Will Andrew Luck Have To Change His Throwing Motion?
Thearon W. Henderson | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Luck doesn’t like the phrase “changing my throwing motion” when assessing how he will look in 2018.
But how Luck looks throwing the football in 2018 is going to look different from what fans are used to.
Let’s start with the actual motion.
Last December, the NBC broadcast crew of Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth broke down how Luck’s motion evolved pre-injury (2014) to post-injury (2016).
“(Luck) altered fundamentally the way the he threw the football,” Collinsworth said. “He wasn’t taking the ball back as far and the pain kept getting worse, even when he came back. So he really had to go re-train himself on how to re-throw the football, rehab that shoulder, get the flexibility back in there.”
Collinsworth points out that Luck did not have “quite the same extension” after dealing with the right shoulder issues, which first surfaced in September of 2015.
That’s seen in this side-by-side picture of Luck from 2014, compared to him in 2016.
Being able to have more extension in his throwing motion is something we should see more of once Luck is deemed fully healthy this spring/summer.
Where Luck primarily focused his work in California earlier this year was in the lower body though.
“There are things in my throwing motion that I can do better from the ground up, and that’s a big part of what I’ve been working on---making sure I’m using my body as efficiently as possible to throw the football and not over or under compensate in any way,’ Luck said earlier this week.
That falls in line with how Chris Ballard described what Luck was keying on with throwing guru Tom House earlier this year.
“They are really working on tying his lower body with his upper body, which I know a lot of pitchers and quarterbacks in the league have done,” Ballard said a few weeks ago. “For him, it’s not learning how to throw, because his upper body mechanics will be the same. It’s more of training his lower body mechanics.”
But his throwing motion should look more fluid, and not as restricted as we saw in 2016.
It’s pretty remarkable that even with altering the throwing motion post-injury, Luck’s numbers in 2015 and 2016 were actually better than what he put up pre-injury.
Kind of crazy that Andrew Luck’s numbers post-injury were better than his pre-injury numbers (from @pfref): -Higher QB rating — Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) April 10, 2018
-Higher yards per attempt
-Better completion percentage pic.twitter.com/TO3MBO3BYD
Kind of crazy that Andrew Luck’s numbers post-injury were better than his pre-injury numbers (from @pfref):
-Higher QB rating
— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) April 10, 2018
Getting used to a different base and a more fluid motion is going to take some time to adjust for Luck.
Back in October, Luck said his motion did feel “weird” as he got back to throwing for the first time in nearly a year.
How will it feel down the road, when that time arises again?
“I’m not a perfect-feeling athlete right now by any means,” Luck says. “So, there’s still a focus on me to make sure that I can feel really, really good and then be unbreakable.”