ESPN’s Skip Bayless put a column up on the ESPN website yesterday claiming Jim Irsay made a huge mistake letting Peyton Manning go. He went on to say the Indianapolis Colts owner made an even bigger one by drafting Andrew Luck over Robert Griffin III with the first overall pick.
That column got fans in Indianapolis all up in arms as everyone in the “Circle City” loves Luck and the majority think RGIII is overrated.
Bayless said, “The cold, hard truth: Owner Jim Irsay made a monumental four-year mistake when he ceremoniously cut Peyton Manning last March. And Irsay and his new general manager, Ryan Grigson, compounded that calculated blunder last April by drafting Andrew Luck over Robert Griffin III.”
Bayless further made himself look like he didn’t know what he was talking about when he said, “Luck has had a terrific rookie year. But his seven game-winning drives camouflaged some troubling numbers. RG III’s seven total turnovers (five interceptions, two lost fumbles) are the fewest in the NFL. The fewest! And RG III runs a high-risk, ride-and-decide attack in which split-second decisions must be made to let go of the ball in the running back’s hands or pull it back.”
Those statements alone show Bayless had no clue what he was talking about.
How can you dispel the fact that Luck has seven-game winning drives? After all, isn’t that what playing sports is all about? Those numbers don’t camouflage anything. Then, to compare turnovers of the two is absurd.
RGIII’s number are camouflaged and he doesn’t run a high-risk offense. He has a number one ranked rushing game and can’t throw deep. Fact, RGIII’s completion percentage when throwing into coverage or to receivers over 20+ yards is among the worst in the NFL. Fact, Luck’s completion percentage when throwing into coverage and throwing to receivers 20+ yards are in the top three in the NFL.
Fact, Luck won more games and had a more high-risk offense as he threw more than 100 more times downfield than RGII. Fact, Luck broke nearly all the rookie passing records. Fact, the Colts were 2-14 last year and Irsay made a bold move to cut Manning and many other Colts greats for a new era with Luck leading and they won nine more games this way. Fact, the Colts were 1-8 in games decided by one possession or fewer last season. This year they’re 9-1.
After the two page article ripping Irsay and making horrible points, Irsay fired back on his twitter account today. He said, “Skip Bay.,maybe you are suffering from memory loss,which you probably should have checked out,but I hired Bill Polian and drafted P Manning.”
Irsay is completely right in that. Bayless is so far off base it’s not even funny. It’s becoming a joke that ESPN even still has him on the payroll. He and every other media type that says RGIII is more deserving of the Rookie of the Year and is a better quarterback over Luck isn’t doing their audience justice. They’re dispelling facts for fiction and giving the bigger markets what they want to hear.
Kudos for Irsay to step up and fire back at such an erroneous column by another biased national media target.