INDIANAPOLIS -- A poster hanging outside Lucas Oil Stadium still bears the image of Peyton Manning. Inside the house Manning built, the discussion is all about his successor. On Friday, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III finally got a chance to start making their pitches to be this years No. 1 draft pick and supplant Manning as the face of the Colts franchise though neither is ready to push him aside yet. "Peyton was my hero growing up, he was my football hero, hes who I modeled myself after in high school and middle school. You never truly replace a guy like that," Luck said at the NFLs scouting combine. "If I had the opportunity to learn from a guy like that, of course youre going to take advantage of that, absolutely." One of the top two quarterbacks in this years draft may not have a choice about whether he plays or sits in 2012. After going a league-worst 2-14, the Colts won the lottery ticket for the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, and team owner Jim Irsay has already said he intends to use the No. 1 overall pick on Indys next big franchise quarterback. Presumably, that quarterbacks portrait will wind up on the wall of the same venue both are expected to participate in some of Sundays workouts. Who will it be? Luck met with Colts quarterback coach Clyde Christensen on Thursday night and will undoubtedly see more of the Colts staff this weekend. Griffin has already met with Philadelphia and has meetings scheduled with Kansas City and Cleveland, a team that may be looking to swap picks with St. Louis to take Griffin. Coaches and general managers believe Luck, like Manning in 1998, is the more polished prospect. "He (Luck) has got a great start," said Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who was been watching Luck since his high school days. "Hes been coached very well. The system hes been running is very similar to what most of the people do in pro football. Hes doing a lot of stuff at the line of scrimmage. He has a good chance to be a great, great player in this league." Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner, is believed to have more upside, just like Ryan Leaf, who went second in the 98 draft. And with scouting reports on Griffin steadily improving, the biggest concern heading into the combine was Griffins height. Some worried the quarterback who was listed at 6-foot-4 in high school and 6-2 at Baylor, was actually shorter. Griffin ended any speculation about the incredible shrinking quarterback by measuring in at 6-2 3/8, 223 pounds -- a point he made three times during a 15-minute question-and-answer session with reporters. "Cam (Newton) is a bigger guy, 6-5, 240 and Im 6-2 3/8 and 223," Griffin said, drawing laughter. "Im not going to let that one go." This years crop of quarterbacks is an intriguing mix of talent. Theres quarterback-turned-receiver-turned-quarterback Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M. Theres Wisconsins Russell Wilson and 28-year-old Brandon Weeden, who have already been drafted -- by Major League Baseball teams. Theres Kirk Cousins from Michigan State, the undersized Kellen Moore from Boise State and little known Patrick Witt from Yale. Then, of course, theres Luck, considered the most NFL ready quarterback since Manning, and the rapidly-rising Griffin. Most believe that barring any unknown medical issues, Luck will go No. 1 to Indianapolis and Griffin could go No. 2 if the Rams trade the pick. The quarterbacks dont believe its that clear-cut. "I think thats a little premature," Luck said when asked whether hed started house-hunting on his second trip to Indy in less than a month. He was also here during Super Bowl week. With more than two months to go before the April draft, theres lots of time for scouts to dissect the flaws and change their rankings. But in a strange twist, it could be the No. 2 pick that ends up with more playing time in the fall. Manning still has not completely recovered from a nerve injury that caused weakness in his throwing arm and forced him to miss the entire 2011 season. The Colts must now decide whether to pay the four-time league MVP a $28 million bonus by March 8 or risk losing him as a free agent. Complicating matters, Manning has also offered to redo the deal five-year, $90 million deal he signed last July in hopes of finishing his career in Indy. If the two sides can work out a new deal and Manning is healthy, he could be the Colts starter and relegate the No. 1 pick to bench duty. Its a prospect Griffin and Luck believe can work. "Id like it to stay Peytons picture, but Im not going to be a politician for that," said Griffin, who wore Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle socks to the interview session. "Ive talked to him (Manning) a couple of times, and I he hope he gets the chance to finish his career here with the Colts." Luck agrees that his friend should get that opportunity. The two have already built a strong friendship. Lucks father, Oliver, and Mannings father, Archie, were teammates for two seasons with the Houston Oilers in the 1980s, and Andrew Luck has attended the Manning Passing Academy as both a pupil and a counsellor. After returning he would return to school last year rather than enter the draft, Luck called Peyton Manning for advice about going back. "I think I improved on general knowledge of the game, and I think I sharpened up a lot of my skills," Luck said of the extra year in college. Sitting behind Manning could help the learning process, too. But at some point, one of these two is likely to have his picture replace that of Manning on the front of the stadium. "I understand the questions have to be asked. Its part of it. I understand the speculation," Luck said. "In my mind, nothing has happened yet. I havent been drafted any team, and, obviously, the deal with Peyton, thats still going on with the Colts. But I understand the questions have to be asked." Houston Rockets Jersey
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. Brazil beat Saudi Arabia 3-0 in Barranquilla, while Spain narrowly escaped a shock defeat by South Korea, winning a penalty shootout 7-6 after 0-0 draw in regulation and extra time in Manizales. NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators need measure themselves against the Detroit Red Wings no more. David Legwand scored 13 seconds into the third period, and the Predators advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with a 2-1 victory over the Red Wings on Friday night. The fourth-seeded Predators won the series 4-1, capping a season in which they finished ahead of their Central Division rival for the first time, and beat the Red Wings for the first time in three playoff series. Nashville made it even sweeter by handing the Red Wings their earliest post-season departure since a six-game, first-round loss to Edmonton in 2006. Nashville coach Barry Trotz said Detroit has been the gold standard for the Central Division and especially the Predators. "Weve grown to the point where we have great respect for the Detroit Red Wings, but were not in awe of them," Trotz said. "Thats the stepping stone that weve taken. Obviously, beating Detroit in the first round is a step in the right direction." Nashville became the first team to advance this post-season, and the Predators could face third-seeded Phoenix in the second round. The Coyotes lead Chicago 3-1. "Its not time to celebrate," Nashville forward Alexander Radulov said. "I mean its only the first round." Legwand added an assist, and Radulov also had a goal and assist for Nashville. The team that scored first won each game, and that was Nashville again. Jiri Hudler scored for Detroit, which heads into the summer having lost three straight waiting to see if captain Nicklas Lidstrom has played his last game after 20 seasons. Lidstrom has said the past couple days that, as usual, he will decide whether he returns in the summer. Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he thought the Red Wings played well in this series until Game 5, which he called their worst. "When you lose 4-1 in a series, you can talk about all of the games being a one-goal game," Babcock said. "To me thats not close, 4-1 is not close." The Predators won the final three in the series by allowing only four goals, and Friday night they outshot and outhit the older Red Wings. They got the winning goal from Legwand, a native of the Detroit area, who scored on a wrister off an assists from Gabriel Bourque and Radulov. "Its special obviously to beat those guys," said Legwand, Nashvilles first draft pick as a franchise and No. 2 overall in 1998. "Great organization, great team. Theyve had their fair share of wins and series wins and those types of things. So theyre obviously going to (come) back strong. Were excited to get this one and move onto round two and get to see who we play now." Trotz said he knew Legwand would break out as a difference maker at some point. "David Legwand had his A game," Trotz said. The Red Wings took a timeout with 3.1 seconds left after Henrik Zetterberg missed a rebound and the puck was iced. They added some time, putting the clock at 4.2 seconds. It just wasnt enough as the Predators cleared the puck to start the celebrattion.dddddddddddd Legwands goal started the sold-out crowd counting down the final minutes, eager to celebrate this former expansion franchises biggest victory yet against Detroit. Fans even gathered outside the arena watching on a giant TV, and those inside gave the Predators three standing ovations in the third period during timeouts. Country singer Keith Urban and his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, also were on hand decked out in the free gold T-shirts for the home fans. This is just the Predators seventh playoff appearance in eight seasons, but Nashville improved to 2-0 in elimination games by winning its second straight first-round series. Nashville had watched teams like Philadelphia and Vancouver stave off elimination since they won Game 4 in Detroit on Tuesday night, so the Predators were ready when the Red Wings came out with all the desperation of a franchise that had won 32 post-season series during their 21 straight playoff appearances. Detroit opened the game by outshooting the Predators 6-1, and Valterri Filppula even had a partial breakaway attempt midway through the first period only to see Pekka Rinne make the save. But the Predators withstood the early flurry and started going on the offence, and they finally went up 1-0 when Detroit defenceman Kyle Quincey misplayed the puck. Legwand grabbed it and fired a pass to Radulov in front, and he easily beat goalie Jimmy Howard with a wrister at 16:10. In Nashville tradition, the first of at least a couple catfish was tossed on the ice in celebration with fans finally having a reason to cheer and release some of their pent-up emotions. That seemed to fire the Predators up even more, and rookie Craig Smith, making his playoff debut, had two chances late in the period. His shot from in front went just right of the post, and he chased down the puck, skating around the net and throwing it back across the crease. Zetterberg helped the Red Wings tie it up when he threw the puck toward the front of the net with Filppula getting an assist before Hudler poked the puck past Rinnes right skate at 13:45 of the second. The Predators killed off the rest of the period before getting a much-needed breather at the second intermission. "Its disappointing," Detroit defenceman Niklas Kronwall said. "Right now its just empty I think. Everyone in here believed something completely different than what the outcome was." Notes: Nashville ousted Anaheim in six games in the first round last season. ... Detroit beat Nashville in the opening round in both 2004 and 2008. ... The goal was Radulovs sixth in the post-season but his first of this series. He has five points in this post-season. Bourque, a rookie, now has four points in his first post-season series. ... Country singer Martina McBride joined the house band at the first intermission. ... The Predators outshot Detroit 10-8 in the first period, the first period theyve done that in this series since the third period of Game 2. ... Lidstrom, Detroits leader in post-season points and games played, did not notch a point in the series. ' ' '