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INDIANAPOLIS – Those looking for fantasy football advice this season, Chuck Pagano has contributed a nugget regarding his former quarterback.

While everyone makes predictions on how Andrew Luck will look in 2018, Pagano is steadfast in his stance.

“I expect Andrew to be the old Andrew and come back and play great football this season and beyond,” Pagano said on Monday morning, when he joined FOX’s First Things First show.

Pagano was actually with Luck back in April.

The former Colts head coach returned to Indianapolis for continued support of his CHUCKSTRONG initiative. At the event, Pagano and Luck talked about the quarterback returning.

While Luck openly admits about struggles with the taxing mental state he has undergone in this rehab, the head coach sees a totally different quarterback right now, both mentally and physically.

“He looks phenomenal,” Pagano says of Luck. “He’s strapped. He’s ripped.

“Mentally, he looks good. He’s in a great place mentally, a great place physically.”

Pagano knows that Luck still has some work left in this seemingly never-ending rehab. The Colts have said that the throwing portion of Luck’s rehab is expected to begin here in the coming weeks.

When Pagano and Luck talked earlier this spring, the former head coach saw a very motivated quarterback.

“Last year it killed him, not being able to play killed him,” Pagano said of Luck.

“He’s dying to get back on the football field.”

When Luck does get back on the field, he will obviously have a big fan in Pagano.

The two were together from 2012-16 and Pagano credits Luck for much of the success the coach had in his first head coaching stint.

“I love Andrew Luck,” a grinning Pagano said. “He got me more years than I probably deserved.”

 

The Colts are in their final week of OTAs. After next week’s 3-day minicamp, the team will be off until Training Camp in late July.