News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 19, 2013

Colts veteran among those excited to see Luck's growth in 2013-14

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — Veteran defensive end Cory Redding is a big fan — literally and figuratively — of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.

Redding, who has become one of the Colts’ lockerroom leaders after just one season with the team, thinks he has some reasonable expectations of Indianapolis’ former No. 1 draft pick.

“You know what, bring what you brought last year, just [be] a little bit better. Don’t go out there and try to make Hall of Fame numbers this year. Don’t go out there and try to put all these pressures on top of you that the whole outside world is,” Redding said Wednesday after the Colts’ third official offseason workout of the spring.

“He did this last year so … [but] no, no, no, stay steady. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Do what you did last year, but just a little bit better.”

Easy to say, but often tough to do. Yet most coaches in the NFL figure that a player’s biggest improvement often happens from year one to year two. That is what’s expected of Luck.

“Make those throws that you just so happened to overthrow. Make the right checks so we can pick up the blitzes. Do all those things that make him a superior athlete right now at this game, from his freshman year to his sophomore year, so to speak,” Redding continued.

“See the growth and see the change. I believe he’s going to handle that flawlessly. I believe he’s going to step out there and be tremendous because he’s just that type of guy. He wants to be better.”

Colts coach Chuck Pagano concurs. He has often said that Luck is his own worst critic, a trait that he shares with former Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning.

Despite completing 339 of 627 passes for 4,373 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, the Colts’ signal-caller knows he can play better. His two biggest goals heading into the 2013 season are to be more accurate with his throws (he completed 54 percent of his passes in 2012) and to do a better job of protecting the football (18 interceptions and nine fumbles as a rookie).

“It’s incredibly cliché, but everywhere,” Luck said Wednesday of what he wants to improve upon in 2013. “I think an example is accuracy. I’d love to complete more balls. I don’t think I did a good enough job of giving guys catchable balls in some situations.”

“Understanding football, understanding how to convert third downs, how to get in the red zone, how to score when you’re in the red zone. So, a lot of areas.”

He won’t fall back on his inexperience in the league prior to last year as a reason for his mistakes.

“I don’t think being a rookie is an excuse. I think you are aware of external factors and things that happen. I think you can go to every guy in this lockerroom and they’re going to be their worst critic,” he explained.

“I think this team is full of a bunch of guys that work their butts off, that are going to be hard on themselves if they mess up. I just try and fit in with those guys. There’s a lot to improve. I wish I could have done some things better last year, but it’s onto this year and we’ll go with it.”

I I I

n New offense — Indianapolis will employ a new offensive system in 2013, moving away from the air-it-out scheme installed by former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians last season. Arians was/is not a fan of the dink and dunk type of offense that many teams employ.

With former Stanford University offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton now in charge, the Colts are expected to feature a blend of the West Coast offense along with some variations of Arians’ system remaining in the playbook.

Hamilton said in a recent interview that Indianapolis will be using a ‘No Coast Offense.’

“It is a ‘No Coast Offense,’ and that’s how Pep feels. That’s how he presented it to us. It’s going to try and give us the best advantage, wherever it may lie. It’s taking ideas from here, from there, obviously from the West Coast a bit,” Luck mentioned.

“Wherever it gives us the best advantage to get balls in [wide receiver] Reggie’s [Wayne] hands, in [running back] Vick Ballard’s, in [running back Donald’s [Brown], in [wide receiver] Darrius Heyward-Bey and [wide receiver] T.Y. [Hilton], however we can do that, the tight ends, that’s what the offense is predicated on.”

Hamilton, Luck, tight end Coby Fleener and wide receiver Griff Whalen were together at Stanford, so the adjustments are expected to be easier for them. There are, however, some changes from the system that they had learned in college.

“Percentage-wise, it’s probably 75 percent of the stuff I knew [at Stanford]. In some of the stuff, names have sort of changed, which helps me and helps the other guys,” Luck explained. “[It’s] like having a guy who maybe knows a little bit that can talk about it, as opposed to all of us learning it at the same time.”

n Glenn to the draft — Former Colts left offensive tackle Tarik Glenn will represent the team during the third round of the NFL Draft.

Former players from around the league will announce teams’ picks in the second and third rounds April 26 -27. The draft will begin with the first round next Thursday. In addition to Glenn, Keith Bulluck (Tennessee), Steve McKinney (Houston) and Mark Brunell (Jacksonville) will represent the rest of the AFC South teams.



Indianapolis Colts’ 2013 schedule



(All times ET)

Preseason

Sunday, Aug. 11 — Buffalo, 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 18 — at N.Y. Giants, 7 p.m. (FOX)

Saturday, Aug. 24 — Cleveland, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 29 — at Cincinnati, 7 p.m.



Regular season

Sunday, Sept. 8 — Oakland, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Sept. 15 — Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Sept. 22 — at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Sept. 29 — at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 6 — Seattle, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Monday, Oct. 14 — at San Diego, 8:40 p.m. (ESPN)

Sunday, Oct. 20 — Denver, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Oct. 27 — bye week

Sunday, Nov. 3 — at Houston, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Nov. 10 — St. Louis, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Thursday, Nov. 14* — at Tennessee, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)

Sunday, Nov. 24* — at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Dec. 1* — Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Dec. 8* — at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Dec. 15* — Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Dec. 22* — at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Dec. 29* — Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)

* — Kickoff time subject to change