Sunday, January 5, 2014

Belichick: Luck a 'complete' player, already a top QB


Andrew Luck has seemingly escalated his game every week since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2012.

He was already pretty good last season, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 11-5 record as a rookie, tossing 23 touchdowns to 18 interceptions while completing just over 54 percent of his passes.

In 2013, Luck won the same number of games and threw for the same number of touchdowns, but he threw nine fewer picks and upped his completion rate by more than six percent.

He's rapidly working his way toward top-single-digit status at his position. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick thinks he's there now.

"There's no question he's a complete football player and one of the top quarterbacks in this league already," Belichick said Sunday, via "He has a great career in front of him but I think he's already established himself as a very poised and talented player that can do a lot of things to beat you and he manages his team well and plays good situational football."

Luck will make his second career visit to Foxborough Saturday, this time in an AFC Divisional Round showdown, a week after leading his Indianapolis Colts out of a 28-point deficit and to a Wildcard round victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Luck wasn't perfect, as he threw three interceptions that could have been the difference had he not bounced back. But he finished the game with four touchdown passes -- three in the second half -- and recovered a fumble by Donald Brown, diving past the goal line for another score.

It was another step in the young signal-caller's climb to elite company. He's still earning his stripes, but Belichick doesn't seen anything getting in his way.

"He's done all the things that I think he has the talent to do," Belichick said. "He's obviously a smart guy. He works hard, he's tough, he has good leadership skills. He's athletic, he can make plays with his feet and his arm: scramble plays, designed plays, plays that play out kind of the way they're drawn up but he can improvise and make plays on his own.

"He does a good job of seeing down the field. He throws a very good deep ball, has good touch on some of the short and intermediate plays: screens, crossing routes, again some touch plays in the red zone, things like that."

Luck's running acumen is also an underrated aspect of his game. He's scored nine times on the ground over the last two years, amassing 632 yards in that span.

The Patriots will have their work cut of for them against the sophomore QB, who they picked off three times in a 59-24 rout over the Colts in 2012.

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