Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning


Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning

Its hard to overstate the greatness of Andrew Luck.

Stanford plays Colorado this weekend, and the Buffaloes head coach, Jon Embree, said he wished Luck had just entered the draft last year. But since he didnt, heres the silver lining Embree gave to his football team:

For those of you that will not get an opportunity to play professional football, youre going to get an opportunity to see what its like going against Peyton Manning.

Embree probably thought he was giving Luck the highest praise possible, but he was engaging in understatement. Luck is better than Peyton Manning -- hes a better college quarterback, and hes a better NFL prospect. Hes Manning-plus.

Heres how Luck compares to Manning: Hes big like Peyton. Hes accurate like Peyton. And now hes calling his own plays during two-minute drills just like Peyton.

PREVIEW: Colorado vs. No. 7 Stanford

But heres how he surpasses Manning: He can actually move. Hes a mobile quarterback. He can avoid a sack, he can scramble, and he can lower his shoulder and bounce defenders like Tim Tebow or Josh Freeman or Cam Newton.

He also can throw when hes running. Sometimes he stands in the pocket and throws soft-touch passes like Joe Montana used to, and sometimes he rolls out of the pocket and fires bullets on the run off one leg like Aaron Rodgers does every week.

He looks like a shortstop firing to first base after scooping up a weak ground ball. Its the most athletic throw in football, and Luck makes it look easy.

He can also catch passes, as we saw last week. He caught a ball over his shoulder one-handed next to the sideline, and it was such a difficult catch, he might be the only player on the Stanford football team who could make the play.

Andrew Luck is a complete football player. He can execute everything on the field that a player could possibly execute -- a block, a play call, a throw, a catch, a run, anything. He could be a first-round pick at tight end or linebacker.

The most accurate label for Luck might be The Greatest NFL Quarterback Prospect of All-Time, but thats probably an understatement, too.

Freelance writer Grant Cohn is a regular contributor to

Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away


Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

SACRAMENTO - All hands on deck. The Sacramento Kings open the 2017-18 schedule Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center and it looks like they might do so with a full arsenal of players at their disposal.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to practice on Sunday and then participated in the team’s annual Fanfest. If his dance moves are any indication, the 19-year-old’s back is feeling just fine.

Veteran George Hill tweaked his groin Friday against the Golden State Warriors, leaving his availability for opening night in question. Hill, 31, who has a history of groin injuries, was on the court Monday practicing and said he is ready to play.

“Everything is feeling good right now,” Hill said Monday following practice.

The only player who didn’t practice on Monday is rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors. According to head coach Dave Joerger,  the team is hopeful that the Serbian sharpshooter will return in time for Game 1.

“We’re still shooting for Wednesday for both of them,” Joerger said of Hill and Bogdanovic.

New look Rockets

The Rockets went 55-27 last season under head coach Mike D’Antoni, but that didn’t stop them from going all in during the offseason. With MVP runner-up James Harden already manning the backcourt, Houston added nine-time All-Star Chris Paul as their new starting point guard.

“Leadership, he’s a floor general,” Hill said about Paul. “Anywhere he goes, he’ll make a team better. We know they were already a good team without him, coming in with him is going to be a bigger task.”

It’s a new look roster and the expectations are huge for the Rockets. Houston averaged 115.3 points per game last season and led the league in both 3-point attempts and makes. This season, they also added two strong perimeter defenders in P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute.

It’s a huge test coming out of the gate for Sacramento. Following the contest against the Rockets, the Kings hit the road for three straight before returning to Golden 1 next Thursday to face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Camp notes

With the season just around the corner, the Sacramento Kings made their final roster cuts on Sunday afternoon. David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn were waived, leaving the Kings with 15 rostered players and two two-way players in Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson.

Stockton, Jones and Hearn are all expected to join the Reno Bighorns of the NBA’s G-League.

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely


Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.

“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.

“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”

The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.