A seldom-talked about facet of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s game that the Carolina Panthers will keep a close watch on Monday night is the fourth-year quarterback’s ability to run the ball.
At 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Luck has been known for most of his career as a prototypical quarterback. But in reality, Luck is anything but a statue in the pocket.
“He’s one of those guys that he’s a dual threat guy more than people think,” Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said. “They think of him as a dropback guy who can run around when he needs to. He’s an athletic guy and can make a lot happen.”
Luck has been among the top eight rushing quarterbacks since entering the league in 2012. And despite missing two games this year, Luck ranks seventh in the league among quarterbacks with 127 rushing yards this season.
He doesn’t run as much, or with as much authority, as Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Newton is second in the league among quarterbacks this year with 54 rushes for 245 yards.
But Luck is very instinctive when it comes to pulling the ball down and taking off. In fact, the two had identical 4.59-second 40-yard dashes at their respective combines, and numbers from some of the other drills were close, as well.
“Andrew Luck’s a player very similar to our guy,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “He has the ability to tuck it and run. He’s a great athlete. He’s got a great arm. He can make all the throws. People talk about he’s a good decision maker. I like their style of offense, it’s very similar to ours. They don’t run as much, as far as the quarterback called runs, but they have that ability because he’s such a good athlete.”