By Danny O’Neil
“Person of Interest” is a weekly feature in which we put the microscope on one player from the Seahawks’ upcoming opponent. This week, it’s Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck.
• Position: Quarterback, Peyton Manning’s successor, John Elway’s Stanford heir
• Height: 6-4
• Weight: 239
• Age: 24
• Experience: Second season
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck might be built like a pocket passer at 6 feet 4 and 239 pounds, but he has more mobility than he’s often given credit for. (AP)
He wasn’t just drafted No. 1 overall among what might be a once-in-a-generation crop of quarterbacks. He was drafted No. 1 overall in 2012 after the Colts released Peyton Manning to clear the way for Luck.
And Luck has been so good that Indianapolis doesn’t even second-guess the decision to dump Manning, which is nothing short of remarkable. Manning has won 17 of the 20 regular-season games he has started since leaving Indianapolis and he has the Broncos off to the highest-scoring start in league history, yet Indianapolis looks at Luck and sees a franchise cornerstone whose career will last a decade after Manning is gone.
And you know what? Indianapolis is right. Luck has won 14 of his 20 regular-season starts, he led the Colts to the playoffs last year and he has been picked off twice in four games this season after being intercepted 18 times as a rookie. He’s remarkable.
The first two weeks of the season, Seattle faced a pair of strong-armed quarterbacks known for their running ability in Carolina’s Cam Newton and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick. Last week in Houston, the Seahawks took aim at a pocket passer in Houston’s Matt Schaub.
But don’t go thinking that because of his size, Luck is as sedentary as his predecessor in Indianapolis. He moves pretty well, which Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril pointed to when asked about the most striking trait he saw in the Colts quarterback.
“Just how big he is and how fast he is,” Avril said, “how mobile he is in a sense. You think of Indy, you think of a pocket passer until you actually see Luck play, and he can definitely beat you with his feet if you let him.”
Seattle’s ability to pressure Luck is likely to be a key to this game because Indianapolis’ pass protection is suspect. Luck was sacked 41 times last season, fourth-most in the league.