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Sunday night wrap: That Luck kid, pretty good

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

Colts rookie Andrew Luck seems like the kind of quarterback who’s not going to let a bad pass or a bad quarter or a bad game rattle him.

But he also showed there are a few things he has to work on in the Colts’ 26-24 loss to Pittsburgh.

Luck has a degree of polish many passers do not have when they walk in the door. But he also hasn’t seen the things he will see, and that was evident in the early going against the Steelers.

His second interception was off the hands of rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, and obviously not his fault. The first, however, was all him. Luck zoomed in on his receiver, didn’t drive off his back foot and it was picked off by Ike Taylor and returned for a touchdown.

It’s the kind of pass he has to avoid making, as he doesn’t have the kind of elite arm strength to get away with such mistakes. That’s not to say he’s noodle-armed. His arm is sufficient. Not great, but strong enough, and coupled with his smarts, should enable him to be quite good.

But he’s young. The mistakes will happen.

But the fact he led touchdown drives after each of the picks shows he’s got a little something about him. He was 8-of-9 for 96 yards passing after the second one. That’s amnesia, and that’s special for a kid his age.

Here are some other things we learned on Sunday Night Football.

1. The league can say whatever it wants about the quality of replacement officials.

But even if they’re able to cram the rulebook the way I did for college exams and spit it back for the short term, there are important things they aren’t proving able to do.

First and foremost is executing the player-safety function of the job.

When Colts wide receiver Austin Collie left the game in the first half after taking a shot to the head from linebacker Larry Foote, but that was the first. Cornerback Ike Taylor got him high as well. If it’s a concussion, it’s four in the last two years for Collie.

Those are the shots the real refs are now conditioned to be vigilant for, and the replacements aren’t getting it done.

2. Everyone keeps saying they expect holdout wide receiver Mike Wallace to roll in any day now.

Maybe he should hurry, because the Steelers didn’t exactly look like they missed him.

The Steelers have already given Antonio Brown a spite contract in Wallace’s absence, then started funneling the ball his way.

Brown’s 57-yard touchdown catch-and-run, on national television, is the kind of thing that could get Wallace packing a bag and heading to Pittsburgh sooner rather than later.

3. Veteran Colts wideout Reggie Wayne’s going to move around more than he ever has this year, and he can still be a dangerous weapon.

It’s just going to take some time getting used to watching him go in motion.

The Colts don’t have the kind of protection and overall talent to go toe-to-toe with teams, so they’re going to have to use personnel groups and formations to mix it up.

And if Wayne’s willing to do stuff he’s never had to do before, that’s just part of the mix.

4.  Speaking of that talent: Other than Wayne, the Colts receivers aren’t much to look at. But their tight ends could be something.

In Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, they have a pair of players who could grow with Luck for years.

They’re smart to give him safe options in the passing game since he doesn’t have much on the outside.

5. Chuck Pagano’s striking the right note with this whole “Build the Monster,” thing he’s selling, passing out shirts with the slogan and the Colts at the bottom of a power ranking.

NFL teams are so evenly clumped that you can get from bad to decent in a hurry.  Usually if it was bad enough for a coaching change, the holdovers are disgruntled and looking for an attitude change too. Picking a fight with anyone (media, opponent, the man) is a sure way to rally the troops.

The Colts aren’t going to the playoffs, but they could be better. Having an edge can be worth three or four wins.

6. Get well soon, Max Starks.

The Steelers need you.

Rookie left tackle Mike Adams might get ready at some point. That point is not now.

7. The Florio Research Network points out that Adam Vinatieri’s 53-yard field goal before the half was a new Heinz Field record by a yard. The old mark of 52 was held by Jeff Reed.

8. Colts backup QB Drew Stanton now has more touchdowns this preseason than Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow combined.

Who’s sorry now?

9. Sometimes it takes lower-case L luck. The Colts had a special teams meeting in the backfield, and the game-winning field goal by the Steelers still crept across. No real explanation, and the grin on Mike Tomlin’s face said it all.

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24 Responses to “Sunday night wrap: That Luck kid, pretty good”
  1. stonecoldsays says: Aug 19, 2012 11:27 PM

    RGIII is the much better player. My opinion was validated tonight, as it will be next week and beyond.Cue the detractors, wannabes etc.

  2. stonecoldsays says: Aug 19, 2012 11:29 PM

    Oh and good for Antonio Brown. I hope the Steelers lowball the heck out of Mr. Delusional Mike Wallace.

  3. bucrightoff says: Aug 19, 2012 11:32 PM

    The funny thing is the Redskins drafted the 2nd best QB in the draft, it just wasn’t RGIII. Cousins will be starter be week 8. Luck will be NFL MVP by 2015. And every wrestler you’ve chosen blows compared to the greatest of them all, Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Best there was, best there is, best there ever will be.

  4. 49er33 says: Aug 19, 2012 11:34 PM

    Hey troll, stop posting under different wrestler names and personas. Only shows you have no life, and zero to little football knowledge.

    As for Luck, he look really well, it honestly looked like the Steelers were “grabby” on a few plays, and got away with it. Luck looks promising, but its only the preseason, no actual game planning for the other teams.

  5. skeebo80 says: Aug 19, 2012 11:37 PM

    Luck is DEFINITELY the better QB and certainly a better passer. Smh at these Skins fans

  6. joemammy says: Aug 19, 2012 11:42 PM

    Weeden is the very best QB in this draft class…period.

  7. lks311 says: Aug 19, 2012 11:42 PM

    When Drew Stanton complained about the Tebow acquisition, quite a few fans on here said “Stanton Who”. I tell you who he is: As mobile at Tim Tebow and a better passer than Mark Sanchez.

    As usual, the Jets opted for the “Flash” and passed on the substance. Who’s sorry now, Rex?

  8. doresb21 says: Aug 19, 2012 11:47 PM

    @stonecoldsays you obviously do not know anything about football. You are an idiot

  9. pacificnw7722 says: Aug 19, 2012 11:47 PM

    “If it’s a concussion, it’s four in the last two years for Collie.”

    Time to hang it up…….?

  10. hailskins4life says: Aug 19, 2012 11:54 PM

    First of all, please don’t judge all Skins fans based on ‘StoneCold/HulkHogan (yes, they are the same person). He/She likes to stir things up. Take it for comedic value and move on.

    Luck showed more after the pick than he did in the entire Rams game. Like I said after the Skins game, you learn more about rookie QB’s after bad games/drives than anything else.

    I think Luck and RG3 showed an ability to bounce back after turnovers and lead their teams. That shows me they should both be succesful and both have the ‘mental makeup’ to succeed.

  11. beniselite says: Aug 20, 2012 12:17 AM

    “The league can say whatever it wants about the quality of replacement officials….there are important things they aren’t proving able to do.

    First and foremost is executing the player-safety function of the job.”

    Are you saying that the union refs would’ve jumped in the way of the hits or something? Throwing a flag after the fact doesn’t enforce player safety.

  12. bobzilla1001 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:18 AM

    You guys do know that preseason accomplishments don’t count as “records,” right?
    What next? A Preseason Fantasy Football League?
    It’s no wonder casual fans get all geeked up for meaningless, exhibition games that feature future truck drivers.

  13. peytonsneck18 says: Aug 20, 2012 12:35 AM

    Give it a rest hulk/stone old…u did watch rg3 against the bears?? And u still wanna talk? ? U need help…take yr riddelin n go to bed,

  14. iamcline says: Aug 20, 2012 12:48 AM

    Judging players on Preseason is just so accurate it’s hard to do, right?

  15. furdiddy says: Aug 20, 2012 12:51 AM

    That special teams meeting was something we got away with highway robbery there

  16. jh500 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:05 AM

    that luck kid… pretty good… against the steelers 34th unit.

  17. sixjak says: Aug 20, 2012 1:05 AM

    Uhh no he is not. Go find the Hulkster and talk some sense into one another.

  18. npina111 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:07 AM

    meaningless.

    last year- number 1 preseason qb-charlie whitehurst
    2. stephen mcgee
    3. greg mcelroy

    Preseason is for people who dont know football.
    There is no information there. Believe me I’ve tried.

  19. pacoltsguy says: Aug 20, 2012 1:15 AM

    Good Article. As a long time Colt’s fan, I have a tough time with the “Not an elite arm” judgement after the kid’s second pre-season game. Peyton threw 28 INT’s his rookie season and went 3-13 but look at the boy now! As far as the dirth of WR’s you talk about; some of these rookie wide-outs will make the final roster. With Luck throwing to them, I think you will be amazed at how good some of them become.

  20. hulkh0gansays says: Aug 20, 2012 1:19 AM

    stonecoldsays says:
    Aug 19, 2012 11:27 PM
    RGIII is the much better player. My opinion was validated tonight, as it will be next week and beyond.Cue the detractors, wannabes etc.
    ————————————————————————————————-

    Who you calling wannabe, brother?

  21. stanklepoot says: Aug 20, 2012 1:31 AM

    stonecoldsays says: Aug 19, 2012 11:27 PM

    RGIII is the much better player. My opinion was validated tonight, as it will be next week and beyond.Cue the detractors, wannabes etc.
    _______________________________
    yeah, because RGIII played error free right? seriously, why do you feel the need to be a troll? At this point, both look like quality prospects. Time will tell what kind of QBs they ultimately become.

  22. jaguar187 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:43 AM

    I watched part of this game then caught the highlights on ESPN: I didn’t realize this when I was watching live, but I have to assume from ESPN’s coverage that Ike Taylor was the only Steeler to suit up for the game. I thought two quarterbacks were going to play tonight (one of whom has to Super Bowl rings), but I guess this was just a scrimmage of sorts for Andrew Luck. Thank goodness The Mothership is around to determine what is important in the world.

  23. stairwayto7 says: Aug 20, 2012 9:30 AM

    Luck 2 ints vs Steelers #1’s…If the STeelers left their starters in final would have been 38-10..EASILY!

  24. ravenator says: Aug 20, 2012 11:14 AM

    Oline looked awful. Secondary looked bad, congrats luck gave Taylor a lob pass. Hailey offense looked awful too, oh and you have no running game. This team was swept and Tebowd last year. Until they prove they’re relevant, they simply are basement dwellers. Good luck fighting with Cleveland to not be the laughing stock of the AFCN. Oh did I mention they can’t pay their star wr because their GM already paid a bunchof aging over the hill players, sucks

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