That's understandable since the quarterback is the Colts' franchise player.
But Luck's health, last week at least, wasn't at the top of the list of questions for Frank Reich.
The Colts' new head coach, according to general manager Chris Ballard, never asked about Luck’s health when he interviewed with the team last week.
“I had to volunteer it at the end,” Ballard said. “I said, ‘OK, let me give you an update where we’re at.’ He was good. He didn’t ask one time about Andrew.”
Ballard said he came away from that moment having even more confidence in Reich’s ability to be a head coach.
“Very confident man that he can get it done,” Ballard said of the former Eagles offensive coordinator, who helped guide Philadelphia to a Super Bowl title with backup Nick Foles under center. “He just did it with Nick. Nick is a good player. I was with Nick Foles in Kansas City. But they lose their franchise quarterback [in Philadelphia] and they don’t miss a beat. That shows me a man that’s very confident in his ability to develop and coach the quarterback position and develop an offense that can move with whoever’s under center."
Just like when Ballard was hired in January 2017, Reich made sure to point out that it’s not about one player during his introductory news conference. It’s about the entire team. That’s the first of many signs of cohesiveness between the general manager and head coach.
“This game isn’t built on any one player,” Reich said. “[Luck] is magical. He is special. He has unique traits and abilities that I respect as much as anybody. I can’t wait to work with him. But if we’re going to win a Super Bowl -- and that’s a plan -- it’s going to be about surrounding our whole team and about how we’re going to bring about the best in each other.”
It’s good that Reich has that mind frame because the uncertainty surrounding Luck and his availability continues to linger due to his ongoing right shoulder issues. Luck has gone from practicing with the Colts in October, to traveling to the Netherlands to rehab his shoulder, to now being in Southern California working with throwing experts. Ballard said Tuesday that there was no update on Luck’s status since he mentioned on Feb. 6 that the quarterback currently doesn’t need a second surgery on his shoulder.
“The key to make Andrew Luck magical is this is a team game,” Reich said. “As great as he is -- and I believe he’s the best -- this game, the reason that we all love this game, I just came off a team where we lost our franchise quarterback and still won the Super Bowl. So I know Andrew embraces it. This game isn’t built on any one player.”
The evidence of how Luck has been able to cover up so many of the Colts’ flaws was under the spotlight again last season. The Eagles finished fourth in total defense; the Colts finished 30th. The Eagles had the NFL's seventh-best offense; the Colts ranked 31st out of 32 teams. The Eagles gave up only 36 sacks; the Colts gave up a league-high 56 sacks.
If the Colts are going to have a competitive roster, they’ll have to spend their more than $80 million in salary-cap space wisely and they’ll have to draft well, starting with the No. 3 overall pick.
“There’s talent in the room and our job as leaders is to get the best talent, the most talented staff and to draw all of that out of them, to draw the best ideas,” Reich said. “That’s what I’ve always believed. That’s what we did in Philadelphia, and that’s what we’ll do here.”