It’s nine months since Andrew Luck threw a football, and the agonising wait for Colts fans to see if their star quarterback will ever return to his Pro Bowl form will seemingly continue well into training camp.
The number one overall pick from 2012 has been riddled with injuries over the past two years to the point that it’s hard to remember what a healthy number 12 even looks like.
One man who certainly does remember though, is recently-fired former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
Speaking on FS1 show First Thing’s First, Pagano sent a starc reminder to everyone of just how good the former Stanford standout is when he’s fully healthy and firing on all cylinders.
And, he even made a surprising admission about how Luck affected his tenure in Indy.
Pagano was fired at the end of the 2017 season after falling to a miserable 4-12 record without Luck and missing the playoffs for the third successive year.
The 57-year-old revealed a little bit about Luck’s recovery, including a positive outlook for Colts fans, before detailing just how important his QB was to his longevity in Indianapolis.
“He’s in a great place mentally. He’s in a great place physically.” Pagano said. “I expect Andrew to be the old Andrew, and come back and play great football this season and beyond. Obviously he’s got a lot of work to do. He’s got to get back on the grass. He’s got to start throwing the football. All those things. That’s going to happen.”
Whilst that does sound encouraging, one can’t help but think back to this time last year when similar noises were coming out of the camp yet Luck didn’t take the field once in 2017.
Additionally, Pagano’s knowledge of the 28-year-old’s recovery progress is not anything close to what it was when he was still the head coach, so his update shouldn’t be taken as the official word on the Colts QB.
He then admitted what many a fan, and analyst had known for a while; Luck saved his job on numerous occasions over their six-year working relationship.
“I love Andrew Luck. He got me more years than I probably deserved. He’s a phenom.” the former Ravens DC said.
It remains to be seen which Andrew Luck will be available to new head coach Frank Reich this season, but Pagano knows as well as anyone that if the veteran signal caller returns to the top of his game the Colts could be a dangerous team.