Much has been made recently about potential changes to Andrew Luck’s mechanics that are underway. New quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer actually mentioned the subject earlier this year during offseason work, but Luck then expanded upon it last week when asked about it.
Luck said that the changes were regarding football and were from the ground up, and he later clarified that it’s more of a refinement of his technique than a change. In his words, it’s rather about marrying the correct footwork to a certain play with a new playbook.
Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski cleared it up even more today, explaining the emphases the Colts are trying to work with Luck on: getting the ball out faster and speeding up his footwork.
“Andrew’s handled that great,” Chud said of the refinement/changes. “He has no issues with that, that’s about technique improvement. And that goes for all positions. It’s not just learning what you need to do; it’s also how you have to do it. And the best way to do it is by being consistent at those techniques, and we’re working on trying to get the ball out quicker, and speeding up Andrew’s feetwork on his feet. It was a primary objective and goal and I know he’s talked a lot about that. With Andrew, he embraces anything and everything that has to do with work. So he’s been working diligently at that and you see the strides out there in practicing and I think that we’ll see those when the season comes around.”
It should not be surprising to hear about either emphasis that Chud mentioned, as getting the ball out quicker and speeding up Luck’s feet can both be tied to one thing: protecting Luck. We all know that the Colts’ biggest focus this offseason was on addressing the offensive line, but it might not be as commonly known that the Colts have talked openly and often about the fact that protecting Luck includes more than just the offensive line. It includes even Luck himself, which is why you’ll see him slide at times or throw the football away - he’s working on protecting himself, too.
A more effective way of doing that than getting him to slide, however, is simply getting him to get rid of the football faster. There have been times where Luck hangs on to the ball too long or waits too long trying to make a play. The idea of addressing Luck’s mechanics with tweaks to help him get the ball out faster and speed up his footwork is likely related to that same goal, as the coaches know that if Luck can be a little quicker in his mechanics that could result in less hits.
There’s always a danger in trying to tweak too much with a good player going into his fifth year, but that’s not the sense I get with the Colts and Luck. Rather, they’re working on a refinement of his technique to help him get rid of the ball quicker and speed up his footwork. The changes probably won’t be noticeable to most people watching the game, but the hope is that it will make a difference in terms of results.