Jim Irsay Believes Andrew Luck Will Return And Set NFL Records
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INDIANAPOLIS – Time and time again on Monday, Jim Irsay wanted to remind his fan base his level of confidence that Andrew Luck will return to an elite level of play.
No matter the optimism that Irsay showed about Luck playing throughout last year, that has not stopped the Owner from being even more optimistic that his franchise QB will be back, and better than ever, in 2018.
“I am telling you that I have no doubt that Andrew is going to come back,” Irsay said on Monday. “Andrew Luck is going to be back and I mean back with a fierce fire in his eyes. I promise you. And when I talk about the look in his eye, when I talk about the temperature of 107, of his fierceness, I am telling you that that kid is a special kid. Special. He was born to do great things in the National Football League, and he will do great things in the National Football League, alright? That is coming from someone who has witnessed this thing for almost half a century.”
The inflection in Irsay’s voice was prevalent during Monday’s press conference, particularly when talking about Luck.
Irsay stood behind his belief that he thought Luck would play in 2017.
The Owner said the “art, not science” part of this rehab process has taken longer than the Colts expected.
“There were no snags or anything we didn’t know about,” Irsay said of the surgery on Luck’s right shoulder. “It is just one of those things that has taken a little longer than we thought that it would."
Irsay wanted to reiterate that he did not lie to his fan base in regards to Luck playing last year.
“My optimism was absolutely genuine,” Irsay said. “It was completely warranted. One of the finest, if not the finest, shoulder doctor in the world, said the surgery went outstanding and things look really good, and there were not setbacks.”
While Irsay exuded the upmost enthusiasm in defining his stance on Luck, GM Chris Ballard was much more measured in his outlook.
Ballard made it clear that any head coach candidate wanting to coach the Colts strictly for Luck, is not the right guy.
“I want somebody that wants to come to the Indianapolis Colts,” Ballard said on Monday. “I don’t want them to come here just for Andrew Luck. I want somebody who wants to build something special and build a team that’s special, and if a candidate is coming here just for Andrew, then he’s probably not going to be the right fit.”
Of course, Irsay wasn’t hesitant in using Luck as a major reason of why this job should be so enticing to candidates.
Irsay said he believes Luck will return and re-write “important history” in the NFL record books.
While Luck was more subdued in his 2018 future when talking to the media last week, Irsay was the opposite.
“I want to tell you one thing right now, you guys don’t know the fire that’s burning in No. 12’s eyes,” Irsay said. “You guys don’t know what type of fever he has for success right now. I mean, it’s a 107-degree fever towards success right now and the intensity he has.”
The Colts are about to get a close look at that intensity.
Luck’s new throwing program is on the horizon.
The answers the Colts receive from those sessions will ultimately decide if Irsay’s hopefulness leads to actual results next fall.
“We are in a good place, the kid’s in a good place, and we’ll start throwing here soon,” Ballard said.
“I’m not putting an exact date on it, but we’ll start throwing soon and that’s going to tell us a lot.”
And tell us if Irsay is right this time around.