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Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck, The Teacher, Conducting The Colts Offense

Intro: As the Colts wrap up the sixth week of their offseason program, Andrew Luck has caught the eye of veteran running back Frank Gore.





INDIANAPOLIS – What Frank Gore has seen from Andrew Luck in five weeks is what Pep Hamilton has been observing for the past five years.

Luck has the early attention of Gore, with the Colts approaching the stretch run of their 2015 offseason program.

"I like how (Luck) takes leadership of the team," Gore said of his new quarterback.

"It's not just him listening to coaches. When he's out there, he takes ownership of everything and I really like that."

Gore is inside the huddles led by Luck, listening to a quarterback budding near full bloom in his fourth NFL season.

After time together at Stanford, Hamilton and Luck now enter their third NFL campaign together.

The relationship of teacher/pupil has evolved over time to where the student is doing some teaching of his own.

"Andrew is at a point where as far as his understanding of an NFL defense, his perspective now is like a perspective of a coach," Hamilton said this offseason.

"It's well documented that he's a smart guy, but now I think his overall football acumen, or should I say football aptitude is at a point where his feedback and/or his suggestions, I really take heed of the advice that he gives."

A behind the scenes look at Luck's 2015 photo shoot in the #ColtsPhotoGarage

A trio of Pro Bowl seasons for Luck doesn't lead to a lengthy offseason-improvement list.

When Luck, Hamilton, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and backup Matt Hasselbeck started to evaluate the 2014 film, three specific keys entered their minds.

Continuing to see efficiency rise in red-zone (13th in 2014) and third-down situations (12th in 2014) remain goals.

Another area of focus falls in the waning minutes of halves and games. Despite being fourth in the NFL in two-minute offense last season (27 points in 23 possessions), the Colts want more.

"I would say for our quarterback room, we want to be the best in the world at those three things (red zone, third down and two minute)," Hasselbeck said.

"Those three are the areas where we can probably effect wins and losses the most, as a quarterback room."

The need to protect the football better is something that Hamilton takes on his shoulders.

It's the offensive coordinator who says he needs to put Luck in better positions to move on from certain plays.

Hamilton knows the personnel assembled for 2015, and the man he has under center conducting the Colts orchestra.

"I feel like it's a situation where we can allow our quarterback to truly go through his progression and not limit the progression saying, 'Hey, we want to let this guy beat their weakest defender.' That won't be the case at all," Hamilton said.

"I think we should present matchup challenges for our opponents and hopefully we can continue to exploit those."

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