Yesterday, Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck, sporting a ChuckStrong T-shirt, his trademark neck beard, and a smile, spoke with the NFL Network’s Scott Hanson via “Colts Cam” as the team gears up for Rookie Minicamp, which begins Friday. Last May, Luck was still a college kid, finishing his schooling with fellow Stanford rookie Coby Fleener, while his teammates prepared for the NFL.
For anyone in a new work environment, perhaps more so in a high profile one, having a year under one’s belt can have a strong positive effect on performance and comfort level. Andrew Luck is no exception. “I am 100% more comfortable,” Luck said. “On this day last year, I was probably sitting in class. It is nice to be able to have the full offseason with the team. We have changed [offensive] coordinators, but I have had a great relationship with Pep Hamilton from before. To be around him and talk his style of offense has been great. It is just nice to be around the guys.”
One of the most talked about stories of the offseason, at least before the excitement over Bjoern Notice – Bjoern Supremacy – Bjoern Warning – Bjoern…Werner and the rest of the draftees came along, was the change in offensive coordinators going into Luck’s second year.
The likeable Bruce Arians has taken his motivational talents – and his high risk, big play-oriented offense – to the Arizona desert. Enter Luck’s college OC Pep Hamilton, known for running a high efficiency, West Coast-influenced offense, and, naturally, for being named Pep.
Scott Hanson, explaining the coordinator change to the broader NFL Network audience, joked that Luck had personally hired Hamilton when Arians went to the Cardinals. After a good laugh, Luck said, “I do remember someone asking my opinion of Coach Hamilton early on, after Coach Bruce Arians left. I gave him 100% endorsement. I am really glad he is here and really happy for Coach Arians down in Arizona as well. What a wonderful opportunity for him. I don’t think anyone else deserves to be a head coach in the league more than he does. But I am glad Pep is coming in, glad I don’t have to learn a completely new playbook. I think he is going to do great with us here.”
Yes, you just read that the Colts asked Luck about Hamilton before the hire. This doesn’t mean Indy’s quarterback is calling the shots or anything along those lines, but it does show us that the organization cared what their young quarterback thought of Arians’ replacement, which is kind of refreshing.
As far as the new system, the closer we draw toward the season, the less specific Luck and the Colts are willing to be about Hamilton’s offense. “His offense is different; every coordinators offense has its own intricacies,” Luck said of the differences between Arians’ and Hamilton’s systems. “It is too early to say [the biggest difference.] I think we will start to have a feel for that during OTAs when we can go against a defense. There will be different plays, but in the end, it is still football. You still have to go out there and make the plays.”
Although Hamilton doesn’t want to be labeled as strictly a West Coast guy, he does bring that influence to Indianapolis’s offense, which should bode well for the talented Luck, who thrived in the system at Stanford. The shorter, move-the-chains passes in the WCO should cut back on the far-too-numerous hits and sacks Luck took last year. They can also open up lanes for deep passes downfield when they choose to take their shots.
Overall, Luck just wants to improve along with the other second year players and keep following the lead of the veterans on the team. “Hopefully we build off the experience – young guys and the older guys – and continue to get better,” he said. “I think we are very fortunate to have to great veteran leadership – Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne, Cory Redding, Antoine Bethea – that really have set the standard here and know how to win. We just try to follow their lead but hopefully us second and third year guys improve and help the team out.”
1,000 Colts Season Tickets Available at 10 a.m. Today
At 10:00 a.m., today, the Indianapolis Colts will offer 1,000 season tickets to the public, according to yesterday’s media release:
Beginning Thursday, May 9, at 10 a.m., the Indianapolis Colts will make 1,000 upper level season tickets available to the public. The Colts have created a new online Lucas Oil Stadium virtual venue that allows fans to see a view of the field from the available season tickets before they commit to purchasing seats. Fans can access the virtual venue and purchase their 2013 season tickets online by visiting www.colts.com. Season tickets can also be purchased by calling the Colts ticket sales hotline at 317-299-4946 during normal business hours.
This year, Indianapolis begins and ends its season at home, against the Raiders and Jaguars, respectively. There also will be home matchups featuring Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, the Rams, Titans, Texans, and…….the Denver Broncos, of course. For any Colts fans who want to become season ticket holders, I would strongly recommend making that call, or order online, at 10:00 a.m. sharp, Eastern Daylight Time. Good luck to you all.
Quotes from NFL.com transcriptions, Season ticket sale info courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts PR Department. (thank you, Nate Dunlevy)
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