Luck is everything he was made out to be coming out of Stanford. The Colts quarterback is practically a lock to be a
great player. Everyone can see that. And following his maturation into being that great player is going to be fascinating.
Luck has looked very good in the preseason as he prepares for his second season. In the preseason opener last week, he was 4-of-6 for 51 yards in limited work. Against the Giants he played one quarter, and one drive into the second quarter. He went 9-of-13 for 107 yards and two touchdowns, and when he took a seat the Colts led 17-3.
If someone said that, in about five months, Luck would be universally acknowledged as a top three NFL quarterback, would you be that surprised?
He had some things to work on after a very good rookie season, and looks much better in year two. He still has the athletic ability and the big arm, and in very brief preseason work it's obvious this familiar offense fits him well.
Last season Luck worked in Bruce Arians' vertical offense, and attempted more passes of 20 or more yards (101) than any other quarterback, according to Pro Football Focus. Joe Flacco was second with 92, and only five quarterbacks in all attempted more than 80. And Luck was good on those deep throws, completing 35 (his receivers had eight drops, too). But he had six interceptions (only Drew Brees had more on deep passes, with seven), and the heavy vertical attack also helps explain his 54.1 completion percentage. Not that he didn't do very well in that offense – he threw for 4,374 yards and led the Colts, who were 2-14 the year before, to a very surprising playoff berth.
Now with Pep Hamilton as offensive coordinator, Luck is running the same offense he did at Stanford. Mainly because Hamilton was Luck's offensive coordinator during the quarterback's final season at Stanford. In the Colts' two preseason games it's easy to see that Luck will be asked to complete a lot of high-percentage throws. He looks comfortable and confident. His completion percentage should skyrocket. It's 68.4 percent this preseason. His interceptions probably will go down, although he did get lucky Sunday night when Giants cornerback Aaron Ross dropped one on a play that Reggie Wayne eventually hauled in for a circus touchdown catch. Luck performed admirably in a new offense last year, but he seems like a perfect fit in Hamilton's scheme that has plenty of West Coast elements.
Luck's physical ability is special, even among NFL quarterbacks, and he showed it off against the Giants. His 18-yard touchdown throw to T.Y. Hilton on third and 11 was made with pinpoint accuracy right over the cornerback – and was also a very athletic catch by a rapidly emerging Hilton. His best play against the Giants was probably an incompletion. He rolled left, then contorted his body to deliver a perfect strike downfield between two Giants defenders to tight end Coby Fleener. Fleener dropped the throw. It was still a jaw-dropping pass.