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Chuck Pagano On Andrew Luck: "The Great Ones, They Feel Like The Down Is Never Over"

Intro: Andrew Luck’s evolution in 2015 has him wanting to balance the innate ability of knowing when resisting the urge to make the big play is the right play.





INDIANAPOLIS – It's a play that will appear on Andrew Luck's highlight tape for some time.

It's also a play that could have made Chuck Pagano lose quite a bit of sleep at night.

With the Colts clinging to a three-point, third-quarter, lead in their Wild Card matchup versus the Bengals, Luck looked to be going down with Cincinnati's sack-leader Carols Dunlap wrapping up No. 12.

A sack would keep the Colts on the fringe of field goal range and, if the worst case scenario happened (a strip/sack), the Bengals would have a relatively short field to tie the score or possibly take the lead.

Instead, Luck did what the former No. 1 pick often does.

"He's a great competitor, and they're always trying to make a play," Pagano says looking back on Luck's laser touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief.

"There's a lot of times where I'm sure everybody in this (media) room and everybody on the sideline was saying, 'The down is over.' But he's getting tackled from behind and hits a guy in stride for a touchdown pass. Now you say, 'Hey, no, no, no. Oh, okay, good job Andrew.'"

A play that looked bleak, ended with more than 60,000 on their feet and the Colts padding the lead to their eventual Wild Card victory.

Luck knows the risk/reward involved in such instinctual plays.

Frequently living on the edge like that isn't a recipe for consistent success.

Trying to dissect a particular flaw in Luck's game typically leads to him protecting the football.

Luck's touchdown-to-interception ratio was 2.6 percent last year, with his 16 giveaways the sixth month in the league.

"Cutting down on turnovers I think is my number one goal for myself, as a quarterback, going into next season besides the obvious, winning a Super Bowl."

The goals Luck has laid out above directly correlate to one another.

His propensity for keeping plays alive has often left defenders shaking their heads, hands on their waste, retreating to the sideline.

Luck's next step though, to the top of the NFL, begins in knowing when to harness that urge, a quality that separates the elite, from the rest.

"The great competitors, they feel like the down is never over, especially for a guy that's as big and athletic as Andrew," Pagano says

"It's tough. It's tough for those guys that are great competitors like that. But over time, you learn."

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

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