Andrew Luck's resume is more than complete.
He doesn't need me to pump him up any more than Geico needs more animal ads. He certainly didn't need to prove anything in the Colts' second preseason game.
Nevertheless, he did, and we're going to talk about it.
During the Colts' 20-12 win over the New York Giants last Sunday night, Luck was everything that we've seen him be over the last 12 months: daring, brilliant, lucky and flat-out jaw-dropping.
You can't really appreciate what Luck is, and what he did for Indianapolis last season, without seeing it, and he put on a show for all to see on national TV Sunday. The neat part about it was that it showed a little glimpse of all the different areas that make him one-of-a-kind.
Throwing on the Run
I've made Luck's ability to throw outside of the pocket kind of my pet project this summer. I think he's absolutely fantastic at throwing while running both left and right, and the Colts should utilize him in this manner. I've been very open about this.
So much so, that people know it's coming at this point:
@ColtsAuth_Kyle knew you would say that. You're getting predictable.— IU Bonko (@ElBonko) August 18, 2013
Well, ok, maybe I am.
The point is, I love Luck in open space and was thrilled when his first pass attempt last Sunday was a rollout to the left. To no surprise to anybody, Luck delivered with a simply stunning throw:
Ok, so that doesn't quite give you the full impression of how great of a throw it was.
Try this angle:
Yes, Fleener dropped the pass, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it was an incredible throw as Luck squared his body to the line of scrimmage and made a perfect throw in a very tight window while running to his left.
Was it daring, maybe even risky? Absolutely. Do I care? Not one bit. Every great quarterback needs to have confidence he can make these kinds of throws at times. The fact that Luck as the confidence and the ability to do it is a good sign.
I can't describe how difficult a throw this was, so I won't attempt to.
It's really hard. Let's leave it at that.
Scrambling Under Pressure
While RG3, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson get the accolades for their rushing ability, Luck often gets overlooked for his athleticism as a runner (it's a racial stereotype that cuts both ways, unfortunately).
Luck doesn't always look like an electrifying runner, but he's quick enough and smart enough to be one of the more efficient quarterbacks when it comes to scrambling. He showed that on Sunday, escaping the blitz on this play and picking up 14 yards and the first down. No, the video's speed is not altered at all.
The best part of the run?
With an offensive line that is still a tremendous concern for the Colts, Luck may be forced to do this more often than we'd like. Fortunately, he's been responsible thus far in his career, knowing when to get down and when to dive for the extra yard.
While Luck occasionally can be unaware of pass rushers on his backside, he generally has shown very impressive pocket presence and footwork in his short career. That allows him to move in the pocket fluidly, extending the play and staying upright as much as possible.
Again, it may happen more often than we'd like, but Luck has the agility and poise to stand tall amidst pressure and find the open man, as he did here:
Luck goes, left, then right and then finally makes the throw while on the move.
Right off the bat, I was flabbergasted with how easy he made it look. I still am.
The Arm to Make Any Throw
Luck finished off the night with a gorgeous throw to T.Y. Hilton in the back of the endzone (who, I keep telling you, is going to be really good). Hilton makes a great play on the ball, but don't let that overshadow the throw.
It's perfectly placed with the right amount of arc and touch, a throw that elite quarterbacks make. If Luck can make throws like this regularly, the Colts will be Super Bowl contenders a lot sooner than people think (including me).
It's Aaron Rodgers-esque, frankly.
Of course, Luck did have one poor play on the day: a near-pick that somehow turned into a touchdown for Reggie Wayne. Now, don't forget that Luck had pressure right in his face as he made the throw, and the inability to step into it is what caused the short throw.
That being said, Luck does need to remember that throwing the ball while under duress like that can lead to turnovers (and did in 2012 often), and he needs to be cautious (not that he doesn't know this, he just occasionally makes throws despite the fact, such as this one).
On the other hand, his ability to make something out of nothing is what makes him so great. I don't want to take that away.
Ironic that Luck's ability to throw on the run is much more comparable to Archie Manning's renowned ability to do the same, than Peyton ever could.
I was almost excited to see McGlynn out of the lineup (not that I like injuries), but then I saw Linkenbach was going to start. That made me sad.
I'm with you re: Luck's throw-on-the-run capabilities. He's able to square his shoulders so well and even sometimes get them forward into the throw... while running. So noticeable sometimes that it almost looks awkward. The results say I don't care what it "looks" like.
@Payton On the bright side, Thornton will play!
@matt_has Kyle's hardly the first blogger to notice this skill in Luck. On another network, a couple of weeks ago, a video segment was shown of several such throws, left-side and right-side. Of course, he did this in college but he lacked receiving talent in quantity like he has at Indy and he never had a counterpart to Hilton. That lack of big-time receivers during his last two years cost him the Heisman--twice. Folks should take care in comparing Luck's performance under Arians versus under Hamilton. Arians didn't know Andrew Luck's everyday abilities at the start; Hamilton already knows Luck, well.
@gizzardfanny Is the rollover method preferred? I can certainly do that if it's easier.
@Kyle Rodriguez @gizzardfanny To be perfectly frank, the page took a while to load (my work connection is slower than my home connection, so that may be an issue) but the top two GIFs started out as stills and then became animated like Frankenstein on Quaaludes--clunky, slow, painful. The bottom ones were great and as I now scroll up, I see the top ones moving smoothly as well. May just be a loading snag, or I need to be more patient. Great article BTW.