Why Is Chris Ballard So High On Progress Of Andrew Luck?
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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s rare to hear Chris Ballard sound a tad Jim Irsay-like in expressing his optimism on Andrew Luck’s return in 2018.
Ballard, always reserved and measured with his words, did not hold back in talking about Luck during this week’s NFL Combine.
Asked about the confidence in Luck playing in 2018, Ballard was unusually assertive.
“Damn right, it’s going to be okay,” Ballard said on The Ride With JMV on Wednesday.
“I believe in the kid. I really believe Andrew is in a good spot now to where he has no doubt in his mind that he’s going to play football again, play winning football and do a lot of great things for this city.”
Luck remains in California, rehabbing with throwing guru Tom House.
The Colts say Luck will be present for the start of their offseason program on April 2. However, his participation level during the offseason program remains up in the air.
On Wednesday, Ballard detailed why Luck is in Los Angeles and what the focus is during this part of the rehab.
“A lot of it is working on a lot of muscle memory, a lot of fundamental (throwing) release, work on tying his lower body,” Ballard says.
“I think Andrew would tell you this, in the past, he wasn’t great in the lower body. A lot of it was in the shoulders and in his upper body. They are really working on tying his hips and his lower body into his upper body, to take some stress off of the shoulder. That just takes a little time.”
Luck needing to re-emphasize the lower body is something that makes sense. This is a guy that played with an injured shoulder for 19 games in 2015 and 2016.
Poor fundamentals had to have developed from Luck compensating for an injured throwing shoulder.
Those things are being set back in place thanks to the work in California.
It’s part of the reason why Ballard is walking on a bit of a ledge with his steadfastness in talking about Luck’s return this fall.