It wasn’t the reason he was chosen with the No. 1 pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Of all the characteristics that pundits have dissected in Andrew Luck’s game this season, the ability to use his legs when plays bog down might be the most unknown heading into this rookie campaign.
Numerous times this year, Luck has side stepped potential sacks and kept plays alive in the pocket. He has also shown a knack for escaping the pocket all together and knowing when to tuck and run.
“Even Tom (Brady) and Peyton (Manning) and Dan Marino were great at sliding in and out of the pocket,” interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said.
“Once you can break it, run it and throw on the run, it adds an element to the defense to stay in their rush lanes and stops a lot of freelancing. It’s easier for your offensive line. If you run your stunt wrong and let (Luck) get out, something bad is going to happen to your defense.”
The red zone has been the one area of the field where Luck has been particularly potent with five rushing touchdowns this season (a club record for quarterbacks).
Luck tied the record early in the second quarter on Tuesday evening when on a designed pass, No. 12 scrambled to the right and with no receiver open he kept the ball into the end zone for the first of two rushing touchdowns on the evening.
“It was a little bootleg play with four guys flooding the zones,” Arians said. “He kept the ball up, kept the ball up and as big and strong as he is, once he got to the one (yard line), he was going to score.”
This season, Luck leads all AFC quarterbacks with 159 yards on the ground and his five touchdowns is one behind Robert Griffin III for the league lead among signal callers.
While Arians isn’t looking to start consistently calling quarterback draws and designed runs for Luck, knowing his quarterback’s athleticism brings an added element to an offense filled with playmakers.
“I love it as a play caller because it’s not a broken play, but it’s a creative play,” Arians said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians
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With a plethora of rookie players on the Colts roster, each week Colts.com will take a look at how the first-year players performed.
Dwayne Allen, TE: Allen had two catches for 31 yards on Thursday evening, including an impressive 27-yard gain late in the third quarter. Allen once again was a critical part of the Colts pass protection.
Vick Ballard, RB: For the fifth straight game, Ballard started at running back and led both teams with 48 yards on 12 carries. Ballard also continued to help out in the receiving game with a pair of catches for 11 yards.
LaVon Brazill, RB: Brazill had one catch for 21 yards on the night after hauling in a slant route and showcasing his speed in gaining yards after the catch.
T.Y. Hilton, WR: Hilton was shut out in the receiving department on Thursday but still got his hands on the ball in other ways. He had a pair of reverses for a total of 30 yards and had one punt return for 12 yards.
Andrew Luck, QB: Luck etched his name in the club record book with his fifth rushing touchdown of the season, which is the most for any Colts quarterback in a single season. Luck was 18-of-27 for 227 yards on the evening.
Nate Palmer, WR: Palmer was active on Thursday evening and playing on special teams.
Bradley Sowell, OT: Sowell was used a lot on Thursday evening as an extra lineman lining up at tight end to help the rushing attack.
Rookie tight end Coby Fleener was inactive against the Titans.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Bradley Sowell, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, LaVon Brazill, Nate Palmer, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
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