INDIANAPOLIS – In Rob Chudzinski's 19 or so months as the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, he's had to get quite familiar to adapting at the quarterback position.
The indestructible Andrew Luck seen in his first three NFL seasons began to shift midway through 2015.
Chud was called into offensive coordinator duty on Nov. 3, 2015. Five days later Luck lacerated his kidney, ending his fourth NFL season.
Heading into 2016, Chud was hired on full-time. But life working with Luck did not mirror an ideal script. Luck missed half of the team's practices last season, missing out on valuable practice time, yet still producing the second best statistical year of his career.
Beginning a third season together, Chud and Luck are once again separated. Off-season surgery has Luck on the mend until (at least) Training Camp, with the Colts giving no timetable for their star's return.
"It's a challenge," Chud says of not having Luck right now. "It's nothing new. Last season we dealt with a lot of that, working through practices and things like that.
"The best thing for Andrew is getting him healthy and ready to go. I have no doubts in my mind he'll be ready go once he's back out on the field. He's done that before."
Once Luck gets back to work, he's going to encounter an offense with an established core, while also in the midst of adding some new wrinkles.
Chud spent the early part of this past offseason putting together a book of things the offense had to improve on, including tweaks/adjustments necessary for 2017 and installing new plays/schemes.
"From my experiences, I've found if you do exactly what you did the year before, people are going to catch up," Chud says. "There's good defensive coaches. You look at the division and the defenses in the division are outstanding. They are getting better and better."
One position group of Chud's that the Colts believe is on the upswing resides in the trenches.
The offensive line group has had its struggles since Luck entered the NFL in 2012.
But one could argue the line is at the best it has been in Luck's tenure.
"The bottom line with that group is setting the bar higher," Chud says of the offensive line. "Things that might have been last year, where you are like, 'Okay, that's understandable, that's a rookie out there. That's maybe the first time that has happened.'
"This year, we want to set the bar (where) we are not going to have that. We are going to be better and improve in those areas."
Chud went on to say the Colts will use several combinations of line makeups throughout OTAs and into Training Camp.
For now, those line combos will be blocking for Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris.
It's not new for Chud, as he waits, like everyone, for the return of No. 12.
"The most important thing right now is that (Luck) gets healthy and that he gets back to 100 percent," Chud says. "Whenever that is, we'll take it.
"In the meantime, Scott and Stephen have done a nice job working, preparing and it'll be there opportunity."
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