Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

September 10, 2013

OK out of the pocket

Luck's ability to scramble pays dividends for Colts

INDIANAPOLIS — Just call him the reluctant running quarterback.

Andrew Luck — now in his second season as the Indianapolis Colts’ starter — has rushed for six touchdowns, including his 19-yard game-winner against Oakland on Sunday.

Overall, he has rushed for 293 yards on 68 carries over 17 career regular-season starts. He has a career average of 4.31 yards per attempt.

One thing is abundantly clear, though. Luck doesn’t go to the line of scrimmage each play and look to take off on a run. And please don’t compare him to read option quarterbacks like San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick or Washington’s Robert Griffin III. That’s not his thing.

“No, no, absolutely not,” he stressed Monday after a team walkthrough practice.

Still, there are those times when tucking the ball under his right arm is Luck’s best option.

“Situationally, it depends. [But] I want to get the ball out of my hands 99.9 percent of the time,” he said. “We’ve got great receivers on this team. I really think so. We’ve got great tight ends. We’ve got running backs that are hard-nosed and that make guys miss. The ball doesn’t need to be in my hands all the time.”

Sometimes, though, the opportunity presents itself and instincts just take over.

“In certain situations [like what occurred in the win over the Raiders] when it opens it up like that, you do run,” Luck said. “But I would much rather throw the ball. Get it into true athletes’ hands.”

As for that touchdown against Oakland, he prefers to highlight the blocking downfield by his receivers and offensive line rather than his decision to run.

So if he gets another chance to take off with the football, what’s he going to do?

“I’ve always been taught going back to college, even high school, that if you can get a first down with your legs as a quarterback, that could be a good thing,” Luck said.

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