When Andrew Luck led the Colts to a playoff win over Peyton Manning and the Broncos this past January, many felt it was the signature win of Luck’s career. After all, Luck had just beaten his Indianapolis predecessor, on the road, in the playoffs. It was the ultimate announcing-your-presence moment.
Luck, however, didn’t find much symbolism in it.
“No, I think that’s TV stuff and media,” the Colts quarterback said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “As a sports fan, I realize folks love stories and undercurrents to games, but when you’re in it and you’re playing, it’s all about just winning and losing and trying to get a win. We were fortunate enough to get one then and obviously fell short later.”
Indeed, one week after beating the Broncos 24-13, the Colts lost to the Patriots, 45-7, in Foxboro. That led to a Deflategate scandal for one franchise and an offseason of soul searching for another.
“A lot of respect for how New England plays and how their defense operates,” Luck said. “You got to protect the ball, and I have not done a good job protecting the ball in some of those games – and it’s come back to hurt us. It’s something I need to correct if we’re going to have a chance.”
Luck has thrown for two touchdowns and six interceptions in two playoff losses to New England. Still, he is considered by many the top quarterback in the game and will be paid as such once he signs an extension.
When that will happen, nobody knows. But Luck isn’t too concerned about it.
“The contract will happen when it happens, and it’ll be what it’ll be,” he said. “I think it’s important just to take care of stuff on the field.”
Luck will have numerous weapons at his disposal this season. T.Y Hilton will be back, as will Coby Fleener, but the Colts also added veterans Andre Johnson and Frank Gore this offseason.
“I’ve always had a very high opinion of Andre,” Luck said. “As a high school kid growing up in Houston and watching him play, he was a great player. Then you get to the NFL and he’s very highly regarded amongst all of his peers. It’s been really cool to have him on the team. He’s just a pro, man. He’s got a great attitude. A fun guy to play with. I’m really looking forward to starting the season with him and all the other guys.”
Johnson, 34, spent the first 12 years of his career in Houston and caught 85 passes for 936 yards and three touchdowns last season. Gore, meanwhile, is still going strong at 32. He’s rushed for at least 1,000 yards in eight of the last nine seasons.
Luck was asked how much Gore still has left in the tank.
“Oh, a bunch,” Luck said. “A bunch in the tank. He’s a stud, man. He practices his butt off. It’s fun to watch him run. You forget you’re supposed to be boot-faking or something, but you can’t help but stop and watch him run. And protection-wise, he’s maybe one of the best ever at protecting back there.”
The Colts open the season against the Bills in Buffalo on Sept. 13.