Andrew Luck is no longer a rookie. Whatever grace period he had in his first year with the Indianapolis Colts has expired after a first season that yielded a playoff berth. Now the expectations are set, and in Indianapolis, those start with the playoffs and involve bringing home another Lombardi Trophy. That doesn’t phase Luck, though.
Luck put the ribbon on his first set of OTAs this week, and will turn his attention to mandatory workouts next week, followed by training camp. With Reggie Wayne absent during most of the OTAs, Luck solidified his role as the offensive leader.
Luck still defers to Wayne as the elder statesman of the offense, but he realizesthat, as the quarterback, the team will look to him for leadership. That’s a role he’s very comfortable with.
“I think it’s a natural progression. As you get older, no matter what position you are, you’re going to maybe tackle a little more or have a little more of a presence. Obviously as a quarterback, you inherit that just by talking in the huddle and saying things…as you get older, you develop a little more of maybe an outspoken role as a leader.”
As great as Luck’s physical talents are, it’s his leadership skills that made him the clear number one overall pick for the Colts in 2012. A look around the NFL‘s past and present quickly shows us players who had more than cannon arms or fleet feet. From Roger Staubach to Aaron Rodgers, we see the players that personify the term “field general” tend to win championships.
Of course, Colts fans are accustomed to great leadership at quarterback. Even though he wasn’t as physically gifted as his peers, Jim Harbaugh took the Colts to within an eyelash of a Super Bowl appearance, largely due to his ability to lead his troops. And perhaps no quarterback has ever commanded his team on the field like Peyton Manning. That’s a pretty tall standard for Luck, but he seems to be more than up to the challenge.
Quarterbacks who don’t control the huddle usually don’t last too long. By that standard, Andrew Luck looks to be at the start of a very long and successful career.
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