ANDERSON — For all of his gifts on the football field, Andrew Luck can be just as adept away from the gridiron.
Take Tuesday’s performance in the media tent at Anderson University for example. The second-year quarterback was asked for his reaction to owner Jim Irsay’s Monday tweet criticizing the team’s “crap performance” during a 44-20 preseason loss against the Buffalo Bills.
Luck — who said last week he hates to lose at anything, including board games at home — managed to express support for his owner without coming close to throwing his teammates under the bus.
“You couldn’t ask for a better owner, I think, in this league,” Luck said. “You can tell his heart is in the Colts 100 percent, and his players, I think, at least I do personally, really appreciate how much he cares. If that’s the way he felt, then I think more power to him for making those thoughts known. We obviously don’t want to disappoint him or any of the fans here in Indianapolis or Colts in general around the nation.”
Whether spurred by Irsay’s challenge or not, there was a palpable disgust over Sunday’s performance hanging over training camp Tuesday.
The Colts’ next game will be played on national television against the New York Giants, and head coach Chuck Pagano promised viewers across the country will see a different Indianapolis team.
“I fully expect this team to bounce back from Sunday’s performance,” he said. “Again, there were a lot of good things there (against Buffalo), but it’s a great opportunity. Again, national television, under the lights, everybody’s watching. So we all expect, every man in that locker room, all the coaches, we expect to go play and play well.”
Improved health certainly will play a role in that. The Colts started the game with 18 inactive players against the Bills, including five safeties, and they lost four more players during the contest.