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Pagano wants Luck to stop playing QB like a linebacker

Denver Broncos v Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 08: Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the game against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Colts coach Chuck Pagano thinks Andrew Luck may be too tough for his own good.

After Luck went through an injury-plagued fourth season and the Colts missed the playoffs, Pagano says he’s told Luck that he needs to remember to take care of his body, even if it means sliding, throwing the ball away or otherwise avoiding contacts and at times passing up the opportunity to make a play.

“Get him healthy, keep him healthy, keep him protected, keep him upright,” Pagano Pagano said on NFL Network of his top priority for Luck. “He plays the position like a linebacker, with a linebacker’s mentality. He can’t do that all the time. We love how he can extend plays, but he’s got to be smart and know it’s OK to slide. You don’t have to take some of those hits.”

Pagano is right: Luck is the future of the Colts’ franchise, and they can’t afford to have him keep taking hits like he did last season. Luck is big enough, strong enough and athletic enough to break tackles and extend plays, but that doesn’t mean he should.