ANDERSON – Andrew Luck brought his revised to-do list to work Tuesday.
Make better protection calls. Complete more passes. Get ready for his first NFL road test at Pittsburgh.
For now, it’s short and simple.
I think you just try and get better, Luck said Tuesday when Indianapolis returned to practice at Anderson University. Obviously, it was nice to go out and play a game and do some good things, do some bad things.
Bad things? Good luck finding those in Sunday’s 38-3 victory over St. Louis.
All Luck did in his first NFL game was go 10 of 16 for 188 yards with two touchdowns and a 142.6 quarterback rating, leading the Colts to their most lopsided preseason win since a 35-0 shellacking of Washington in 1966.
Since then, analysts and observers have spent countless hours heaping praise on the man who had been called the most NFL-ready quarterback since Peyton Manning entered the league in 1998. Luck lived up to the billing Sunday.
He was poised in the pocket, unflappable under pressure, mobile and in total command of the play-calls used against the Rams.
The rave reviews aren’t coming just from outsiders, either.
I was surprised by his athletic ability and his decision-making as a rookie. His pocket-presence is very good, said Colts cornerback Justin King, who played in St. Louis when Sam Bradford was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
We’ve seen he can throw and we know he’s smart, but with the live bullets coming, he responded very, very well.
Nobody understands better than Luck that it was only one game, and a preseason game at that. Rams players said they didn’t give Luck many complicated looks, though they blitzed on the first play, which Luck beat with a short screen pass that Donald Brown turned into a 63-yard TD pass.
So on Monday, an off day, Luck was back in the office reviewing game tape to figure out where he can improve.
I think I could have avoided getting hit a couple times, just seeing the pressure and throwing a lot, or changing the protection, he said. So that’s something hopefully we will get better at. And just completing more balls, you can always get better.
Two of the incompletions were throwaways. Three were drops.
He did a great job moving around the pocket, feeling pressure, coach Chuck Pagano said. He landed on the carpet a couple of times but he was relatively clean. He had the blitz coming off the left side, spun out of that thing. There are obviously some things there that we’ll look at and he’ll look at.
The next big test comes Sunday night, when the Colts play on national television against one of the league’s stingiest defenses – Pittsburtgh – an hour away from his parents’ home in West Virginia. Luck’s father, Oliver, is the Mountaineers’ athletic director.