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When plays breakdown, don't forget about Andrew Luck's ability to run

Intro: Andrew Luck doesn’t come with the fanfare of a “running” quarterback but teams are continuing to find out the hard way about No. 12's ability to run.





INDIANAPOLIS— The extensive Colts offensive playbook does not include any designed runs for Andrew Luck.

It's the innate ability to anticipate lanes opening up and Luck's sometime forgotten 4.6 40-yard dash speed that has become a bit of staple in his 18 NFL games.

Luck doesn't consider his running a "strong suit" but he also realizes that when things break down he has such a weapon that would make many people disagree with his own personal evaluation.

"I've always been taught going back to college, even high school, if you can get a first down with your legs as a quarterback, that can be a good thing," Luck said on Monday afternoon.

"It can be somewhat demoralizing for a defense in a sense. If you can break a tackle or maybe sidestep something and get the ball out to a receiver, that makes a difference."


Chuck Pagano pointed to Sunday's 21-17 victory as to whether or not Luck's running ability should be taken lightly.

On the quarterback's 19-yard game-winning touchdown, the Colts came out in an empty backfield but with Reggie Wayne double-teamed, No. 12 took matters into his own hands (legs).

"He's got all the arm talent in the world, all the smarts, all the instincts, all that stuff, but if things open up and people play tight coverage on you and there's nowhere to go with the ball, instinctively that's what you're going to do," Pagano said of his quarterback. "And he's athletic enough, he's big enough and he's strong enough to do exactly what he did (Sunday)."

Following Luck's scamper and the eventual 21-17 victory, Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen was still shaking his head at the third-and-four where Luck did his best Terrelle Pryor impression.

"We had a couple times where we had (Luck) dead rights and couldn't get him on the ground," Allen said after the game. "He's a big strong quarterback and then one time we let him scramble out down there in the red zone."

Last year, Luck averaged 4.1 yards per carry on 62 attempts, which was the most for any Colts player with more than five carries.

He had five rushing touchdowns by the sixth game of the 2012 regular season, easily setting a Colts franchise record for quarterbacks.

On Sunday, Luck was back at it again by keeping plays alive and gaining 38 yards on six carries.

The quarterback is adamant that his task is to still get the ball in the hands of all of the Colts offensive playmakers.

And no worries though, Luck's head coach knows that while those runs are an asset, keeping the signal caller upright is always in the back of Pagano's mind.

"They had him dead rights one time and somehow, some way (Luck) squeaked out of there and ran for a first down. It was unbelievable how he did it. Again, that's instincts taking over," Pagano said.

"But we're going to tell him you get close to the sideline, throw it away, run out of bounds, slide, all those things. We talk to him daily about it."

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