It's hard not to like Andrew Luck. He's a superstar quarterback on pace to throw for more than 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns this year, yet he's about as humble as they come. He's not flashy, he's always about the team, and, well, by now you've surely heard about his flip phone that he still uses. He's genuinely likable - but part of his personality gets on the nerves of some defenders, as it's so unheard of. Andrew Luck's "trash talking" is rather congratulating defenders for nice hits or sacks on the quarterback.
In a terrific piece by the Wall Street Journal's Kevin Clark, several opposing defenders talked about the compliments that Luck paid them after a hit:
"You know if you hear a quarterback get mad, you are in his head," [defensive back Nolan] Carroll said. "With Luck, you thought you hurt the guy, you hear ‘good job' and you just say ‘aw, man.'"
The Wall Street Journal contacted 12 NFL players who recorded a sack or knockdown of Luck, and each player said he received the same message from Luck. Some were different than others-Kerrigan's sack resulted in a fumble, so Luck, who was scrambling to retrieve the ball, could never offer his congratulations. So he looped around later in the game to tell Kerrigan how great he was doing.
"You want to say thank you but then you say ‘wait a second--I'm not supposed to like you!'" Kerrigan said.
It's a great read and there are many more quotes worth reading, so I recommend checking it out. It's a very good look at a very rare player in the league - the one who compliments when he gets hit and congratulates when he's sacked. That's just Andrew Luck.
Clark wonders whether it's Luck trying to get into defender's heads or just who he is, and the article states that those close to Luck think it's just who Luck is. Without a doubt, defenders get caught off guard and taken aback by Luck's polite "trash talking," but I don't think that's the primary motive for it. Rather, as Clark explains in the article and as many others have said today, I think it's just Andrew Luck appreciating a good football play when he sees it - even if if comes at his expense. I think it's just Luck the nice, polite guy that Luck is. We all know that Luck is in many ways like a linebacker playing quarterback, as he loves to take a hit and give one at times. No, that's not the reason why the offensive line has let him get hit more than any other quarterback in the NFL this year, but that's why Luck shows such toughness when running the football. Maybe the best way to understand why Luck is so polite in his trash talk even after getting sacked is to understand that he's an atypical quarterback in today's NFL: he's truly a football player. He's not a guy who's going to complain to the ref after every hit or chew out a lineman for blowing a block. He's not going to rely solely on the continued protection of quarterbacks by the league. He's tough and willing to take hits. He's tough. And he appreciates good football.
I highly recommend reading all of Kevin Clark's article in the Wall Street Journal on Andrew Luck - the Colts' quarterback who's "trash talking" is unlike that of any other player in the NFL. And that's just another part of what makes him so different, yet at the same time so awesome.