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“What you see is guys who have been leaders and have done it,” says Tony Dungy, who coached the Colts built by Polian to the 2006 NFL title. “These guys are winners. They can step into the huddle _ Luck was in charge from the first practice, he had command and respect from Day 1.

“RG3 has been around big-time performers as an elite track guy and running in meets with Olympic-level runners. Russell Wilson was playing minor league baseball and thinking of the major leagues.

“That to me has stood out with these three guys; none came in thinking `I will be a backup and learn the ropes.’ Instead, it’s, `How can I play and lead us to playoffs?’ “

Rookies have done that, with recent examples Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez. But they weren’t focal points on those squads, which featured staunch defenses and strong running games. In some ways, they were along for the ride.

This year’s rookies are driving.

“None of these guys is surprised they are on winning teams,” Dungy says. “They are used to being the reason their teams win, it is not anything that has caught them off-guard.

“They come in with higher expectations and it helps them reach their goals.”


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