In the middle of a circus, Andrew Luck is normal

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For all the folks participating in what has turned into a sideshow in Indianapolis this week, it’s striking that the most mature person in the process is also the youngest.

While Colts owner Jim Irsay couldn’t help poking a bee’s nest this week with his comments about the return of Peyton Manning, and Manning went the passive-aggressive clam-up route, and former Colts General Manager Bill Polian told everyone to get off his lawn, and even Broncos coach John Fox stepped out of character to get his shots in, there was someone being exceedingly regular.

I never viewed it as replacing Peyton,” Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said, via Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. “I just viewed it as an opportunity to play quarterback in the NFL, and it just so happened that one of the greatest of all time was here before me.”

The 24-year-old Luck might as well have been wearing a Boy Scout uniform and drinking milk and talking into his flip-phone as he said it. While he’s been yanked into a huge storyline this week, the second-year quarterback has been as calm in front of the media as he’s been in the fourth quarters of games.

“We all know that Andrew is mature beyond his years,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “He doesn’t play like a second-year quarterback. I don’t feel like it’s necessary for me or for anybody else to even go there. Certainly [we] talk about all the noise surrounding this, all the distractions, all the clutter, everything that’s out there. But at the end of the day, it’s the Colts versus the Broncos. The game is going to be played between the white lines. That’s where his focus will be.”

Luck acknowledged that Manning set a high bar for him in Indianapolis, and called Manning “a great role model,” and just was as normal as he could possibly be.

“People in the Midwest have been incredibly kind,” Luck said of the reception he’s gotten after replacing a future Hall of Famer. “It makes it easier, the transition. I never worried about what the fans were going to think of me.

“I figured if you can take of your business, if you can hopefully win some football games then it becomes easier on that end.”

That lack of bombast might also speak to why he’s so good on Sundays, and will be for some time to come.

37 responses to “In the middle of a circus, Andrew Luck is normal

  1. Despite all the hype and publicity, he’s not on the level of Brady, Manning, or Rodgers –and may or may not ever be– but he sure is impressive with how he handles himself.

    I root against the Colts because of their owner– but I root for this guy.

  2. It’s easy to seem normal when standing next to an alcoholic…. but… it isn’t as easy growing up and old with them.

  3. If I was him, I would already be planning my escape to a real team like the giants, steelers or patriots, who will all probably need a qb when his rookie contract runs out. Even franchised, who wouldn’t give up two firsts for this guy?

  4. Andrew Luck seems to be very well grounded which will serve him well now and in the future. I’m not a Colts fan mainly due to the owner but I still love Pagano from his time here in Baltimore and I think they chose a good solid QB in Luck. I think in time he will only get better.

  5. Been blessed as a Colts fan to have Manning for the most successful decade of regular seasons and now to have Luck leading the Colts offense. Spoiled here in Indy with franchise QB’s. The owner is…..interesting and never boring.

  6. Anyone notice that they draft Andrew Luck and he’s one of the best young QBs in the game, yet the playcalling is more suited for Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson. They are handcuffing him with this “ground and pound” run game. Its like fitting a square peg into a round hole. When the chains come off at the end of the half, or when needing a game winning drive in the 4th, 9/10 times he gets it done.

    Stop with the “ground and pound” and unleash Luck!!

  7. dalcow4,
    I hate to burst your bubble, but Luck was a better QB his first season than Peyton Manning, in EVERY single category except Comp %.
    Yep, thats right: Rating, TDs, INTs, even Avg pass.

    Is Manning a better QB than Luck right now? Yes. But that’s a stupid comparison, measureing a multi year vet vs a 2nd year QB.

    If Luck stays healthy, he is going to be a very special QB. Will he be as good as Peyton? Hard to say. But right now, he is playing better than Peyton did, which indicates that the capability is there.

  8. luck is clearly the best QB from that draft class…and classiest.
    coach Pagano is right, its Colts vs Broncos not Luck vs Manning.

    Go Broncos!

  9. The world needs more Andrew Lucks. I like watching it play out with him and Superbob. This time last year skins fans and all the talking heads were jumping all over each other to talk about Superbob but as time progresses and with each press conference, superbob becomes more of sideshow and luck looks more like a future HOF’er.

  10. I thought Luck replaced Curtis Painter. Wasn’t Peyton’s absence the reason they were in the position to draft Luck?

  11. Whenever I hear Luck speak, I cannot help but laugh at just how geeky the kid is. He is as square as they come. I’m not exactly hating on the guy, I think he is a hell of a player and is a high character guy for sure, and we could use more guys like him in the league. He’s simply a superstar nerd…

  12. Manning tapped that Colts Franchise for every penny he could get. They made him a wealthy man. It’s a two way street. He and his Daddy Archie went political at the end. Archie can’t help but get involved, like when he forced the Chargers hand into trading Eli to the Giants. They are a very manipulative group, and let’s not get started on the endless endorsements. The Colts handed Manning an enormous amount of money as they ushered in Luck. He should be thankful and move on. Contrary to the aw shucks act, these Mannings are very narcissistic.

  13. There really is no winning with the media. Say something inflammatory- you’re a jerk and a distraction; say something nice- you’re dishonest; say “no comment”- you’re passive aggressive.

  14. “Luck was a better QB his first season than Peyton Manning, in EVERY single category except Comp %.
    Yep, thats right: Rating, TDs, INTs, even Avg pass.

    Is Manning a better QB than Luck right now? Yes. But that’s a stupid comparison, measureing a multi year vet vs a 2nd year QB.

    If Luck stays healthy, he is going to be a very special QB. Will he be as good as Peyton? Hard to say. But right now, he is playing better than Peyton did, which indicates that the capability is there.”

    It’s a different league now, friend, and it should be no surprise that Luck has better passing stats.

    And I never said he won’t be special– I said he may or may not end up at the very top level of QBs. Look– he’s good. But let’s wait on the Hall Of Fame for a little while…

  15. if you think Manning choosing to say nothing in order to avoid becoming an active participant in this ridiculous Irsay created sideshow makes him passive aggressive then…. you need to learn what passive aggressive means before using the term.

  16. If Dungy is right that Irsay is trying to pump this game up so that is more than a game which throws Peyton off, he is not looking at the bigger picture. If Indy wants to play in the super bowl this year it is probably going through Denver. The smart play would be to not give anything away in this game. I am not saying don’t play hard…but be aware that this game means little in comparison to a potential playoff game. With that said, words do not win games.

  17. As expected, Luck answered the questions with intelligence and composure. It seems Luck and Wilson both share common sense and focus with the press. RG3 on the other hand could learn a lot from those two.

  18. Irsay is honest to a fault in this case and always has been eccentric as all get out but ask yourself this: Would you have kept 36yr old Manning coming off of all of those neck surguries with a chance to draft the biggest can’t miss QB to hit the draft since Manning? I for one think the Colts made the no-brainer correct decision. I am a huge Manning fan but for all his accomplishments he has a tendancy to struggle in the “biggest spots” minus the 2 years he had SB runs. At most Indy gets 4 years out of him, or Draft a 23 year old kid who has been fathered and coached by great leaders (and I hate saying anything nice about Jim Harbaugh but you have to admit the guy knows how to coach , especially the QB position). This is just the Media making a mountain out of a molehill. I for one hope Luck comes out on top Sunday, but for everyone acting like this is going to give #18 more motivation…I guarentee you he had this date circled the day the schedule was released. I mean Irsay did give Peyton 20 million to hold a clipboard 2 years ago.PS I have no horse in this race as a Bengal Fan but Luck and Peyton will both go down as all time greats IMO Peyton already is.

  19. Looks like a great game without the drama.

    Dr Rustbelt you know you’re vices and uppers.

    Moerawn most teams would love #87 even at his age.

  20. Like Manning, Luck is a professional and a person of good character. Unfortunately, Irsay is not on the same level as either of these two. It just goes to show you money, even if you inherit it, doesn’t make one a person of good character, possess integrity, and value your employees when they work for you, or not. In fact, it can often do the opposite.

    Irsay is a good example of that. For him, Manning didn’t do enough even though he made oodles of monies off Manning, a very disciplined, hard working and outstanding football player, and a person of class.

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