in. It’s only taken those 35 games for Luck to earn the respect of his peers around the league.

Luck finished second behind only Peyton Manning, the player he replaced at quarterback with the Indianapolis Colts, during NFL Nation’s survey question of: If you could start a team with one player, whom would it be?

Luck received more votes than Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, New England’s Tom Brady, Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.

And Manning, who has led the Denver Broncos to this weekend’s AFC Championship Game, barely beat Luck. Manning had 62 votes compared to Luck’s 56 votes.

I’m not surprised that so many players selected Luck. He simply knows how to win, he goes about his business the right way and he’ll be leading the Colts for at least the next decade. Punter Pat McAfee once told me that other cities have more to offer when it comes to nightlife or beaches, but if a free agent wants to win he’ll come to Indianapolis because of Luck.

McAfee is right.

Luck is 22-10 in the regular season, he’s already won an AFC South title and he won his first playoff game this season. Manning didn’t win a playoff game this early in his career.

Oh yeah, Luck’s only 24 years old.

There aren’t many other teams around the NFL who can say the same thing.