Over the past couple of days, we have taken a look at parts one and two of Andrew Luck’s sit down with Brian Baldinger and Ron Jaworski for the NFL’s Game Pass Film Room Session. If you missed the first two, I suggest you go back and take a look at those before moving on to part three. Also, if you have questions about this program, or why I’m writing all of this information when you could just pay for Game Pass and watch the video, well, that’s answered in part one.
For everyone else, let’s jump into the next chapter of this video and look at what Andrew Luck has to say about his pass protection from a year ago.
Baldinger: “It seemed like with Frank and Nick (Sirianni) this year, Andrew, that protection was like, the first most important thing. A lot of max protection, a lot of play action.”
Luck: “Yeah, no, protection was the focus of every week, the start of every week was our protection meeting.”
Baldinger: “Andrew there was a period this year of over five games that you didn’t, you could have played the game in these shorts. In these Bermuda shorts and flip-flops.”
Luck: “Well the guys did a great job up front this year and we all improved as a team and as a unit.”
Baldinger: “Now, with those games this year, without getting sacked, it coincided with that unbelievable win streak ya had, dig yourself out of that hole.”
Luck: “The defensive and offensive line, they’re an engine for a team. That’s where things begin. You know, football still is a simple game and it starts with blocking and tackling, in my mind, and then, as a quarterback, taking care of the ball. You know, you keep it that way. So I’m proud of how well the guys did up front, they’re a great group to play with and you know, certainly we set a standard and now, we’ve gotta improve, ya gotta improve and ya gotta improve.”
Jaworski: “Here’s what I love, you go max pro here, eight man protection, two receiver route, off play action, hard sell, safety bites, you’re smiling right now, aren’t you?”
Luck: “We caught the right coverage at the right time and sometimes it works out like that, and that’s Frank, he’s a great play caller, he has a great sense for what’s appropriate at the time, and T.Y.’s got a little option here to sit down and he sees the middle of the field’s open so he takes it.”
Luck: “The focus this year was a firm middle of the pocket. You know, a firm middle, and when you’ve got Quenton Nelson and a Ryan Kelly and a Glowinski, they’re all tough, nasty SOB’s, so uh, they did a heck of a job in the middle of the pocket, creating that space.”
Baldinger: “Max protection so prevalent in some of your deep shots this year.”
Baldinger: “Max protection, play action to T.Y., week 14, Houston. Let’s just stop it at the top of his drop.”
Baldinger: “You’ve gotta be really comfortable in that cradle you have in there.”
Luck: “Yeah, no, the guys did a heck of a job.” I do want to note, Luck almost seemed bored when giving this answer. It amused me.
Baldinger: “You can feel that end coming?”
Luck: “Yeah, and it’s the quarterback’s job to, one, not get too deep and two, step up.”
Jaworski: “This is a clean pocket and I know in my mind as an old quarterback when you can plan, step and throw, you’re feelin’ it.”
Luck: “Absolutely. It’s a pretty sight for a quarterback. Maybe an old quarterback, young at heart, Jaws.”
Jaworski: “Young at heart, absolutely.”
Laughs were had. On to T.Y. Hilton.
Baldinger: “You guys came in together, Andrew, I mean it’s interesting because he’s been your number one guy, it just seems like T.Y. has been that guy that when you need that play.
Luck: “Essentially it’s a one on one between T.Y. and Kareem Jackson. T.Y. does a really subtly, I mean he’s pushing the guy in, but doesn’t lose leverage, somehow keeps leverage on that outside shoulder, gets him to open up enough, sticks a foot in the ground.”
Baldinger: “You can scheme him open, he knows how to win man coverage. You know this play here, Andrew, another max protection, play action, to T.Y..”
Luck: “A little bit of a double move by T.Y. and essentially it’s a one on one.”
Baldinger: “You got mirror routes here, too.”
Luck: “We do, again, somewhat of a max protection, what’s important here too, is the running back, Jordan Wilkins gettin’ out to the flat and creating just enough of a conflict for number fifty-three. T.Y., a little post-corner and a great job coming flat out of it. He’s always been great at these maneuver routes.”
Baldinger: “Just a little high-low concept.”
Luck: “Honestly, as you guys know, most of the concepts really are simple. The simple things seem to work, it’s just executing them, guys being in the right spot and by and large our guys did a heck of a job, then.”
Jaworski: “Don’t say that by the way, we want the audience to think this is a really hard business.”
More laughter, Jaws, what-a-guy.
What happened next was probably my favorite part of the episode. As they’re saying their good-bye’s, thanking each other for being there and for having them. Andrew Luck showed a little of his personality some may say his controlling side (a trait that most great quarterbacks reportedly share, for obvious reasons). As they’re finishing up, Andrew glances at Jaworski’s notes a couple times.
Luck: “What about, what else do you have here?”
Jaworski: “I’ve got, you love the tight ends, your redzone, teams don’t blitz you much, you’re way down here with Brady, Manning and Nick as fewest blitzes, great in the fourth quarter, great versus the blitz... wait, wait, I’m lookin’ for a negative here! You’re not as good on the road as you are at home.”
Luck: “Lemme see that!”
Jaworski: “He’s stealin’ my notes!”
Luck laughs along at first. Brian Baldinger, is talking about beating Houston twice in Houston and how loud it was, Luck agrees it was loud, but the way the expression on Luck’s face changes as he reads how he was worse on the road than at home is what makes this entire Film Room Session amazing for me.
Luck: “Ah, that’s good to know, improvement.”
Jaworski: “Hey, I gotta find somethin’!”
All in all, this is a really fun watch for anyone who enjoys the Colts or the game of football. If you have a chance to give the video a watch, I suggest you do! There’s a lot the video conveys that I can’t put into written word, like all of the highlights from the original broadcast presentations of those games.
I realize there may have been some things in here that went over the heads of most fans, and that’s alright. Just know the offense is simple, yet effective, and the future looks bright. One thing we can all agree on is that football can’t get here soon enough!