The Washington Times-Herald

Indianapolis Colts

September 21, 2012

Luck working on decision making


As impressive as Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has been during the preseason and through the first two games of the regular season, there's one area of his game that is still developing.

While coach Chuck Pagano and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians appreciate Luck's ability to move around in the pocket and extend plays, or being able to scramble for first downs to keep offensive drives alive, knowing when to go down or when to throw the ball away is crucial.
A case in point. Late in the fourth quarter of last week's home opener with Minnesota, Luck dropped back to pass on 3rd-and-eight on the Colts' 38-yard line. Finding nobody open, he scrambled around in the pocket and continued to drop deeper behind the line of scrimmage.
The result of the play was not a good one. Luck was sacked for a 22-yard loss by Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, giving Indianapolis a 4th-and 27 at its own 16-yard line. A line drive punt by Pat McAfee and a 12-yard return gave Minnesota a 1st-and-10 at the Colts' 47-yard line.
Nine plays later, Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder flipped a 6-yard game-tying touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Indianapolis wound up winning 23-20 on the strength of a 53-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri with 0:08 left in the game. While Luck engineered the game-winning drive, moving the football 45 yards in four plays, the memory of the yardage lost on that crucial fourth-quarter sack has remained.
Pagano said that it was a learning experience for his young signal caller, who otherwise has shown good pocket awareness.
“Get out of bounds, slide, throw it away. All those things are being taught on a daily basis. You love a guy that can extend plays, but much like Ben [Roethlisberger] in Pittsburgh you see when you do it too much and you try to extend too long, those hits add up," the Colts coach said.

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