No one would confuse Andrew Luck with the Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III, the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton or the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson – three quarterbacks who finished the regular season at the top of the NFL at their position in rushing.
But that doesn’t mean that the Indianapolis Colts rookie can’t take off when he wants to or has to. Luck ranks second in the AFC and eighth in the league in rushing, compiling 255 yards. His five rushing touchdowns put him in a third-place tie with the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick behind Newton (eight) and Griffin (seven).
Luck may not be as swift as Griffin or Newton, but his 6-foot-4, 234-pound frame reminds Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones of an AFC North passer the defense is quite familiar with.
“They’ve got a great quarterback over there, and he’s a guy that’s way ahead of the game,” Jones said. “You don’t think he’s a rookie at all when you watch him on film. He’s a guy that makes huge plays, and he’s a fast runner and has a big body like [the Pittsburgh Steelers’] Ben Roethlisberger. So it’s going to be a good challenge for us, and we’re excited to play against him.”
The flip side of Luck’s mobility is that he was sacked 41 times in the regular season, the fourth-worst mark in the league behind the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (51 sacks), the San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers (49) and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Andy Dalton (46).
But strong safety Bernard Pollard said bringing Luck down looks easier than it actually is.
“If he gets hit, he gets right back up,” Pollard said. “He’s trying to do the same thing over and over again. They did a great job as far as drafting him. He’s going to be very successful for that team. Everybody’s talking about him being a rookie. Yes, he’s a rookie, but I think he’s a guy who’s learning week in and week out. They have a lot of trust and faith in him. His team has rallied behind him. They’re rolling.”