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Andrew Luck Gets Away From Football, Returns Healthy For Year 8

Andrew Luck returned to work on Monday with the Colts starting their offseason program. What did Luck have to say heading into Year 8?

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INDIANAPOLISFor a third straight spring, Andrew Luck has yet to throw a football since the previous season’s close.


This time though, it’s by design.


No matter how difficult it was to get away from the season in which he proved so much to himself, and to all the skeptics out there, a nudge from his general manager finally got Luck to decompress.


“I actually got away, truly, and it took a little bit,” the newly married Luck said on Monday, with the Colts starting their offseason program. “I really didn’t realize I was still on edge from the season, even the month or two afterwards. Finally, I got a chance to get away. I talked to Chris (Ballard) a little about that. He sort of challenged me to turn my mind off in a sense. It took a while, but I did get away. I feel refreshed. I got a chance to catch up with a lot of family and friends and obviously getting married.


“It was a very nice offseason.”


A wedding in Prague was the obvious highlight for Luck, who now embarks on more of a football specific plan, as opposed to shoulder rehab, going into his eighth season in the NFL.


Even though Luck hasn’t thrown since the Pro Bowl, other training began shortly after last season ended.


“I’ll have a plan,” Luck said of ramping up his football specific work in the coming weeks and months. “I’ve learned so many things over the past couple of years and part of that is building a plan and adjusting within it. We will certainly use the resources in the building and other folks that help.”


Individually, Luck’s biggest accomplishment in 2018 was his availability on a weekly basis.


This time last year, Luck still was months away from throwing an actual NFL football, in a live practice setting.


But, thanks to following a stringent plan, No. 12 played in every game and took part in every practice last season.


Luck won the Comeback Player of the Year award after setting career-highs in completion percentage and passer rating, and led the Colts back to the playoffs.


Goals for Luck entering 2019 sound like a guy who just had an awful campaign.


“I would like to cut down on interceptions and certainly be more accurate,” Luck said on Monday. “In the run game making sure the points and the ID’s are correct. I think I could do a better job of setting our offense up to have a positive play each time, minimizing the possibility of a negative play…”


The quarterback also acknowledges what Frank Reich has said about a necessary improvement in 2019.


Reich wants Luck to be more vocal in taking command of the offense with the quarterback heading into Year Two with this system.


“I think that has to happen for me, for me to take the next steps as a quarterback, certainly,” Luck said on Monday when asked about Reich’s hope. “And ‘owning it’ is probably the appropriate word and ‘command’, understanding the why and where, the evolution of certain things and certainly making my feelings about plays, ideas or schemes known. A lot of it, too, is about creating great discussion this time of year and trying stuff out, thinking about it, talking about it and leaving with a good plan.


“That’s certainly a challenge for myself this offseason and one that I am looking forward to.”


And everyone in Colts Nation is thrilled that no more questions remain on the health of their franchise quarterback.

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