Quarterback Burning Questions Heading Into OTAs

Intro: The countdown to Colts players returning for work is a little more than a week away. What is in store for the quarterback position with the 2015 season nearing?

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INDIANAPOLIS –With the Colts offseason rapidly coming to a close, players will return to the facility on April 20 for the team's eight-week offseason program.

Over the next week and a half, Colts.com will take a look at the "Burning Questions" surrounding all position groups entering 2015.

Here's a look at the quarterback burning questions heading into the offseason program:

  • What's in store for Andrew Luck in his third season, at the NFL level, with offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton?

The bar Andrew Luck set for himself in his 2012 rookie season was remarkably high for a first-year quarterback.

Not only has Luck maintained that standard after three NFL seasons, he's continued a steady progression where the conversation of the game's top quarterbacks has to include the Colts signal caller.

By far the biggest climb Luck made in 2014 came in scoring plays.

After back-to-back 23-touchdown campaigns to start his NFL career, Luck threw 40 touchdowns last year and had nearly 1,000 more passing yards in 2014 than 2013.

ANDREW LUCK'S CAREER STATS

Attempts

Completions

Yards

TDs

INT

Rating

2012

627

339 (54.1%)

4,374

23

18 (2.9%)

76.5

2013

570

343 (60.2%)

3,822

23

9 (1.6%)

87.0

2014

616

380 (61.7%)

4,761

40

16 (2.6%)

96.5

In 2014, Luck wanted to improve in red-zone and third-down situations. The Colts offense saw an uptick in maintaining drives, but red-zone focus will once again be a priority this fall.

When dissecting Luck's numbers you are nitpicking in searching for improvements.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle for Luck in 2015 will be trying to incorporate a new starting running back and a new staring wide receiver into a skill group that was among the most dynamic in the NFL last season.

A third straight season in Pep Hamilton's system is vital in keeping the continuity to one of the league's most electric offenses.

STAT TO NOTE: Luck's 12,957 passing yards are the most passing yards in the first three seasons of a career in NFL history.

  • Is 2015 the year Andrew Luck carries MVP consideration into the month of December?

The hype train driving the MVP talk for Luck last offseason seemed to have several conductors.

It's been a much quieter offseason in that regards, but I have a feeling the MVP noise will begin to build with the offseason program about to kick off.

The weapons are at Luck's disposal and as long as the new faces don't have a slow learning curve, his numbers should not diminish.

Now, if the Colts can find a more consistent ground attack (a definite hope for this offense) led by Frank Gore, that might put Luck's attempts numbers back in the 500s (thus bringing down his other passing figures).

That should not impact Luck's MVP candidacy.

Luck's individual numbers are going to be MVP worthy, even if they do not reach last year's career-highs.

It's the wins column that might be the most important resume bullet point for Luck.

If the Colts can find themselves as one of the AFC's best two teams at the end of the season, the MVP votes will pour in for Luck.

STAT TO NOTE: Luck's 33 wins are the second most in NFL history for a quarterback following his first three seasons.**

**

  • How valuable of a backup quarterback is Matt Hasselbeck?

After barely seeing the field in 2013, Hasselbeck logged 82 offensive snaps last season.

The game's most experienced backup quarterback has returned for a third season and his value to the Colts extends well past Sunday's.

Hasselbeck completed 68 percent of his 44 pass attempts last season, proving that the 39-year old quarterback can still handle an extended role.

Obviously, no player or coach wants to see Hasselbeck get that chance at the expense of an injury to Luck.

The Colts hope that any run Hasselbeck gets in 2015 comes in mop-up duty, with Indianapolis already well in control.

While Luck is always one to commend Hasselbeck for his veteran knowledge, that wisdom is reverberated throughout the Colts locker room, on both sides of the ball.

STAT TO NOTE: With 201 career games played, the 39-year old Hasselbeck is the oldest active quarterback in the NFL.

A look back at Hasselbeck's highlights with the Colts.

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