Andrew Luck doesn’t buy the notion that rookie quarterbacks should be allowed a bit of a grace period as they learn about life in the NFL.
Luck — who has completed 118 of 221 passes for 1,488 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions through the first five games — says there really isn’t time to ease into the job.
“I don’t think so. There’s guys on this team that can’t wait for a rookie to grow up. Any position, a rookie player, we are trying to win. And I think any athlete, any competitor, would do that as well. I guess I don’t buy into that,” the Indianapolis Colts’ first-year signal caller said earlier this week.
He’s looking for improvement in his overall game after last Sunday’s 34-9 road loss to the New York Jets. Luck completed 22 of 44 passes for 280 yards with two interceptions and a lost fumble.
“I sort of got over it after watching the film and tried to be critical of myself and figure out the errors. Now our focus is on the Browns and we are ready to go,” he said, adding that he’s striving to get better every time he takes the field.
“You have to be consistent in this league if you want to be successful. You can’t take a play off and miss a wide-open guy in the end zone or have a decent drive and have it be third-and-1 and miss an open guy. So consistency [is important].”
Luck will be one of two rookie quarterbacks on the field Sunday when the Cleveland Browns come to Lucas Oil Stadium. Brandon Weeden is in his first season with Cleveland after leading Oklahoma State to a bowl game last January.
Ironically, Weeden’s OSU Cowboys posted a 41-38 overtime win over Luck’s Stanford Cardinals in the Fiesta Bowl. The game proved to be a shootout between both teams on the scoreboard and both quarterbacks statistically.
Luck wound up completing 27 of 31 for 341 yards with two touchdowns and had one pass intercepted. Weeden, meanwhile, was 29 of 42 for 399 yards with four total touchdowns (three passing and one rushing) and an interception.
“He’s a great quarterback. It was not so fun watching him live at the Fiesta Bowl and operate. I don’t know. It would be great if [Sunday’s game with the Browns will be] a shootout offensively, but a win would be nice,” the Colts’ quarterback said.
The first-year players initially got to know each other in the week prior to the bowl game. Their friendship continued to develop during the college football awards period as well as the run-up to April’s NFL Draft.
“He’s a good guy,” Luck mentioned. “I enjoyed being around him through the whole process.”
• Freeney says that he’ll be ready — Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney understands just how much he’ll be needed Sunday against the Browns.
With outside linebacker Robert Mathis questionable going into the Cleveland game as he recovers from a sprained knee, Freeney is being counted on to provide an outside pass rush against Weeden.
The problem is he’s still nursing a high ankle sprain that he suffered in the opening game of the season. While he has played the last two weekends, production has been off. Freeney had just one assisted tackle against the Jets and two solo stops, including a sack, against Green Bay two weeks ago.
“I’m feeling all right. Bumps and bruises, those things happen from week to week. Obviously, I’m still recovering from the ankle. That doesn’t really go away. I’m doing all right and I’m getting ready for this next matchup. It’s going to be a tough matchup,” he said Thursday.
“With the high ankle, it just hangs around. You don’t know when it’s going to get 100 percent. I don’t know if it ever is until maybe who knows, Week 12, 13, 14, whenever. You have to go out there and fight. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing my whole career. Sometimes I’m not really 100 percent, but I just have to get back out there because the team needs me.”
With so many defensive players hurting — including defensive end Cory Redding (knee), defensive tackle Fili Moala (knee), nose tackle Martin Teveseu (ankle) and Mathis — Freeney knows that he’s being counted on to provide some much-needed stability.
“I’m going to continue to do the things I’ve always done. Obviously, it’s going to be tough. Missing Robert, missing Cory, missing Fili, it’s going to be a tough situation for us,” he acknowledged. “Like I’ve always said, ‘That’s why there’s 53 guys. That’s why there’s backups.’ Sometimes they are going to have to step up and make a play.”
Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky agreed.
“We’ve got a couple guys that are off the street that are playing for us and they’ve got to do it. I think [Wednesday] was a good day across the board from the linebackers to the defensive line,” he said Thursday. “We’ve got to separate and make sure that we tackle the guy with the ball.
“There’s been a decent amount of change, especially with Dwight being out [early in the season], and it looks like Robert, you know, is still cracked. We might have a chance to get him back [Sunday]. Across the board, we’ve got to, whoever we’ve got, we’ve got to coach them. We’ve got to get them out there to play and play at a fast level.”
• Roster moves — The Colts, as expected, signed rookie quarterback Chandler Harnish and outside linebacker Jerry Brown to the practice squad Wednesday night. Both had been released Monday evening and both passed through the waiver-wire process.
Indianapolis waived linebacker D.J. Bryant from the practice squad.
• Injury list — Sitting out Thursday’s practice were running back Donald Brown (knee), cornerback Darius Butler (shoulder), Mathis, Moala, Redding and Tevaseu.
Offensive guard Joe Reitz (knee) saw limited work for the second straight day. Inside linebacker Pat Angerer (foot), cornerback Vontae Davis (ankle), offensive tackle Winston Justice (ankle) and Freeney all fully participated in the workout.
• Sellout — The Browns-Colts game has been declared a sellout, avoiding the league-imposed television blackout. Nearly 800 tickets were available Wednesday but were sold before Thursday’s 1 p.m. deadline.
Indianapolis team officials, though, anticipate some visiting team ticket returns. Those returned tickets do not count against lifting the blackout and will be made available through normal channels.
Tickets are available for all remaining regular-season home games at the Lucas Oil Stadium ticket office, Ticketmaster ticket centers, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Andrew Luck doesn’t buy the notion that rookie quarterbacks should be allowed a bit of a grace period as they learn about life in the NFL.
Luck having fun with his first OTAs
A year ago, quarterback Andrew Luck was unable to attend the Indianapolis Colts’ organized team activity practices due to school commitments at Stanford.
Luck, though, went on to have a stellar year for the Colts despite the lack of summer work with the team. Still, in a sense, he is a rookie during this year’s OTA workouts.
“These are my first OTAs. I missed these last year, so I think it’s great. It’s great to get on the field with the defense and trouble-shoot some stuff. Obviously, some of us ran some of this stuff [offense] at Stanford [under new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton]. But to get out there with the defense and trouble-shoot some stuff is good,” Luck said Wednesday as the team wrapped up its first week of on-field voluntary practice sessions.
Colts' coordinators enjoying getting rookies acclimated
While the Indianapolis Colts put their rookies and a handful of second-year players through workouts this weekend at the team’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, a pair of first-year coordinators are getting a chance to do some valuable on-field work as well.
Werner, 36 others open Colts’ mini camp
The Indianapolis Colts welcomed 37 players to the start of the team’s rookie mini camp Friday at the West 56th Street headquarters.
Colts hoping for more high marks on draft picks
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts received high marks for the impact players the team added through the NFL draft.
Of the 10 players selected, five ended up either starting or seeing extensive playing time (quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and running back Vick Ballard) during the Colts’ 11-5 season.
While this year’s class may not rival that group in terms of name recognition and flash, it may produce just as many major contributors once the 2013 season gets underway.
Werner at top of game
Bjoern Werner was a late comer to football. But after being selected in the first round of the 2013 National Football League draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Werner realizes that he has reached the pinnacle of the sport in a relatively short amount of time.
Colts select pass rusher Werner in first round
The Indianapolis Colts selected Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive lineman can also play left outside linebacker.
Colts in wait-and-see mode for tonight’s NFL draft
As the 2013 NFL draft gets underway tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Indianapolis Colts are continuing their wait-and-see stance in regard to the first-round pick.
The draft begins at 8 p.m. — televised by the NFL Network and ESPN — with the Kansas City Chiefs making the night’s first selection. Teams will have 10 minutes to make their decisions during the first round. Indianapolis will have the 24th overall pick in the first round.
There will be only one round tonight. The second and third rounds are scheduled for Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with seven minutes allotted per pick in the second round and five minutes allowed in the third. The final four rounds are slated to begin at noon Saturday with four minutes between selections.
As it stands now, Indianapolis does not have a second-round pick. It was traded to Miami last fall in exchange for veteran cornerback Vontae Davis. But second-year general manager Ryan Grigson has nut ruled out the possibility of trading down from the first round if the Colts aren’t satisfied with the players available.
Direction clear for Colts in 2013 draft
The Indianapolis Colts head into the 2013 NFL Draft with some definite plans.
Colts veteran among those excited to see Luck's growth in 2013-14
Veteran defensive end Cory Redding is a big fan — literally and figuratively — of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Redding, who has become one of the Colts’ lockerroom leaders after just one season with the team, thinks he has some reasonable expectations of Indianapolis’ former No. 1 draft pick.
Heyward-Bey feeling fortunate to hook up with Luck
Add one more player to the list of veteran free agents signed by the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.
Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey agreed to a a deal with the Colts late Monday evening. Bey, who played collegiately at Maryland, was the seventh player selected in the first round of the 2009 National Football League draft.
Colts sign nose tackle
Another day, more player signings for the Indianapolis Colts.
Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin agreed to terms with the Colts on Tuesday evening and officially signed with the team Wednesday. Franklin (6-1, 315) is a 10-year NFL veteran with stops in Baltimore (2003-06), San Francisco (2007-10), New Orleans (2011) and San Diego (2012).
Colts sign Matt Hasselbeck to back up Luck
The Indianapolis Colts’ roster moves just keep coming.
While the Colts haven’t yet added that big-name wide receiver that team owner Jim Irsay hinted at in tweets over the weekend, Indianapolis has addressed one area on offense.
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had agreed Monday night to be the Colts’ primary back-up to second-year starter Andrew Luck. He officially signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the team Tuesday morning.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Matt Hasselbeck,” general manager Ryan Grigson said in a prepared statement. “His body of work, intangibles, and extensive league experience speak for themselves. Those factors, plus his familiarity with our offensive scheme, will make him a great asset to our team and its vision as we move forward.”
Colts likely done signing free agents, for now
With the possible exception of adding a few lesser-priced players, the Indianapolis Colts’ big-time foray into the veteran free-agent marketplace is pretty much done.
Landry, Jean Francois join Colts defensive unit
After adding five veteran free agent players to the Indianapolis Colts roster on Tuesday, general manager Ryan Grigson plucked two more plums late Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.
New York Jets safety LaRon Landry and San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois both signed contracts with the Colts. Landry, a strong safety who appears to be a bigger version of former Indianapolis Pro Bowler Bob Sanders, and the versatile Jean-Francois are expected to make immediate impacts on the Colts’ defensive unit.
Colts introduce free-agent signees
What the Indianapolis Colts accomplished last season — posting an 11-5 record and earning an AFC wild-card berth with a young team plus having that kind of success without its head coach on the sidelines for 12 games — didn’t go unnoticed by players around the NFL.
That was especially true for the five veteran free agents who were added to the Colts’ roster Tuesday. Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (Detroit), cornerback Greg Toler (Arizona), outside linebacker Erik Walden (Green Bay), offensive guard Donald Thomas (New England) and linebacker Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta) admitted as much Wednesday.
“I felt like this would be the best fit for me at this point in my career. I really liked what I saw was happening with the program here and the way things have taken shape. I feel like we have a really great team here and it’s on the rise. I really wanted to be a part of that,” Thomas said during a teleconference interview with the Colts’ media.
Colts sign five free agents, filling needs at offensive line, cornerback
The Indianapolis Colts were a busy team on the opening day of the National Football League’s veteran free agent market, which got underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Jeff Saturday retires as a Colt
An Indianapolis Colt for life. Pencil in Jeff Saturday for that honor.
The 14-year veteran center in the NFL put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — when Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday thrilled to retire as a Colt
The 14-year veteran center in the National Football League put an official stamp on a career Thursday that began in Baltimore in 1998 and ended in Green Bay in 2012. But it was those 13 seasons in-between — from 1999 to 2011 in which he played for Indianapolis — that Saturday earned his greatest rewards.
Saturday to retire as Colt on Thursday
Former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday will make his retirement from the National Football League official on Thursday.
Indianapolis franchises punter McAfee
A week ago, Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said it was a priority that the team retain the services of punter Pat McAfee.
McAfee, an unrestricted free agent who’s contract is due to expire March 12, was designated as the Colts’ franchise player Friday. The move allows Indianapolis extra time to work out a long-term deal for the team’s special-teams ace.
“He’s huge. He’s a major priority in free agency. Obviously, we’ve reached out and are working to get Pat re-signed,” Pagano said during the National Football Scouting Combine. “We saw what he did for us last year. He’s a great weapon, not only kickoffs and touchbacks.
Colts GM enjoying time at combine
Indianapolis Colts second-year general manager Ryan Grigson makes no bones about it. He enjoys watching prospective football players strut their stuff.
Colts keeping eye on large crop of talented linemen in NFL Draft
According to most National Football League draft observers, this year’s crop of prospects is deep with quality offensive and defensive linemen.
Among the offensive line candidates who have been showcasing their talents at the National Football Scouting Combine, which began in earnest Thursday and wraps up on Tuesday, the spotlight has been on the offensive tackles. Offensive left tackles in particular.
Colts' Pagano back to full work schedule at combine
Back and ready to go.
That’s the attitude Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano is taking during the National Football Scouting Combine, which completed its second day of operations Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. During a wide-ranging press conference at the combine, Pagano confirmed that he is back to a full work regimen after missing 12 games last fall as he battled a rare form of leukemia.
After undergoing cancer treatments that featured heavy doses of chemotherapy, the second-year head coach was able to return to the sidelines for Indianapolis’ final regular-season home game against Houston and for the team’s AFC wild-card matchup with eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore.
Colts looking forward to different approach to draft in 2013
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts had the first overall pick in the 2012 National Football League draft.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Colts would select former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the selection. While Indianapolis front office and player personnel officials certainly had to do their due diligence in preparing for the draft, the Colts find themselves this year in a bit different situation.
The team will have the 24th overall pick in the first round, which is a double-edged sword. Indianapolis picks lower in the round due to a successful season. But the pool of available can’t-miss talent isn’t quite as plentiful as drafting earlier in the round.
Former Pro Bowl selection Freeney won't return to Colts
The news coming out of the Indianapolis Colts headquarters Friday afternoon was not totally unexpected. Team officials have confirmed that two veteran players – former Pro Bowl defensive end/outside linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie — will not be returning for the 2013 season.
Colts’ new offensive coordinator will offer variety
Quarterback Andrew Luck running the Pistol offense? Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton lining up in the Wildcat?
Colts moving on to the off season
Moving on. That’s the immediate plans for the Indianapolis Colts as they head into the off season.
Baltimore ends Indy’s playoff run early
The Baltimore Ravens want one long final ride for Ray Lewis. Having disposed of Andrew Luck and the Colts, they now face a more imposing challenge.
Next up, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Switching sides: Colts-Ravens matchup includes old friends on new teams
Just as Baltimore Ravens players and coaches will be seeing some old friends returning to M&T Bank Stadium today, several Indianapolis Colts veterans will also have an opportunity to renew acquaintances with a familiar face.
Pagano prepares Colts for tough crowd in Baltimore
As a former resident of Baltimore, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano knows all about the hard feelings that still run strong about the move of the Colts franchise to Indianapolis in 1984.
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- Luck having fun with his first OTAs