Praise For Andrew Luck Extends To All NFL Circles

Intro: As Andrew Luck is about to start his fourth season in the NFL, those around the league pay the Colts quarterback the highest of compliments.

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INDIANAPOLIS – From an Australian excursion to a weeklong USO Tour, Andrew Luck's offseason is approaching the finale back in the United States.

Year Four in the NFL beckons for the Colts quarterback.

His offseason started with, once again, being the top overall pick in the Pro Bowl draft, another sign of the respect Luck carries around the NFL.

Whether it's opposing quarterbacks, coaches or defenders, the admiration for Luck and his abilities extends through all NFL circles.

"If you say there's a mold, he fits the mold," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said of Luck at this year's Pro Bowl. "He might be the mold.

"From everything I've seen, he's got all the physical tools. He's got all the mental tools. He seems like he's a great leader."

Houston's J.J. Watt has matched up across from Luck each of the last three seasons.

Colts/Texans meetings pit two of the NFL's elite athletes, but it's the off-the-field attributes of Luck that sticks with Watt.

"He's a true professional all around and he handles himself the right way," Watt said of Luck.

What fans rarely get a glimpse of is Luck's competitive nature, from Monday-Saturday, that rarely takes a minute off.

Matt Hasselbeck is typically a recipient of Luck's passionate nature, in all facets of life.

As a 39-year old quarterback, Hasselbeck can't help but ramp up his own competitive juices when around Luck.

"Andrew is such a machine in the weight room that keeping up with him, I've got to work harder than I've ever worked," Hasselbeck said. "He's strong. He's fast. He's diligent. He's always trying to do new activities and exercises.

"His work ethic to accomplishing goals that (quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen) has set out for him I think is contagious. Guys around him, they work."

One area of Luck's game that sometimes doesn't get all the fanfare is his remarkable durability shown after three seasons.

There hasn't been one game, let alone a practice, that Luck has missed due to injury.

Hasselbeck acknowledges this, but points out that the most impressive part of such toughness is the nature in which Luck plays.

This isn't a quarterback who is simply getting rid of the ball at any cost to avoid hits.

Luck brings a "physical, hard-nosed," linebacker-type mentality to a position known for finesse and meticulous skill.

As teams routinely try to game plan for such a unique quarterback, it's the unknown of No. 12 that opponents can never replicate until it's often too late on Sunday's.

"The biggest thing about him is he makes play off schedule," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said of Luck. "He's on time a lot of time but you can cover him and rush him the right way and he's moving around in the pocket and can create a throw when you think you've got him.

"He's as tough as they come. You can hit him as much as you want and he just keeps coming back. He's just a great, great football player."

The USO Tour including Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck and Dwayne Allen began earlier this week. The tour is being lead by Admiral James Winnefeld Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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