In his first official training camp practice, Colts' rookie quarterback Andrew Luck was once again very popular among the local and national media, fielding several questions Sunday afternoon.
Colts Authority's own Nate Dunlevy's newly awarded credentials have given us access to the entire session, which we share with you here.
Overall, Luck comes across as a rookie still trying to get his bearings on everything, yet somebody who is calm, confident, and well-spoken. He might not be the most charismatic quarterback of the last decade, but he does connect well with media members and definitely leaves a fine impression.
On the work throughout the summer to get to training camp prepared:
Well, I think you try to do a lot of things. One is get on the practice field, throwing the ball in different formations, you know, trips left, trips right, that sort of thing. It’s hard when you’re not in training camp, saying, “I’m going to dedicate an hour and a half today to go do this, this, and this.” But you know, it pays off in the end. I probably wasn’t as strict as I should have been at it, but we’re here now, and we’re all right.
On the importance of playing against a defense:
It’s always nice to get the defense out there, so you’re not trying to go against just two offensive linemen as defensive linemen, or quarterbacks as safeties. Two different color jerseys are nice, so it’ll be nice to have a full team practice coming up.
The importance of building chemistry through camp:
It’s important to build continuity, to get comfortable with each other. You know, it’s important for the offensive linemen to get comfortable with the snap count, the cadence. It’s important to get comfortable with the receivers in regards to motion and the timing. Practice is key, because there’s only so much you can learn from watching other people do it.
Luck also mentioned his singing of John Denver's "Country Road" Saturday night for the team, something that got some harsh critiques from his teammates and coaches. When asked if he would be willing to participate in more rookie "orientation," Luck said, "Well, you have to, you don't really have a choice!"
On working with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians:
It’s been great, he’s incredibly sharp. He’s always got something new for me. You have to stay on your toes mentally. You can’t take a break in a thirty minute meeting, because he’ll throw something out there and you better know it. It’s been great, obviously, he’s been around for a while, been around some great quarterbacks, he’s got a lot of great knowledge for us. I’m very grateful to be able to play under him.
How valuable Arians' demanding nature is:
That’s great, I mean, he sets the bar high for all the players. From the top down, the bar is always set high. Coach Pagano does a great job with that, and Coach Arians as well.
On the pressure in replacing Peyton Manning:
I try not to think too much about predecessors, what the team was like last year, what I have to live up to. I think I have fairly high expectations for myself. I know there’s a lot of great football players in there, in the locker room, a lot of old guys who know how to get it done. I try to not get too caught up in it. Come in, do the best I can, keep my head down, work hard. I know it’s terribly cliched, but if I woke up every day comparing myself to Peyton I’d go crazy.
On number of rookies on the team and the Colts' "fresh start":
It’s nice to know that there are other young guys going around, going through a similar process. That being said, I think we have a great core of veterans with Reggie, Robert, Cory Redding, and Freeney that really show us how to get it done and don’t just let the young guys learn on their own. But it’s nice to be a part of a fresh start.
On important progress he's made over the last month:
Getting to know the guys. You know football wise, getting the reps on the field, getting to throw to them. But also getting to know them off the field.
Goals for training camp (got a few laughs with this one):
I just want to make sure I’m not late for meetings. I want to know where the practice field is. Come check with me in a few days after I get a feel for things and I’ll have something better for you.
A big thank you and congratulations is in order to Nate Dunlevy for his recent obtaining of his (well-deserved) press credentials from the Colts, allowing him more access and availability to obtain quotes like these and others (Such as the Powers/Bethea comments). Look forward to more insight like this in the future thanks to his hard work.