News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Colts

April 29, 2012

New Colts GM, coach pleased with first draft

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS — What they’re saying:

Colts owner Jim Irsay on selecting QB Andrew Luck with the No. 1 draft pick — “All of the things that Andrew brings to Indianapolis and to the Colts are really special. I think when I was doing the interview process and talked to some of the top personnel people in the league for our general manager position, the comment you always got from them was, ‘He is the best player I’ve scouted in 25 years. He is the top prospect I’ve graded in 20 years.’ That sort of reputation of greatness has followed Andrew around, and he’s handled it with so much humility. He probably doesn’t even like me saying that, but it is true. We are really fortunate as a franchise to have him. We are really excited about this new era, and we look forward to doing great things as we go forward in this decade.”

Pagano on drafting QB Andrew Luck — ”I feel like the luckiest man in the world right now. You know, it’s obviously a great time, an exciting time. We’ve got our man in the fold. We feel like, most everybody felt like it was a foregone conclusion months ago, but I tip my hat to [General manager] Ryan [Grigson] and Tommy Telesco and the rest of the scouting staff. You can’t imagine the hours, the man hours that went into this process. Not only evaluating the quarterbacks and Andrew and going through that whole process, but everything else in this draft. They did a fantastic job and what we found out in the end was again what everybody thought was a foregone conclusion. We did get the very best football player, the very best quarterback in this year’s draft. We feel great about Andrew being in the fold.”

Pagano on Luck being on once-in-a-decade quarterback prospect — “You can talk about the measurables, all of his football I.Q., his character, his integrity, his passion for the game, his work-ethic, he grew up in a football family, he’s a worldly guy, he’s been all over and raised all over. He is very, very humble and a great leader. He’s very passionate. He’s very, very competitive. When you look at it, and you look at clean players, and you talk about height, weight, speed, intelligence, I mean, if you want to label him a nine or 10 in every one of those categories, you probably can.”

Grigson on getting Luck up to speed with the team’s offense — “There are a lot of things we can do in this day and age with iPads, teleconferencing and things like that. Obviously he goes to a great school of higher learning. We want him to finish what he started there. It is a tremendous accomplishment with all he has done on the football field and then what he has done in the classroom is pretty amazing as well. We will abide by the rules and that’s all I have to say about that.”

Luck on the Colts saying that there is no pressure on him as he comes in to take over the team’s offense — “I think it is correct of [Coach Pagano] to say that, and I don’t think you want to get to ahead of yourself. You realize you have to go through a whole process leading up to a game through a season. But that being said, I do have high expectations for myself. I will try to do the best I can, and I said that earlier. It is cliché, but I will try to live up to my own expectations, fit in with all of the guys and then do the best we can.”

Luck on following in the footsteps of former Colts QB Peyton Manning — “I think I realized you could go crazy just trying to measure yourself to Peyton Manning every day. I don’t think that would be a sane way to live. I know his legendary status really, and he was my hero growing up. They are huge shoes to try and fill if you are trying to do that. But I will just try to put my best foot forward and work hard every day. If one day I can be mentioned alongside Peyton as one of the quarterback greats that would be a football dream come true.”

Luck on the Colts drafting Fleener with the second pick in the second round — “For me, getting to play with him the past couple of years, it is speed, he is dynamic. Anytime we crossed the 50-yard line it seemed like we just said, ‘Coby, go run. Go run past the safeties.’ Hopefully it continues to work out.”

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has a definitive plan in place to develop Luck — “You just throw the whole offense at him and see what sticks, and then throw it at him again and see what sticks that week. You just keep throwing it at him until they’ve got it all. Day one he is going to walk in, he’s going to be in the first group and he’s going to have an entire playbook that these guys have had for five or six weeks. I don’t have any doubt that he’s going to be caught up.”

 

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Colts
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