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#pounditSaturday, May 8, 2021

Articles tagged: Andrew Luck

Colts coach Frank Reich says Andrew Luck did the ‘honorable thing’

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck may have angered Indianapolis Colts fans by deciding just weeks before the start of the regular season that he no longer wants to play football, but his teammates and coaches have made it clear that there are no hard feelings.

While speaking with reporters on Monday, Colts head coach Frank Reich said he gave an “emphatic no” when someone asked him if there is a sense that Luck let the team down. He also praised Luck for doing the “honorable thing” by not continuing with his playing career if he was less than 100 percent committed.

Luck has faced plenty of unfair criticism since he made his shocking decision, some of which came in the form of boos from Colts fans during Saturday night’s preseason game. However, everyone in the Colts organization has done nothing but wish him well.

The majority of the NFL community seems to share the same opinion that Aaron Rodgers has about Luck’s retirement and the way it has been received. Luck has dealt with numerous significant injuries and said the constant rehab took away his love for the game. Coaches and players can certainly understand that.

Josh McDaniels avoids question about Andrew Luck retirement

Josh McDaniels

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich is the man who will have to keep things moving smoothly after the abrupt retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck. The role could have very easily fallen to Josh McDaniels instead.

The New England Patriots offensive coordinator had an agreement to take over as coach of the Colts prior to the 2018 season before pulling out at the very last moment. On Monday, he was asked if he felt he’d dodged a bullet in light of Luck’s retirement, which could have very easily been his problem.

It’s sort of a non-answer, but there is no good answer to that question. McDaniels isn’t going to say how lucky he feels to avoid a potentially difficult situation that he likely didn’t see coming when he thought he was taking the Indianapolis job. Even when Luck was playing and healthy, he didn’t voice any regrets. He’s not going to start now.

Aaron Rodgers felt ‘disgust’ over how Andrew Luck retirement was handled

Aaron Rodgers

Many NFL players have spoken out against Indianapolis Colts fans for booing quarterback Andrew Luck after word leaked of his impending retirement during the team’s preseason game. Aaron Rodgers agrees — but he also wasn’t happy that the news leaked the way it did in the first place.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback admitted he felt “a little disgust” over how the Luck retirement was handled, between word leaking out during the game and the fans’ response to it.

“A little disgust, maybe, at the way that it was handled,” Rodgers told Adam Schein of Mad Dog Sports Radio. “Him getting booed, the word leaking out the way that it did, I thought that was a little disgusting. Because here’s a guy who’s making a quality of life decision, and he’s given a lot to the game. He’s not the 15-year vet, but he’s put himself through a ton just to get back on the field.

“I think he should be championed and appreciated and given the praise he’s due for making a decision that’s in the best interests of himself and his wife and his family, for his own personal quality of life. … I think what he did was actually very unselfish. He could be on IR, and then he’s cashing a paycheck from the Colts without playing.”

Rodgers makes a great point about how word leaked out about Luck’s decision. The original plan was for an announcement to come Sunday, but he was forced to make the announcement after the game when word leaked out. Because of that leak, Colts fans had an ugly moment. That leak was unfair to Luck and should not have happened.

Patriots clarify Bill Belichick’s remarks on Andrew Luck retirement

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shared what seemed like a very spiteful or — at the very least — surprising comment on Monday about Andrew Luck’s retirement, but apparently the remarks were misinterpreted.

When a reporter asked Belichick about Luck calling it a career, one of the things he said about it was that he “didn’t see that.” Many took that to mean Belichick was claiming he had no idea Luck retired. However, the Patriots have clarified that the coach meant he “didn’t see that coming.”

That makes a lot more sense. Belichick is so monotonous when speaking with the media that it’s difficult to decipher what he means sometimes, and it seems absurd even for him to claim he missed one of the biggest NFL stories in years. He’s also a six-time Super Bowl champion who prides himself on being as prepared as possible, so it would be shocking if he was unaware that one of the best quarterbacks in the AFC retired.

Belichick has been in peak form over the past few weeks with the way he is dealing with the media, but it turns out spiteful Belichick wasn’t at his worst (best?) when talking about Luck.

Bill Belichick claims he didn’t know Andrew Luck retired

Bill Belichick

Andrew Luck making the shocking decision to retire at age 29 sent the sports world into a frenzy over the weekend, but New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick claims he somehow missed the news that one of the best quarterbacks in the AFC has called it a career.

On Monday, a reporter asked Belichick if he has any thoughts on Luck’s retirement. The three-time Coach of the Year claimed he “didn’t see it” but said he respects the decision.

That is classic Belichick, and almost no one is going to believe he was unaware Luck had retired until a reporter asked him about it. You don’t win six Super Bowls as the head coach of a team by being that oblivious, and Belichick is a master at playing coy. The Patriots also have a long and tense history with the Colts in large part because of the Deflategate scandal, so that could have been Belichick’s way of trying to make them sound irrelevant.

Either way, he almost certainly knew. Belichick has already been in peak form in recent days with the way he has dealt with the media, and this is just the latest example of that.

UPDATE: The Patriots have clarified Belichick’s remarks about Luck.

Tom Brady shares his thoughts on Andrew Luck’s retirement

Tom Brady

Andrew Luck was supposed to be the king of the NFL when guys like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees became too old to play, but the former Indianapolis Colts star shocked the world when he called it quits at age 29. That makes his career drastically different from Brady’s, but the 42-year-old certainly understands.

In his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” Monday morning, Brady defended Luck’s right to travel whatever path he chooses.

“It is his life. Everyone has the right to choose what they want to do. He had a great career and he was a great player,” Brady said. “Everybody wishes they could be healthy all the time. It is a contact sport and he’s certainly had his fair share of injuries, so guys retire at different times. Some at the end of the season, and I have seen a lot of guys retire before the season gets going and this is just one of those examples.”

Brady was asked how he has been able to play 20 seasons in the NFL, and he said there are both physical and emotional elements to it. He credited his outstanding support group for giving him the strength to keep going even at his age and with all he has accomplished.

“It feels great when you have that support because a football season is like a marathon,” Brady added. “There’s moments where it is very challenging whether it’s physically, emotionally, or mentally — you need somebody to help you push through the hard parts because it’s not all easy.”

Luck dealt with numerous injuries during his career, and you can’t fault him for deciding it was no longer worth it. We have already seen some big name players come forward and support his decision, which is not a surprise. Those who have played in the NFL understand the physical and mental toll it can take on an individual, and Luck is not the first superstar to walk away from that at a young age.

Troy Aikman rips into Doug Gottlieb over Andrew Luck tweet

Doug Gottlieb

Andrew Luck has been the target of plenty of unfair criticism since he made the shocking decision to retire from football over the weekend, but one of the most absurd takes came from Doug Gottlieb. Troy Aikman, who works for the same company as Gottlieb, had no problem unloading on the former college basketball player.

Not long after Luck announced his retirement, Gottlieb sent an idiotic tweet about the Colts quarterback being too much of a millennial to handle a difficult rehab process.

Aikman suffered numerous concussions during his career as a Dallas Cowboys quarterback and retired due to a back injury, so he can understand what Luck is going through like few others. Aikman is also the lead analyst for NFL games on FOX. Gottlieb hosts a show on FOX Sports Radio and appears on FOX Sports 1. Aikman blasted Gottlieb and even took a shot at FS1 while he was at it.

“That’s total bulls— Doug,” Aikman wrote on Twitter. “What qualifies you to decide how someone should live their life? So you’re now the authority on what motivates Andrew Luck? And if his decisions don’t fit into what you think is best for him then you rip him? Guess that keeps you employed on FS1. Nice.”

The way Colts fans treated Luck as he walked off the field on Saturday was bad, but Gottlieb’s tweet was worse. Of course, as Aikman mentioned, it’s the type of hot take that keeps someone like Gottlieb employed. The more attention it gets, the better — even if that attention is almost exclusively negative.

Ex-Colts coach Chuck Pagano pays tribute to Andrew Luck

Chuck Pagano

Former Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano joined the organization in the same year it drafted quarterback Andrew Luck first overall, so it’s fair to say the pair’s fates intertwined quite a bit during their NFL careers.

With Luck’s retirement, Pagano, now defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears, stopped to pay tribute to his longtime quarterback in a statement. In it, Pagano said Luck’s decision took “great courage,” and the ex-coach would “forever be a huge Andrew Luck fan.”

Luck and Pagano were quite successful together, at least initially. They made the playoffs three times in their first three years together, which culminated in an AFC Championship appearance in 2014. Things went downhill after that, and Pagano was fired after the conclusion of the 2017 season, a year Luck missed due to injury.

It’s pretty safe to say that Pagano does not share Colts’ fans’ reaction to Luck’s retirement. Perhaps the fans will come around to his point of view.

Dez Bryant explains why he identifies with Andrew Luck

Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant has had terrible luck with injuries since being released by the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, but those experiences have helped him understand Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck’s decision to retire.

Bryant, who is currently unsigned, was one of many NFL players to praise Luck after the quarterback retired Saturday. Bryant added that he understood Luck’s decision “100%.”

When one fan doubted whether Bryant would actually pass up $58 million, Bryant claimed he’d turned down $30 million from the Baltimore Ravens because he hadn’t felt that he could live up to that.

Bryant is referring to the 2018 offseason following his release from Dallas. At the time, it was reported that he turned down a multi-year offer from the Ravens, preferring to find a one-year deal.

Bryant may understand even better now. He didn’t land with a team until over halfway through the 2018 season. Then, two days after signing with the New Orleans Saints, he tore his Achilles. It’s safe to say that he would understand better than most just how much injuries can mess up a career, and why one might simply take the money they’ve saved and move on to other things when the physical toll becomes a major factor.

Jerry Jones hopes Andrew Luck becomes president of the US

Andrew Luck frothing

Andrew Luck announced his shocking decision to retire from football on Saturday, and most people are confident he will find success no matter what path he chooses in life. Jerry Jones believes Luck has what it takes to be one of the most powerful men in the world.

Jones was asked about Luck’s abrupt retirement after the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason game on Saturday night, and to say he has high hopes for the former No. 1 overall pick would be a huge understatement.

“To step back away from this thing, I honor him. I think a lot of his family, I think a lot of his father, I think a lot of what he’s brought to football and wish him nothing but the very best,” Jones said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “I hope he becomes President of the United States.”

Luck is extremely intelligent. He graduated from Stanford in 2012 with a degree in architectural design, so there is plenty he can do outside of football. He’s also only 29.

All that said, we tend to doubt Luck is going to explore the possibility of becoming the president of the US. He’s not exactly experienced in that department, and the mental stress of running for president would probably rival the physical stress of playing football.

Luck made plenty of money during his NFL career — even if it was an abbreviated one. The Indianapolis Colts are also doing what they can to make sure he is as financially set as possible. Luck should have plenty of options if he wants to start another career.