Last season, Andrew Luck burst onto the NFL scene as a rookie, earning respect across the league for dragging the once hopeless Indianapolis Colts from the bottom of the AFC and into the playoff picture. He did so with almost 4,400 passing yards and 23 scores through the air, but also added 255 yards on the ground and scored five times as a rusher.
But head coach Chuck Pagano wants to see that last part change as Luck develops as a starting quarterback.
The Indy Star’s Bob Kravitz spoke to the coach about his prodigy at QB, and he had this to say:
The only thing is, he’s running way too much. I know that. We’ve got to do a better job of keeping him clear. But that’s another dimension that people have got to contend, the ability to extend plays and create.
Luck used his legs often during college, extending plays and earning yards as a runner in the Stanford offense. But he also had incredible numbers as a passer in college, and the Colts don’t want to risk compromising his future by allowing him to run himself into injuries.
It will be interesting to see if Luck is able to dial back his running this season, as it’s always been a part of his game. As Pagano mentioned, it’s a dimension teams must respect when facing Luck, so will removing his freedom to run cause any problems for the young signal caller?
Everything I have seen from Andrew Luck seems to indicate he has fantastic footwork in the pocket, and knows how to feel pressure. As long as he finds a way to keep himself away from big hits in the open field, I think it’s foolish to keep him from running around and making plays. The Colts don’t have the offensive line to protect Luck on an every-down basis, so he’s going to have to move his feet to stay alive versus opposing pass rushers.
This will be interesting to watch over the course of the 2013 season.