Report: Colts still expect Luck to emerge from PUP before Week One


A week into camp, the Colts still haven’t activated quarterback Andrew Luck from the physically unable to perform list. G.M. Chris Ballard said last week that it will happen before Week One; according to George Bremer of the Anderson (Ind.) Herald Bulletin, that assessment still stands.

Even if Luck is ready for Week One, he’s missing valuable reps in practice. Last week, former NFL coach Kevin Gilbride joined PFT Live to discuss among other things the importance of the reps Luck isn’t able to take.

“I think it’s very important,” Gilbride said. “Obviously I look at it through a special lens because as a coach you believe every rep is important, every practice, every meeting. And it’s critical to development. It’s probably not as important as coaches always thought it was. But in truth there’s no doubt that this is an important time frame in terms of getting a guy ready.

“Mentally, depending on upon how much if any they’re changing offensively, you’d like to get as much familiarity with whatever it is you’re gonna be doing. Regardless of whether it’s the exact same offense or not, there’s a time frame where you focus on the individual, on the development and growth of your teams, your cohesion, your unity, your improvement, your elevation of execution of your play. Because once the season starts you’re focused almost entirely and exclusively on getting ready for your opponent. This is the time where techniques and fundamentals and your rehearsal of doing things over and over making sure that whatever footwork and body language you’re using on a particular run when you execute that play-action off that particular exact run action that it looks exactly the same. And you film those things, and you show them, and you can spend time working and making sure that they look as much as possible and to be exactly the same. So when the defense is looking at it they can’t tell the difference.

“You don’t have time to be doing that stuff during the season. . . . We had a ball handling section, we had an upper body section where we just worked on the throwing motions of the upper body. We had an eye focus and visualization section. We had movement drills, we had mental work, we had classroom work, we had accuracy drills, we had pass set-up drills, we had throwing on the move drills, we had quickness and foot control drills. You don’t have time to do those things during the season. This is your time to make sure that you are ready as you can be to play your position.”

Gilbride provided a good comparison that crystallizes the problem that will arise if Luck tries to play without practice.

“I always liken it to when you rehearse for a speech,” Gilbride said. “Well the first time you give that speech you’ve worked and you’ve worked and you’ve worked and it comes across pretty well. But the second time you’re a little bit better. The third time you’re even better. By the time you give it the fifth or sixth time you’re really — all the pauses, all the intonations, all the points of emphasis, you’ve really got it down. You’re not even thinking about it anymore. And that’s certainly where you wanna get your quarterback to. The difference between success and almost being successful is very, very small. I think every rep you can get as a quarterback, just like any  position, but the quarterback position specifically that you can get in the OTAs and in your training camp and in your exhibition season, you gotta get them now. Because once the season starts it’s all about the opponent.”

Luck is surely smart enough and skilled enough to eventually get himself ready, and he’s surely putting in plenty of work without practicing. But with no reps in the offseason program and no reps thus far in camp and uncertainty as to when he’ll be able to practice, there’s reason for Colts fans not to worry about whether he’ll be able to go in September, but whether he’ll be ready to go.

27 responses to “Report: Colts still expect Luck to emerge from PUP before Week One

  1. So Dak Prescott walks out of a college classroom and onto an NFL field, and with not much practice at all, looks like one of the best QBs we’ve seen in a generation. But Kevin Gilbride says Andrew Luck needs practice reps. I’m not buying it. I think practice and coaching are highly over-rated. Of course, a coach who’s trying to get back into coaching isn’t going to say that.

  2. They need to give up on this year and start sucking for their next draft pick. They still get a banner, so there’s really nothing left to play for

  3. Why then, Oh Why! Are you not mentioning an unemployed quarterback who has the 39th selling jersey as an option for the Indianapolis Colts???

  4. The overall muscle atrophy at this point must be severe and will take months to get back to normal, regardless of when he’s removed (emerges from?) from the PUP list. It really doesn’t make sense that a QB with a bum shoulder can’t/won’t take practice reps to work on timing, right to the point of not throwing. Are his ankles bad, too?

  5. Why the big rusgh to get Luck back on the field? Hes the most over rated qb in the league. Colts had a chance to do something for years but Outta Luck always found a way to choke in the playoffs. The rest of the division is no longer trash, the Colts chance is gone, at best theyre the 3rd best team in the division.

    I guess the old saying is true.

    Its better to have Bad Luck than No Luck at all.

  6. The durability of the shoulder will be tested by teams like the Texans and the Broncos—-if the o-line can’t protect him this could spell long term problems for the 25 million dollar QB.

  7. “I think practice and coaching are highly over-rated.”

    I think you don’t know what you’re talking about since the better coaches make a clear difference to how well their players perform.

    As to practice Dak was an anomoly. Most players can’t just walk on the field and grasp and offense, what the other players on their team do etc. They need practice reps so you’re wrong on both points.

  8. Pre-snap chat:

    Clowney – I’ll hit the left shoulder.
    Watt – I’ll hit the right shoulder.
    Mercilus – I got the ribs.
    Luck – Should’ve stayed on the PUP list.

  9. Andrew Luck must be far more hurt than the team is letting on. He’s not even healthy enough to throw less than a month before the season… and he hasnt thrown as I understand it for the vast majority of this entire YEAR.

    If he does come back for week 1 it won’t be pretty. I think this is a throwaway year for us Colts fans.

  10. My dudes gonna come back better than ever.

    Luck’s “better than ever” = losing by 2 TDs to NE instead of 4

  11. How do we know for sure he is or isn’t throwing? The Colts like the Pats aren’t the most truthful when it comes to reporting injuries. And that from a Colts fan. My guesss is he comes off PUP after the second preseason game. He may miss a couple of games getting back up to speed, but Tolzien should be able to keep the Rams and Cards somewhat competitive.

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