Since he was drafted with the number 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck has never had continuity at the skills position, which makes what he has been able to accomplish in his sort career very impressive. However, that won’t be a problem this year because he will have continuity at the skills position for the first time in his career. Despite having a disastrous 2015 season, the Colts are expected to bounce back this year and have favorable NFL betting odds to win the AFC South.
This year, Luck has running back Frank Gore, wide receivers Donte Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton, tight ends Jack Doyle and Dwayne Allen all coming back, giving the offense some continuity, something they haven’t had in years.
In previous seasons, the team has rotated players at the skill positions. Guys like Andre Johnson, Trent Richardson, Hakeem Nicks, Donald Brown, and others have come and go, but this time around, Luck will see a lot of familiar faces in the huddle.
When speaking with reporters, Luck said the continuity was important to him especially after having to miss a lot of games like he did last year. The quarterback said having familiar faces, especially guys like Hilton and Allen, whom he has played with since entering the league, is very helpful. He also called it something that is very underappreciated in the league.
One of the reasons having continuity is good for Luck is the fact that he doesn’t have to worry about a player still trying to learn the system, and he already knows their strengths and tendencies.
The Colts had a lot of success during the Peyton Manning era because there was stability at the skills position. For most of his career in Indianapolis, Manning had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne to throw the ball to, which is why he and Harrison were able to break the record for most touchdowns from a quarterback to a receiver.
At the tight end position, Manning had Dallas Clark, who also played a big part in the team’s success.
Earlier in his career, Manning also had Edgerrin James, who was one of the best-running backs in franchise history before leaving for Arizona. Joseph Addai took James’ place in the lineup and helped the team win a Super Bowl.
When asked about the impact continuity had on his career, Manning told a story of a time he was in the huddle with Marvin Harrison, and they would recall a play from six seasons ago. Manning said when he asked Harrison about a game in Buffalo in 1999, Harrison knew exactly what he was talking about because they had great chemistry from playing together from the very start of their careers.
Luck is hoping to have the same type of continuity Manning had, but so far it hasn’t happened. Despite the lack of continuity, Luck has great chemistry with Hilton and Moncrief, who have been on the team since he was drafted.
The chemistry between Luck and his receivers is one of the reasons the team has been successful during his time in Indianapolis despite not having a real running game until last season when they signed Gore.