INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.
When Bruce Arians, his offensive coordinator, left following the 2012 season to become the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Luck had to learn a new system under current coordinator Pep Hamilton this past spring.
Of course, the fact that Hamilton and Luck were familiar with each other from their days together at Stanford helped in the transition. The new coordinator brought in a variation of the same offense that was successful for the pair in college.
Throwing a monkey wrench into the situation, though, was the season-ending injury to veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who had become Luck’s insurance policy in the passing game. Whenever there had to be a key play made to keep a drive alive, the Colts signal caller had a pretty good idea where to throw the football.
And, more often than not, Wayne would make the play. The two worked well together, so much so that there were comparisons being made to the on-field relationship that was enjoyed by a pair of former Indianapolis stars — quarterback Peyton Manning and wide receiver Marvin Harrison.
The injury to Wayne, a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn meniscus in his right knee, could have put a major damper on the Colts season as well as Luck’s progress as a National Football League quarterback.
Instead, just the opposite has occurred. Over the eight games since Wayne went down, the Indianapolis signal caller has completed 181-of-309 passes, completing 59 percent of his throws, for 1,966 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Over his last three games, in particular, Luck has completed 74-of-115 passes (64 percent) for 747 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.
What makes those numbers even more eye-popping is that the Colts former No. 1 draft pick has faced two of the NFL’s top six pass defenses (Cincinnati and Kansas City) over that three-game span. Also, of those 74 completions, only 32 of them went to players who have been on Indianapolis’ active roster for the entire 2013 season.