INDIANAPOLIS – In 2012,
Nope, make that decades.
What Luck did not glean from being from a football family, having a wondrous intellect and receiving solid coaching up to and throughout his Stanford days was enhanced when his father, Oliver, had former Colts wizard Tom Moore spend three weeks orienting him prior to the 2012 combine.
At that time, Moore said, “I’m not with any team but if I were, Andrew would be the ideal guy I would be looking for. Andrew has a special talent. He would be able to handle audibles, check offs, the two-minute offense, the no-huddle.
“Andrew’s special. A lot of people want to be good, but do they want to do what they have to do to be good? There is no doubt in my mind that Andrew will to do what it takes. God gave him the ability to do it.”
Moore was a sage sideline presence throughout his Indianapolis years. He saw in Luck a player who won in the game’s biggest collegiate arenas, and he echoed others who claimed no moment was too big for the soon-to-be Colts signal-caller.
Luck displayed that in his second game by leading the Colts on a late game-winning drive to defeat Minnesota at home, 23-20.
While Manning was taking rookie lumps with a talented-thin New Orleans team that won four games, future Colts quarterback Bert Jones was 80 miles up the road authoring a fine career at LSU.
Jones was the Colts’ top pick in the 1973 draft, the second overall choice, and he became only the second club rookie to start on opening day.
Luck joined Jones in that Colts fraternity last year, a group that now numbers six individuals – including Peyton Manning, who in 1998 became the fifth member of that bunch.
Prior to the 2012 opener, Jones forecasted the same exploits for Luck as did Moore.
“He is what I would call, ‘The serious real deal,’ ” said Jones. “Andrew has phenomenal motor skills. I like the way he moves on the field. He has excellent throwing skills.
“I like his presence on the field. He’s good, big and strong. I like his tenacity, just everything about him. I think he is a ‘can’t miss’ kind of guy.”
Jones took some lumps as a rookie, tossing four touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in earning a 1-4 starting record in a career in which he later thrived as a talented player.
Jones sees what Luck learned the first time around the block paying dividends in 2013.
“How last year will help is that in his own mind what his system is will be second nature, as opposed to last year when he probably was still thinking about what ‘we’re doing,’ ” said Jones. “I know that sounds nuts, but what ‘we’re doing’ becomes kind of like your fingers when you go to grab something. You don’t have to think about picking up a glass a certain way, you just grab it.
“His offensive system will now be an appendage to his mind where he doesn’t have to think about it. All he has to worry about is what the opposing defense is doing.”
For Jones, it was interesting viewing.
Check back on Colts.com later for the remainder of the interview with Bert Jones on Andrew Luck.