QB-turned-tackler Andrew Luck draws high praise from Colts teammates after throwing INT

Jason Cole
Yahoo Sports

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you want to understand one of the fundamental differences why the Indianapolis Colts selected Andrew Luck over Robert Griffin III, Thursday was a tutorial.

Luck, 6-foot-4 and 234 pounds, is a man who can impose his will on a game even when things aren't going well. Griffin, 6-2, 217, is a man you're afraid will be imposed upon.

This is the fundamental, physical element to the game. Where Luck is built along the lines of a linebacker, Griffin is a sprinter. Sure, both can work, but the odds are that the linebacker is going to last longer.

View gallery

.

Andrew Luck emphatically celebrates one of his two second-quarter TD runs. (AP)

Luck showed that time and again in Indianapolis' most dominating win of its improbable season. The Colts improved to 6-3 on Thursday night at Everbank Field primarily because at the key moments of a 27-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Luck was willing to stick his nose where most quarterbacks fear to go.

Even more, some places where teammates prefer the quarterback not go.

Luck rushed for two touchdowns, ran for another first down and played a generally efficient game. He also showed off his toughness by attempting to make a tackle after throwing an interception in the second quarter.

It was a legitimate shot at Jaguars safety Dawan Landry, with Luck going low and hard at Landry. Luck even did it with anger.

"If I'm going to be the one who turns the ball over, I'm damn sure going to at least try and stop the guy," Luck said without a hint of a smile or chuckle.

"Oh, I know exactly what he was thinking after that interception," left tackle Anthony Castonzo said. "He was like, 'That mother effer, I'm going to go get him."

[Related: Dan Wetzel: Anonymous attacks and player polls in NFL must stop]

Bottom line, Luck is one tough hombre, not just a pretty boy quarterback who expects other people to do his dirty work or fix his mistakes. That was clear at Stanford, such as Luck's famous tackle of a USC defender after a turnover. Or the time he leveled a Cal safety on a scramble.

But Luck still went to a place Thursday evening most quarterbacks never venture. For anyone who has seen Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Dan Marino after an interception, going after a defender usually entails a couple of steps of a light jog and then a wave of the hands.

Luck is different and that's one of the things that endears him so quickly to teammates. Ultimately, that has helped the transition from Manning to the new era that has the Colts back in contention when most people thought this was going to be a rebuilding year.

That's why offensive and defensive guys alike seem drawn to Luck.

"Man, that was nice, that show of toughness," Colts backup linebacker Moise Fokou said. "You see the quarterback do that, take one for the team like that, it gets you fired up, knowing he's going to be just like the rest of us.

Fokou then smiled and said: "Just don't do it too much. Maybe once a year for the first couple of years. Then we'll show the tape every year to the new guys and say, 'Yeah, this is our guy, look at how tough he is.' "

Veteran defensive tackle Cory Redding, a man who is shaped more like the trunk of a redwood tree and has a deep voice to match, looked at Luck a different way – a way that most quarterbacks don't get viewed.

"He's a football player, not just a quarterback," Redding said. "He made a football play when he had to. He made a mistake, that happens. But when you make a mistake, you do something about it and he did."

Redding nodded appreciatively at Luck's everyman approach. Unquestionably, the Colts will need that type of attitude and effort if they're going to continue to make something out of this season. The Colts came into this short-week game without six injured starters, including defensive end/linebacker Robert Mathis. That's on top of the fact that coach Chuck Pagano is still out after being stricken with leukemia.

View gallery

.

Andrew Luck gets a clean pocket to look for a Colts target. (AP)

Of course, 1-8 Jacksonville is pretty easy prey right now. The Jaguars stopped the Colts on their first drive, but the Colts then reeled off three straight scores for a 17-0 lead. That score was improbable for a Colts team whose previous five wins were by a total of 19 points.

The scoring drives against Jacksonville weren't exactly pretty, but Luck did what was necessary. A week after his rookie record 433 yards passing last week, Luck wasn't quite as sharp with his throws. This time, he took to his feet. He scored on a 5-yard run early in the second quarter and then punched in a fourth-and-goal run from the 1 to end the next drive.

Bottom line, Luck not only has enough speed to be an effective runner, he has the willingness.

"I've always really liked that part of the game," Luck said later as he stood by his locker. For all his talents as a passer, Luck appreciates the grinder side of the game. At Stanford, he hung out with the offensive linemen and his infamous neck beard is anything but elegant.

[More: John Fox, Todd Haley can add to former bosses' misery]

This week, in honor of Pagano, who has lost his hair from cancer treatments, Colts players shaved their heads. For Luck and many of his teammates, this isn't a particularly good look.

"Not nice, not nice," interim coach and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said with a shudder of Luck's shaved dome. "I'm sure his mom is not real fired up about."

She's probably not too fired up about her baby making tackles, either.

But Luck's teammates sure are.

NFL video on Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
MLB won't alter its marijuana rules after pot news
Christian Ponder says girlfriend is not reason for Vikes' slide
Will Aqib Talib become Patriots' next major trade steal?
Y! Finance: The 20 smartest colleges in America

  • Woman sues Reds pitcher Simon, alleges sex assault

    Woman sues Reds pitcher Simon, alleges sex assault

    A woman who said Cincinnati Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon sexually assaulted her in a Washington hotel a year ago when the team was in town to play the Nationals is suing the player for $15 million. The woman, identified as Jane Doe, filed the civil … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Everest climbing season in disarray after deaths

    Nepal's attempts to salvage the Mount Everest climbing season took another hit Friday as more Sherpa mountain guides packed and left the base camp for their village homes a week after the deadliest disaster on the world's highest mountain. Their … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • Phelps loses to Lochte in 100 butterfly final at comeback meet in Arizona

    Phelps loses to Lochte in 100 butterfly final at comeback meet in Arizona

    MESA, Ariz. - Michael Phelps is 0 for 1 in his comeback to the pool. The 22-time Olympic medallist lost to Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix on Thursday night. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 13 minutes ago
  • Davis has 3 RBIs, Orioles beat Blue Jays 11-4

    Davis has 3 RBIs, Orioles beat Blue Jays 11-4

    TORONTO (AP) -- Chris Davis had two hits and three RBIs, Jonathan Schoop homered and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4 on Thursday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 21 minutes ago
  • Pacers vs. Hawks: Game 3

    Pacers vs. Hawks: Game 3

    Jeff Teague scores 22 points and dishes out 10 assists as the Hawks knock off the Pacers in Game 3. … More »

    NBA.com - 21 minutes ago
  • Hawks take 2-1 lead on top-seeded Pacers

    Hawks take 2-1 lead on top-seeded Pacers

    Jeff Teague flung in a wild 3-pointer after the officials missed him stepping out of bounds, and Kyle Korver finished off Indiana from beyond the arc to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 98-85 victory Thursday night and another lead in the series with the … More »

    AP - Sports - 22 minutes ago
  • Teague scores 22, Korver 20 to lead Hawks past top-seeded Pacers 98-85 for 2-1 lead in series

    Teague scores 22, Korver 20 to lead Hawks past top-seeded Pacers 98-85 for 2-1 lead in series

    ATLANTA - Jeff Teague flung in a wild 3-pointer after the officials missed him stepping out of bounds, and Kyle Korver finished off Indiana from beyond the arc to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 98-85 victory Thursday night and another lead in the … More »

    The Canadian Press - 22 minutes ago
  • Phelps beaten in first comeback final

    Phelps beaten in first comeback final

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX (Reuters) - Michael Phelps suffered a narrow loss to old rival Ryan Lochte in his comeback to competitive swimming on Thursday, but still showed enough to suggest he will be a force to be reckoned with. Racing for the … More »

    Reuters - 28 minutes ago
  • Martin shoots course record 62, leads by two in New Orleans

    (Reuters) - Ben Martin fired a course record 10-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the $6.8 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday. Martin made light of gusting afternoon winds to reel off 10 birdies, capped … More »

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago
  • Toronto Blue Jays fall back to .500 mark after 11-4 loss to Baltimore Orioles

    TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays wasted a quality start by Drew Hutchison and fell back to the .500 mark by dropping an 11-4 decision to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night at Rogers Centre. Hutchison worked six solid innings and left the game … More »

    The Canadian Press - 30 minutes ago
  • Conley's High Scoop Shot

    Conley's High Scoop Shot

    Mike Conley drives to the basket and sinks an amazing shot. … More »

    NBA.com - 38 minutes ago
  • Prince Down the Lane

    Prince Down the Lane

    Tayshaun Prince drives the lane for the finger-roll finish. … More »

    NBA.com - 39 minutes ago
  • Trip Tips: Brazil's beachless metropolis is a foodie's paradise

    Trip Tips: Brazil's beachless metropolis is a foodie's paradise

    By Todd Benson SAO PAULO (Reuters) - If your idea of Brazil is beaches and bikinis, São Paulo is not the place to go. But if you're a seasoned traveler who tends to shun traditional tourism hot spots for urban adventures off the beaten trail, then … More »

    Reuters - 39 minutes ago
  • Swimming-Phelps beaten in first comeback final

    * Phelps narrowly beaten by Lochte in comeback race * Still satisfied with return despite loss * Qualifies for national titles later this year (Updates after final) By Julian Linden PHOENIX, April 24 (Reuters) - Michael Phelps suffered a narrow … More »

    Reuters - 42 minutes ago
  • Golf-Martin shoots course record 62, leads by two in New Orleans

    Ben Martin fired a course record 10-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the $6.8 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday. Martin made light of gusting afternoon winds to reel off 10 birdies, capped off by a … More »

    Reuters - 46 minutes ago
  • Blatter wants to revive 6+5 proposal

    Blatter wants to revive 6+5 proposal

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants to revive his so-called 6+5 proposal which would force clubs to field at least six players from their own country. The idea won the backing of the FIFA Congress in 2008 but was ditched after it fell foul of … More »

    Reuters - 50 minutes ago
  • Fresno St. finalizes DeRuyter extension

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter has signed a contract extension that runs through 2018 worth at least $7.5 million. … More »

    AP - Sports - 51 minutes ago
  • Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet

    Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet

    Michael Phelps is 0 for 1 in his comeback to the pool. The 22-time Olympic medalist lost to Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix on Thursday night. Phelps took second in 52.13 in his first meet since retiring after … More »

    AP - Sports - 52 minutes ago
  • The day Senna grabbed F1's attention

    The day Senna grabbed F1's attention

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - While Formula One remembers Ayrton Senna on the 20th anniversary of his death at Imola, happier memories of another race 10 years earlier highlight just why the great Brazilian is still so sorely missed. The 1984 … More »

    Reuters - 54 minutes ago
  • Senna's simple grave a magnet for fans 20 years on

    Senna's simple grave a magnet for fans 20 years on

    By Andrew Downie SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Ayrton Senna is as discreet in death as he was lively in life. The last resting place of Brazil's most charismatic Formula One champion is marked by a brass plaque on a circular lawn, surrounded by almost … More »

    Reuters - 56 minutes ago
  • Ayrton Senna's Formula One career

    Ayrton Senna's Formula One career

    (Reuters) - May 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Brazil's triple Formula One champion Ayrton Senna in the San Marino Grand Prix at Italy's Imola circuit. The following details the main points of his career: - - - - * Born Ayrton Senna … More »

    Reuters - 58 minutes ago
  • Ryan Nelsen sympathetic to Moyse, believes fired Man U boss will succeed elsewhere

    TORONTO - Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen was quick to offer sympathy — and support — to fired Manchester United boss David Moyes. "He's very good at what he does," Nelsen said Thursday after practice. "And what (Roberto) Martinez is doing at … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
  • Teague Beats the Buzzer

    Teague Beats the Buzzer

    Jeff Teague drains an amazing 3-pointer during the fourth quarter. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
  • Wings' Zetterberg in lineup vs. Bruins

    Wings' Zetterberg in lineup vs. Bruins

    Henrik Zetterberg is in the lineup for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins. Jonas Gustavsson is, too. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters that doctors would ultimately decide if Zetterberg could play Thursday night … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
  • Westbrook for Three

    Westbrook for Three

    Russell Westbrook comes off the screen to drain his first three-pointer of the game. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 16 minutes ago
  • Korver's Big Three

    Korver's Big Three

    Kyle Korver gets fouled and buries a 3-pointer from the wing. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 18 minutes ago
  • Martin shoots course-record 62 at Zurich

    Martin shoots course-record 62 at Zurich

    A few weeks ago, Ben Martin had missed seven of eight cuts and figured he'd better make some changes. On Thursday, Martin treated a tiny late-afternoon gallery to a course-record round, shooting a 10-under 62 in the first round of the Zurich … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 21 minutes ago
  • Udrih Sinks the Leaner

    Udrih Sinks the Leaner

    Beno Udrih sinks the leaning jumper off the screen by Marc Gasol. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 25 minutes ago
  • Perkins Sits On Miller

    Perkins Sits On Miller

    Kendrick Perkins sits on top of Mike Miller during the second quarter. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 25 minutes ago
  • Golf-U.S. PGA Tour New Orleans Classic scores

    April 25 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour New Orleans Classic at the par-72 course on Thursday in Avondale, Louisiana 62 Ben Martin (U.S.) 62 64 Andrew Svoboda (U.S.) 64 65 Peter Hanson (Sweden) 65 Noh Seung-Yul (South Korea) 65 … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 28 minutes ago
  • Imola still a shock 20 years on for Hill

    Imola still a shock 20 years on for Hill

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - When Damon Hill casts his mind back 20 years to the Imola weekend that claimed the lives of team mate Ayrton Senna and Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, it is with a sense of almost disbelief. "I hardly got a chance … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 33 minutes ago
  • Former world downhill champion Kucera retires

    (Reuters) - John Kucera, the first Canadian man to win an alpine ski world championship downhill title, announced his retirement on Thursday following a string of injuries. The highlight of Kucera's racing career came in 2009 when he was the … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 35 minutes ago
  • Ex-Maryland C Cleare signs with Texas

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Former Maryland center Shaquille Cleare has signed to play the rest of his college basketball for Texas. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 35 minutes ago
  • Jackson to Ibaka

    Jackson to Ibaka

    Reggie Jackson lobs to Serge Ibaka coming off the pick and roll for the alley-oop slam. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 38 minutes ago
  • Search for safety has IndyCar going in circles

    By Steve Keating TORONTO (Reuters) - While an entire generation of Formula One fans has grown up without knowing the emotional trauma of a racing death, followers of IndyCar have been constantly reminded about the ultimate price some drivers must … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 41 minutes ago
  • For Mosley, safety is Senna's lasting legacy

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - It has been 20 years since Formula One last suffered a driver fatality but that milestone, an achievement that would once have stretched credulity, will get less attention than the anniversary of Ayrton Senna's … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 41 minutes ago
  • Golf-European Tour China Open scores

    April 25 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the European Tour China Open at the par-72 course on Friday in Shenzhen 67 Alvaro Quiros (Spain) 67 Simon Dyson (Britain) 67 68 Tyrrell Hatton (Britain) 68 Adrian Otaegui (Spain) 68 David Horsey (Britain) … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 41 minutes ago
  • FACTBOX - Ayrton Senna's Formula One career

    (Reuters) - May 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Brazil's triple Formula One champion Ayrton Senna in the San Marino Grand Prix at Italy's Imola circuit. The following details the main points of his career: - - - - * Born Ayrton Senna … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 45 minutes ago
  • FACTBOX- Imola 1994, Formula One's tragic weekend

    (Reuters) - Formula One is remembering Brazilian Ayrton Senna and Austrian Roland Ratzenberger on the 20th anniversary of their deaths in 1994 at the San Marino Grand Prix at Italy's Imola circuit. Triple champion Senna had started on pole position … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 45 minutes ago
  • Imola remembers Senna 20 years after fatal crash

    Imola remembers Senna 20 years after fatal crash

    By Isla Binnie IMOLA, Italy (Reuters) - Twenty years after Ayrton Senna died at Imola's race track, the town is gearing up to honor a Formula One driver it remembers as much for his charity and charisma as his three world championship wins. I … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 45 minutes ago