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LUCK AT WORK ON SECOND SEASON

Posted May 23, 2013

Andrew Luck is two-for-two in his NFL career. His second professional season finds him in a different offense. Not to sweat, he has seen much of it before at Stanford. This is the first of a two-part series on Luck and his 2013 OTAs. Friday’s story – what his position coach, Clyde Christensen, is doing to prepare Luck for the upcoming season.

INDIANAPOLIS – This time a year ago, Andrew Luck was a non-participant in Colts OTAs because of academic responsibilities at Stanford.

 

When he finished his degree work in architecture design, Luck probably felt he would be leaving a large part of Palo Alto behind.

 

That is not the case in his second Colts season as his OTA work finds him in Pep Hamilton’s new offense while gearing for 2013.

 

“I’d say it’s about 20 percent new for Andrew.  It’s 100 percent new for everyone else, 100 percent,” said quarterback coach Clyde Christensen.  “The bad news is with Andrew probably being the smartest guy in the building, he’s the one guy who could learn a new offense very quickly. 

 

“The rest of us, it takes us a while.  The good news is if your quarterback is familiar with the offense, the rest comes fast.”

 

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO GALLERY OF MAY 22 OTA PRACTICE

Luck was relegated to working only in two three-day camps last year, one with rookies and the other with the entire squad.  There was a bit of informal work after the mandatory June mini-camp, then Luck reported to training camp before embarking on a wondrous rookie season.

 

The first overall pick in the draft set NFL rookie marks in yards (4,374), attempts (627) and 300-yard games (six) as the Colts went to the playoffs with an 11-5 record.

 

With last year a memory and a new chance at hand, Luck is intent on OTA work.

 

“I think the main goal is to go into training camp the best that we can be,” said Luck on Wednesday.  “I know that’s quite vague and a bit of a cliché.  We’ll focus on coming in (Thursday), getting some good work in and then the next OTA, which is next Tuesday. 

 

“We’re not going to take these days for granted.  We realize we only get so many of them.  We’ll work hard.  To go into training camp with a healthy, winning football team is the main goal.”

 

Luck was a first-day arrival on April 15 when the off-season program began.  Typical of his nature, he has been a daily participant – taking something adapted from college and being made into something blue.

 

“Obviously, I guess all of us haven’t run this offense, we ran so much stuff at Stanford,” said Luck.  “To get out there with the defense and to feel the offense, to troubleshoot some stuff is good.  Just to be out on the field with the guys going against something other than air is fun.”

 

With all the success Luck had last year, including seven fourth-quarter/overtime comeback triumphs among his 11 starting wins, he was sacked 41 times and hit an estimated 148 times.

 

He was composed enough to deliver 23 touchdown passes, one of only eight NFL rookies ever to reach 20 scoring tosses. 

 

Two areas likely to change this year will be the blend of the offense with a more prevalent rushing attack, along with getting a healthier completion percentage. 

Last year, Indianapolis rushed the ball more often than it passed in only three games, victories over Cleveland, Houston and Jacksonville.  For the year, the Colts rushed on 39.7 percent of their offensive plays. 

 

Luck hit on 54.1 percent of his passes, a change from his 67.0 career mark at Stanford that included connecting on 70.7 and 71.3 percent of his attempts over his final two years.

 

 

Andrew Luck’s Year-by-Year Statistics (2009-11, Stanford; 2012, Colts)

Year

GS/GP

ATT

COMP

YDS

TD

INT

2009 Stan

12/12

288

162

2575

13

4

2010 Stan

13/13

372

263

3338

32

8

2011 Stan

13/13

404

288

3517

37

10

2012 Colts

16/16

627

339

4374

23

18

 

 

Luck has no aversion to a more aggressive ground game.

 

“Obviously, all quarterbacks have a little syndrome in which we like to think we can throw the ball every play, every game and win,” said Luck.  “I think we realize that running the ball is going to help our passing game.  If we can have a balanced attack, I think that will really, really help the team.”

 

Christensen has been intertwined with illustrious Colts offenses for the past 11 seasons, serving in three capacities – wide receiver coach, offensive coordinator and in his current role.

 

While shaping many successful performers, he likes the feel of Luck and his offensive teammates in OTAs.

 

“We’ve got a lot (of guys) like last year, young, anxious, (an) excited bunch who still loves football, loves coming in here,” said Christensen.  “I think we still have a hungry, energetic bunch.  I think it’s probably a little more mature bunch.  I think we’re further ahead.

 

“I’ve always thought you make your biggest percentage gain in your second year.  We have so many guys in their second years that we ought to see a really nice bump percentage-wise and improvement.

 

“He (Luck) just keeps progressing ahead, and he falls in the same category.  He just goes out and plays and doesn’t realize how young he is and just has had a nice camp.  He’s bright, he’s on it, and he enjoys it.  There’s a guy who loves football.  We’re pleased where he is.”

 

 

Check Colts.com Friday for more from Clyde Christensen on Andrew Luck.

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