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INDIANAPOLIS – Assigning a grade to Andrew Luck after a month of Training Camp practices and 3 preseason games would have him teetering near the top of his class.

It’s been a successful past month for Luck as he reacclimated himself to playing the game of football again.

Luck has felt the results, too, with him and the starters now shifting their entire focus to the regular season debut on Sept. 9.

“What has been most important to me is that I feel like I am improving every day,” Luck said after his final preseason work on Saturday night. “As a quarterback, feeling-wise, throwing-wise, technique-wise, giving offense the right play – that’s been literally every day. I know I’ve seen improvement.


“I feel like I can make all the throws I need to make with confidence.”


Let’s take a closer look at Luck’s last month and any remaining questions for the quarterback:


Major Victories


-Luck’s Physical Health: This is the single more important aspect of Luck from the last month. He’s healthy. He’s practicing on a regular basis and handled a normal preseason workload just fine. After barely practicing at all in the previous 19 months, Luck showed no signs of being extra limited during camp and into the preseason. It was important for him to get some significant run in the preseason and he did that with 11 series of work in 3 games. And Luck took several hits (4 sacks in total) in the preseason with no issues there in bouncing back.


-Impressive Accuracy: Both Chris Ballard and even Luck himself commented on the pinpoint accuracy we’ve seen from Luck this camp. Yes, Luck completed just 62.5 percent of his passes (some drops didn’t help that number), but the quarterback was really pleased with his ball placement after going 8-of-10 on Saturday night. We’ve seen impressive touch from Luck in practice, too. While Luck maybe hasn’t unleashed the screaming fastball just yet, he’s shown enough arm strength to be an efficient NFL quarterback, with the accuracy definitely a strength entering the regular season.


-Thriving In This Offense: Frank Reich is the perfect coach for Andrew Luck. The former quarterback turned head coach brings an innovative offensive approach to the Colts. Luck is definitely a favorite of Reich’s system. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Colts do use more tempo to establish a rhythm in 2018. We saw that on Saturday, with the Colts and Luck going quicker to move the ball much better than they did in Week Two of the preseason.


Remaining Questions


-Deep Ball: This is the one thing we didn’t see in preseason game action. Luck’s two longest throws of the preseason were a 19-yard catch and run by Chester Rogers, and a 17-yard dump pass to Marlon Mack. There was no stretching the field vertically with major chunk plays. We saw some of that from Luck in practice, but it was the last physical hurdle for him in practice settings. It remains a question going into the regular season. And it’s needed for the Colts to keep opposing safeties from suffocating the run game and underneath routes.


-Altering Playing Style: “We’ve talked to him about sliding but it’s ultimately up to him to make that decision,” is how Jim Irsay described Andrew Luck’s big scramble for a first down on Saturday, with NO. 12 taking a hit to move the chains in a preseason game. If Luck is willing to give up his body in a meaningless preseason game, maybe we should reassess just how much his playing style will change. Sure, Luck is smart enough to know when it’s the intelligent decision to go ahead and slide. But after watching Luck in the preseason, he’s going to side more with his old self than look like a quarterback wanting see part of contact.

-Doing It When It’s Real: This is the unknown. Can Luck continue to progress when real football arrives during the regular season? Playbooks are vanilla and not all starting-level players play in the preseason, and certainly don’t play for the entire game. So how will Luck react to a full 60 minutes of real football, on a weekly basis? Luck was pretty good in 2016, the last time he was on the field. Luck was really good in 2014, the last time he was healthy for an entire season. Will Luck get back to that level of play early, or at all, in 2018?


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