NEW ORLEANS -- As expected, former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck lost out to Robert Griffin III for another major award Saturday night at the NFL Honors show and had to settle for being the butt of a zinger by event host Alec Baldwin.
Griffin, despite being taken behind No. 1 pick Luck in the NFL draft, was named The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at the second annual event, a year after outpointing Luck for the Heisman Trophy.
The Washington Redskins quarterback received 29 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Luck was next with 11, and Seattle's Russell Wilson got 10.
All three rookie quarterbacks reversed the fortunes of flagging franchises and took their teams to the playoffs in their first year. Luck seemed to take his latest "loss" to Griffin in stride and chuckled when Baldwin singled out the Indianapolis Colts QB in his opening monologue by poking fun at Luck's beard, which can run down his neck.
Baldwin credited Luck with a great season "even though he had to overcome an debilitating neck beard."
The currently clean-shaven Luck said he had tremendous respect for the rookie class and particularly Griffin.
"So many rookie players had great seasons," he said. "It's hard to see everything that goes on when you're in your own season, but from what you glean from highlights and just being a football fan, (Griffin) did unbelievable things. It's tough with the injury he suffered and having to deal with that, but I was very, very impressed with his season.
Luck passed for 1,374 more yards and three more touchdowns than Griffin, but the Redskins' quarterback was more efficient. RGIII completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, 20 TDS and just five interceptions for a 102.4 rating. Luck completed 54.1 percent of his passes for 4,374 yards and 23 TDs but threw 18 interceptions and his rating was just 76.5
Griffin, who suffered a major knee injury that required surgery following the season, also rushed for 815 yards and seven TDs to Luck's 255 yards and five scores, respectively.
Asked to assess his rookie season, Luck had a mixed view.
"Like any player, I wish we could be in the game (Sunday)," Luck said. "But I had a lot of fun. Bruce Arians (who was named AP Coach of the Year) was great, I feel very blessed to be able to have played under him. He did so many great things for me, and in year one, I think it's incredibly important to have a relationship with your offensive coordinator. I thought it was off the charts.
"But I don't want to say I was satisfied," Luck added. "I'd only be satisfied winning a Super Bowl, but I guess it went all right."
Luck said he isn't surprised his former coach at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh, has the 49ers in the Super Bowl in just his second season with the team. He said quarterback Colin Kaepernick was a lucky guy to have Harbaugh as his coach.
"(Harbaugh's) got the magic touch right now," said Luck. "He's a great motivator, a great coach and I'm very happy for him. As for Colin, he would thrive with a lot of people, but coach Harbaugh does very good things with football players."
Despite the fact that Luck lost out to Griffin, Arians -- who was named head coach of the Arizona Cardinals last week -- said he couldn't imagine another rookie player having a better year than his own quarterback but admitted Griffin and Wilson presented stiff competition.
"When they walked out on the practice field -- I know it happened in Indianapolis -- and the defensive guys saw them, they had to say, `Wow, we're back. We've got a chance,' " Arians said. "They all have a presence about them It's not just athletic ability, they have a grit and presence."
Of Luck, Arians added, "I was just so amazed by his unbelievable command of the game and the fact that he has so much fun playing."