ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - Andrew Luck brought his revised to-do list to work on Tuesday.
Make better protection calls. Complete more passes. Get ready for his first NFL road test at Pittsburgh.
For now, it's short and simple.
"I think you just try and get better," Luck said Tuesday when Indianapolis returned to practice at Anderson University. "Obviously, it was nice to go out and play a game and do some good things, do some bad things."
Bad things? Good luck finding those in Sunday's 38-3 victory over St. Louis.
All Luck did in his first NFL game was go 10 of 16 for 188 yards with two touchdowns and a 142.6 quarterback rating, leading the Colts (No. 32 in AP Pro32) to their most lopsided preseason win since a 35-0 shellacking of Washington in 1966.
Since then, analysts and observers have spent countless hours heaping praise on the man who had been called the most NFL-ready quarterback since Peyton Manning entered the league in 1998. Luck lived up to the billing Sunday.
He was poised in the pocket, unflappable under pressure, mobile and in total command of what the play-calls used against the Rams.
The rave reviews aren't just coming from outsiders, either.
"I was surprised by his athletic ability and his decision-making as a rookie. His pocket-presence is very good," said Colts cornerback Justin King, who played in St. Louis when Sam Bradford was the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year. "We've seen he (Luck) can throw and we know he's smart, but with the live bullets coming, he responded very, very well."
Nobody understands better than Luck that it was only one game, and a preseason game at that. Rams players said they didn't give Luck many complicated looks, though they blitzed on the first play, which Luck beat with a short screen pass that Donald Brown turned into a 63-yard TD pass.
So on Monday, a day off, Luck was back in the office reviewing game tape to figure out where he can improve.
"I think I could have avoided getting hit a couple times, just seeing the pressure and throwing a lot, or changing the protection," he said. "So that's something hopefully we will get better at. And just completing more balls, you can always get better."
Two of the incompletions were throwaways. Three were drops.
Luck's real miss was one that caused him angst -- a ball he threw too high for offensive lineman Joe Reitz on a tackle-eligible play in the end zone. Afterward, Luck said jokingly that he owed Reitz about 20 steak dinners for the overthrow.
Otherwise, it was a near-perfect day.
"I know he'd like the pass to Joe Reitz back because Joe was open," coach Chuck Pagano said. "He did a great job moving around the pocket, feeling pressure. He landed on the carpet a couple of times but he was relatively clean. He had the blitz coming off the left side, spun out of that thing, there are obviously some things there that we'll look at and he'll look at."
Fortunately for Luck, he has offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to give him a hand. Arians helped three other highly-touted college quarterbacks make the transition to the NFL -- Manning, Tim Couch and Ben Roethlisberger.
Luck also has a veteran backup in Drew Stanton, who survived the 0-16 season in Detroit and then spent the next three seasons working with another No. 1 pick, Matthew Stafford.
Stanton's assessment: Luck's performance should have been no surprise to teammates, who had seen the same things from Luck over the past two weeks in training camp.
"One of the most refreshing things about him is his honesty, saying `I didn't see that or whatever,"' Stanton said of Luck. "Being able to change the protections or change things, he's done that very nicely."
The next big test comes Sunday night, when the Colts play on national television against one of the league's stingiest defenses -- an hour away from his parents' home in West Virginia. Luck's father, Oliver, is the Mountaineers' athletic director.
This week, Luck has plenty to work on.
The Steelers use a 3-4 defense and rely on zone blitzes, similar to the style Luck and the Colts' offense have had to contend with in practice, only this time, he'll have to do it in front of a hostile crowd waving Terrible Towels and trying to throw off his play calls.
Luck insists he'll be ready.
"It's the first road game, not knowing what to expect, so trying to pick some of the veterans' minds to prepare for that," he said. "But preparing for the noise, crowd noise, silent counts, whatever that may be."
Notes: Luck was 25 of 33 with two touchdowns and one interception in team drills Tuesday afternoon. ... The sister-in-law of Colts defensive linemen Fili Moala brought her Olympic gold medal to practice Tuesday. Tumua Annae was a goalie on the U.S. water polo team. ... A wet field forced the Colts to move Tuesday morning's walkthrough indoors. They were scheduled to be outside for a 2-hour, 10-minute practice Tuesday afternoon. ... Starting offensive guard Mike McGlynn sat out with
a sprained left ankle and backup linebacker Scott Lutrus watched from the sideline after tearing the ACL in his right knee. ... Defensive end Cory Redding returned to practice after hurting his left elbow during practice last week. ... Running back Mewelde Moore, who hurt his ribs in Sunday's victory, did not practice Tuesday but said he is feeling better.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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