Colts' Luck eager to make 1st Pro Bowl appearance

Colts' Luck eager to make 1st Pro Bowl appearance

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Andrew Luck is getting down to business in Hawaii.

He attends quarterback meetings in the morning, practices in the afternoon and tries to glean as much information as possible from some of football's biggest stars. For the record-setting rookie, it's just another football week.

``That's Andrew being Andrew, I think that's the only way he knows how to roll,'' Colts coach Chuck Pagano said with a chuckle Thursday.

To Luck, the Pro Bowl is about more than just fun in the sun.

Rookie quarterbacks rarely get the opportunity to play in Hawaii, and Luck only made it because New England's Tom Brady pulled out of the game Monday with an injury. Luck, the first alternate for the AFC, was hoping for the call and was staying near his alma mater, Stanford, so he would have a shorter flight to Honolulu.

Now that he's in Honolulu, Luck is working again with Peyton Manning, an old friend who gave him a chance to be both a student and a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy. Together, the Colts' past and present franchise quarterbacks, both perfectionists by trade, are trying to take the lead in making sure the Pro Bowl is taken seriously.

``I guess some folks weren't happy with the play last year, but I think guys will take it upon themselves to keep this game going for many years to come and play hard,'' Luck said after listening to Manning's speech. ``I think it is part of our obligation to make sure we play hard and this game continues.''

The hard-working Luck does have other plans this week.

Two of his Colts' teammates, outside linebacker Robert Mathis and receiver Reggie Wayne, also are expected to play for the AFC on Sunday. Wayne has brought along the Colts' receiving corps for the trip and Luck picked up the tab for third-string quarterback Chandler Harnish, the last pick in April's draft. Backup Drew Stanton declined to go, Luck said, because he wanted to stay home with his newborn son.

``Obviously you're going to have fun, you're in Hawaii, that's what it's about,'' Luck told Indianapolis reporters during a conference call Thursday. ``But anytime you're around so many great football players, it's not an obligation, but close to it, to try to get better at football.''

Indy took Luck with the first pick in April and he delivered a season to remember.

He broke the NFL's rookie records for attempts, yards passing and 300-yard games, falling just short of setting new marks in completions and touchdown passes. He broke the franchise's single-season record for TDs rushing by a quarterback. He tied the league record for game-winning drives in the fourth quarter (seven), won a league-high nine one-possession games and was the conductor of one of the greatest turnarounds in league history. Indy went from 2-14 to 11-5 and earned its first playoff berth without Manning since 1996.

In 2013, nobody expects more than Luck, who will be working with a new offensive coordinator after Bruce Arians took the head coaching job in Arizona. Fortunately, for Luck, he'll have a familiar face calling the plays in Pep Hamilton, who was Stanford's offensive coordinator.

Luck expects the Colts to run more of a West Coast offense that relies primarily on short passes than the vertical game Arians' preferred, though he does expect to see both blended into the play calls next season.

``Obviously, it stinks that Bruce had to leave but we're all incredibly happy for him. I don't know if anyone deserves a head coaching job as much as he does. But I'm very, very happy for Pep to be here now,'' Luck said. ``There are a lot of great things that B.A. did that hopefully we'll keep around and continue to do and then to add what Pep knows how to teach, what he can coach. So it will be a great offense.''

And for the first time, Luck will have a full offseason program to work with coaches and teammates.

NFL rules prohibited Luck from doing any work at the team complex last year, other than the Colts' three-day rookie minicamp, until Stanford's semester ended in mid-June.

This year, he won't have those kinds of restrictions and Luck believes that will help him become an even better quarterback next season.

``Folks say you make your biggest strides between year one and year two so this offseason, for personal development, I think it'll be very big,'' he said. ``Then as a team, we've got to get better and figure out a way to hopefully win the big one next year.''

But until then, Luck has one more game -- and a few more practices -- to keep him busy.

``To me it's an honor to be here, to be around your peers and the guys who are doing incredible things in this league. It's definitely something important,'' he said. ``I've never been to Hawaii before so it's a chance to go to Hawaii and have a great time.''

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NFL players react to news that Andrew Luck is retiring

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NFL players react to news that Andrew Luck is retiring

NFL players took to Twitter on Saturday to send well-wishes to Andrew Luck after news broke that he is retiring from the NFL. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Luck was 'mentally worn out' after years of battling injuries. Luck confirmed the news in an emotional press conference on Saturday night.

"Andrew luck I understand you 100% brotha," wrote Dez Bryant. "... take your time ... I wish you the best."

Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins reacted to the news with emojis.

Former player turned ESPN analyst Emmanuel Acho posted video of Colts fans booing Luck as he walked into the locker room. "Coach always said, 'the pats on the back eventually turn into stabs,'" he wrote.  

"That's bad to boo that man," added former Redskins player Chris Baker.

Former Ravens and current Carolina player Torrey Smith tweeted that anyone in the sport understands.

Jaguars long snapper Matt Overton wrote he was "shook."



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'Hardest decision of my life': Colts QB Andrew Luck retires

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'Hardest decision of my life': Colts QB Andrew Luck retires

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Andrew Luck watched one last game from the sideline Saturday.

Then he said goodbye to the NFL.

The Indianapolis Colts quarterback heard boos as he walked away from the field, then walked to the podium and made the surprise decision official. The oft-injured star is retiring at age 29.

"I am going to retire," he said. "This is not an easy decision. It's the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me."

Luck said the repeated injuries, the lingering pain and continual rehab took away his love for the game.

Word first leaked about Luck's plans during the fourth quarter of Saturday's 27-17 loss to the Chicago Bears when ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported Luck felt mentally worn down and had met with team owner Jim Irsay to inform him of his decision.

Luck has most recently struggled to recover from a lower left leg injury.

Luck's former coach Chuck Pagano made his first return to Lucas Oil Stadium since he was fired as the Colts' head coach following the 2017 season. Luck did not play that season because he was recovering from surgery on his throwing shoulder.

He returned last season and led the Colts back to the playoffs for the first time in four years, winning the league's Comeback Player of the Year award.

But in March, he suffered a strained left calf, was held out of all of the team's offseason workouts and returned on a limited basis for three practices at training camp in July. Lingering pain forced him back to the sideline and the Colts later determined that he had an injury near the back of his left ankle.

Coach Frank Reich had said he hoped to have an answer about Luck's availability for the Sept. 8 season opener after the third preseason game. This might not have been the one he wanted -- and certainly didn't expect.

Jacoby Brissett now inherits the starting job.