Andrew Luck: “I want to earn it on the field before doing too much off the field.”

Andrew Luck spoke on a conference with Bay Area reporters call Wednesday morning. Here is a transcript.

Q: What’s it like being in preparation mode knowing that the people on the other sideline know you very well?

LUCK: I’ve given it a little bit of thought but I don’t think it changes anything from my end. I’m not going to change how I prepare or the process because it’s Coach Harbaugh and Coach Roman and Coach Fangio over there. It’ll be sort of fun I guess to see those guys. I’m very fortunate to have played under them in college. They taught me so much about football growing up but at the end of the day it will be just another game.

Q: When a defense game plans against you, they try to exploit any weaknesses they might find. Are you curious to see how they approach you?

LUCK: I wouldn’t say necessarily me. I’m curious how they’re going to approach us as an offense from a defensive standpoint. But that’s every week. I don’t know if it’s going to be any more this week just because it’s Coach Fangio or Harbaugh.

Q: You know their defensive schemes pretty well I would think. Is there carryover from the Stanford days? Do you feel you have a good understanding of what they’re trying to accomplish?

LUCK: There is some carryover, the basic shape of everything. But this is a different ballgame. The players on the Niners’ D are unbelievable, a lot of Pro Bowl players out there, a lot of studs. We know we’re going to have our hands incredibly full with them.

Q: We always heard the Stanford playbook was incredibly complex. How does it compare with the Colts’ playbook?

LUCK: It’s fairly similar. Complex, yes, in some ways, and in some ways it’s simple. It allows guys to play fast.

Q: Has it been good to have stability with Pep Hamilton who coached you at Stanford?

LUCK: Yeah, it’s been very nice to have Pep come in. Obviously, you don’t want to lose a coach when you’ve had a little success, but if anyone deserved a head job it was BA (Bruce Arians). I’m grateful I got to play for him, but having Pep come was phenomenal, couldn’t have asked for anything more. The learning curve of having to learn a new offense was shortened incredibly. The ability to help guys learn the offense I think helped as well.

Q: Would it be fair to say you and Jim Harbaugh are where you are today because of each other?

LUCK: I can’t speak for Coach Harbaugh but I definitely feel like he helped me get to where I am. He obviously turned Stanford around, his efforts probably more than anybody. That was a big part of me having some success was being able to play at a well-run program and a well-coached football team. I would definitely attribute a lot of where I am to the positive impact that he’s had on me.

Q: Do you envy the read-option quarterbacks and think, “Hey, I can do that.”?

LUCK: I know I can’t do that. I’m definitely not athletic enough. There are some unbelievable athletes in the NFL but I try to make do with what my parents and God gave me and work hard.

Q: Do you remember the first time you met Colin Kaepernick?

LUCK: Yeah, I believe the first time I met him – my memory is a little hazy – but probably at the Manning Passing Camp before my junior year at Stanford. I was very impressed with him. Obviously he’s big, strong, an incredible-looking athlete. But he’s a great guy, easy to get along with. I doubt you find anybody who has a bad word to say about him.

Q: And did you go back and tell Coach Harbaugh about him?

LUCK: I’m sure I did. I must have said something because I remember people talking about that as a story when he got drafted but I don’t remember a specific conversation to that point.

Q: What jumped out to you at that Manning Passing Academy about Kaepernick?

LUCK: He’s a nice guy. He’s easy to get along with, no attitude, no ego about anything. And then when you see him throw, you realize, “Oh my gosh, this guy’s arm is incredible, what I live arm.”

Q: Vic Fangio was saying at Stanford you would occasionally pop into his office and ask questions and want to know more about certain subjects. Were you just trying to get a defensive perspective? What were you hoping to gain from him?

LUCK: I wish I had paid more attention to those conversations now I guess. Coach Fangio was a great coach when I was at Stanford. Guys really loved him. He did so much for our defense there. His door was always open for anybody to come and talk to him. Every now and then I would have the opportunity to walk in and say hi. They whooped our butts every now and then in practice, and just figure out why is the defense doing so well? What are our weaknesses? What are my weaknesses? He was always very accommodating and very patient with probably what seemed to be a young, sort of brat, snot-nose quarterback coming in and trying to learn a little bit about defense.

Q: Is that something you’ve done with coaches throughout your career?

LUCK: Yeah, I definitely try and I think you find a lot of players that do. Quarterbacks, anybody. Wide receivers talking to the DB coach and vice versa because there are so many great coaches around college, around the NFL that I think it’s important to pick the minds of them and see what knowledge you can glean from it.

Q: Did you watch the 49ers’ game against the Seahawks? If you did, was the 49ers’ offense recognizable to you?

LUCK: I didn’t watch any of the game really. It was sort of on in the background. I didn’t quite watch it. From the games I have watched the past couple years going back to Coach Harbaugh’s first year with the Niners, there are some things that you recognize and some things that change – personnel always has a lot to do with what Coach Roman is dialing up.

Q: There is a very good rivalry brewing, Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin have said some stuff about Coach Harbaugh. Do you have anything insights into that dynamic of Sherman and Baldwin and your former coach?

LUCK: No, I don’t. I’ve got enough to worry about on our end. What happens between them happens between them. It’s none of my business.

Q: What is your stance on endorsements?

LUCK: I’m definitely not against endorsements. I’m trying to do things that make sense, that fit, that I use in my life so I don’t have to lie when endorsing a product.

Q: What are some that you do endorse?

LUCK: Clips is an audio company in Indiana. Body Armor is an athletic fitness drink. I did some stuff with Quaker and Nike as well.

Q: Are you hesitant to get too much exposure too early in your career? Is that something that’s in the back of your head?

LUCK: I want to earn it on the field before doing too much off the field. I didn’t have much time in the offseason of my rookie year to engage in that because I was finishing school. There are a bunch of different factors.

Q: What’s your impression of the 49ers’ defense?

LUCK: They’re good all-around, especially they’re front-seven. The guys upfront are big, strong, tough guys that can cause havoc.

ME: How well does Vic Fangio know Pep Hamilton’s offense? Do you have to change anything like audibles?

LUCK: Pep probably has a better answer for you there. They’ve been a couple of years removed. We’re not going to blatantly call out plays that he would know. We’ll go out and play football and not worry too much about that.

, , , , , ,
  1. I hated Stanford and thought Luck was spoiled and overrated. Since joining the NFL though, and hearing him speak, and watching how he handles himself, I’ve been very impressed.
    It’s a testament to his parents and his upbringing. The young man is humble, eager to learn, and has a drive for perfection. I wish more athletes mirrored his professionalism.
    I’m picking SF in this one. 31 to 17

  2. Really want to see Luck do well, after his next game that is. Seems like a really nice guy and he did play for a NorCal team Stanford so I have to root for him. Don’t let his modesty fool you he is a much better athlete than he lets on or others believe him to be. I think he is just reinforcing his image of a none athlete so that he burn surprise and burn teams with that non existent athleticism.

  3. I love how this blog works so hard at making itself feel better after a huge loss in Seattle. It’s like the entire blog sweeps the loss under the rug and moves on. But here’s something to think about – Seattle getting home field advantage through out the playoffs. In my mind, if they get home field, they win the Super Bowl because the Broncos just lost Ryan Clady for the year.

    Last year, when the 49ers played the Seahawks at the Stick, the 49ers won 13-6. However, that was only Russell Wilson’s 7th overall game in the NFL. In addition, and we can all testify to this – this 2013 49ers defense isn’t nearly as good as the ’11 or ’12 model… that’s for sure. So Russell and his offense are on the incline, while Justin and his defense are on the decline. If Jim Harbaugh doesn’t switch to a passing offense and dump the power run with ancient Frank Gore, Seattle will beat the 49ers at Candlestick, AND that will mean a probable division crown and likely home field advantage through out the playoffs for Seattle. I know you guys come here to feel good about the 49ers, but right now Jim Harbaugh is at a crossroads and the 49er fan base should help push Jim away from Bo Schembeckler and more towards Bill Walsh. Jim needs to pass to setup the run against the Seahawks at Candlestick.

    1. The second Jim Harbaugh changes a single thing he does because of fans posting on a 49er blog he should be fired instantaneously.

      This may come as news to you but you don’t have any control over the 49ers offensive or defensive scheme. Zero, Zip, Zilch. There is nothing you, I, or anyone else can do to change what happens on the field. So I say, you should let this loss go and enjoy the season. Worry about what you can control, and this ain’t it.

    2. Spitblood i half agree with you if seattle gets home field advantage they will make it to the super bowl there isnt a team in football that can beat this seattle team with that noise level advantage.
      Where we differ is i see them getting destroyed in the SB take away their noise advantage and they are not a SB team. Thats why i think the 9ers will handle them at home by 7 or more points.

    3. And I love how some guy on a message board thinks he’s got all the answers to the teams problems. I always get a kick out of people like you spitblood. Please continue to enthrall us with your wisdom.

      1. Grant:

        To be fair, rocket isn’t prone to writing comments or articles suggesting that he knows better than the highly competent and successful professionals currently running the team.

        For that reason, he isn’t the pot to Spitblood’s and your kettles.

      2. Grant,

        You are the King of second guess journalism. You say you don’t think you know better, yet come in here and declare that a players legs are gone. Do you honestly think the Niners would keep throwing him out there if they thought his legs were gone?

        Holding the team accountable is one thing; looking for reasons to criticize and being disingenuous at times while doing it, is another.

        Thanks for having my back Claude. You are a good man.

        1. All you do is call names. It’s juvenile. How do you know the coaches don’t see Gores legs are gone? They don’t have any other good options right now.

      3. I don’t suggest I know better …

        Sure you do. Not always, but often enough for me and others to notice.

        … but I know enough to hold them accountable and identify issues before they’re obvious

        For what should they be held accountable? Getting to the conference championship twice and the Super Bowl once in Harbaugh’s first two years as coach? Stocking the team with talent for a possible extended run as a regular contender? (I realize that it is too early to conclude that will happen, but the signs are encouraging.) I don’t see how anyone can say with any objectivity that Harbaugh and Baalke’s performance thus far has been disappointing. The team isn’t going 16-0, so it isn’t reasonable to draw too many conclusions from individual games.

        I don’t have a problem with questioning decisions, noting apparent problems, identifying potential issues, suggesting solutions or even expressing contrary opinions, but that isn’t what you do. In the articles I am thinking of, you lecture, state your opinions as if they are conclusively settled fact, refuse to acknowledge contrary facts and generally come across as if you think you know as much about football (including strategy) as, if not more than, the team’s decision makers. And while you clearly have a good mind and clearly put some thought into what you write, that approach often undermines your arguments.

      4. Damned html.

        don’t suggest I know better …

        Sure you do. Not always, but often enough for me and others to notice.

        … but I know enough to hold them accountable and identify issues before they’re obvious.

        For what should they be held accountable? Getting to the conference championship twice and the Super Bowl once in Harbaugh’s first two years as coach? Stocking the team with talent for a possible extended run as a regular contender? (I realize that it is too early to conclude that will happen, but the signs are encouraging.) I don’t see how anyone can say with any objectivity that Harbaugh and Baalke’s performance thus far has been disappointing. The team isn’t going 16-0, so it isn’t reasonable to draw too many conclusions from individual games.

        I don’t have a problem with questioning decisions, noting apparent problems, identifying potential issues, suggesting solutions or even expressing contrary opinions, but that isn’t what you do. In the articles I am thinking of, you lecture, state your opinions as if they are conclusively settled fact, refuse to acknowledge contrary facts and generally come across as if you think you know as much about football (including strategy) as, if not more than, the team’s decision makers. And while you clearly have a good mind and clearly put some thought into what you write, that approach often undermines your arguments.

      5. Saying you are the King of Second guess journalism is calling you a name Grant? Surely you can’t be that thin skinned…and no I’m not calling you Shirley.

        Don’t start getting sensitive on me. Getting called out on things you say in here is part of the job. You called me out on Tom Gamble and I agreed I screwed up remember? If you are going to have an opinion and extreme ones at that, you are going to take flack when they go sideways, myself included.

        The reason I labeled you that way is because you always come in here and say what the team should have done after the fact. We can all do that, any idiot that knows nothing about the game can do that (not calling you an idiot so chill). What I’d like to see from you is accountability on what you do throw out here. You have said a number of things that are disingenuous lately and have included partial information to try and back yourself up. You should be better than that Grant. Either way I’ll keep being the arrogant SOB you dubbed me as because too many people on this blog speak without knowledge and information and I refuse to sit by and allow it to go unchallenged.

        1. Now you’re calling me thin-skinned and sensitive. You call me disingenuous every day. Name calling is your MO. You’re better than that.

          I’m not disingenuous. I put my real name in front of every thing I write. You don’t, “Rocket.”

          And I’m not a Monday morning QB. I was ahead of the curve on the 49ers switching from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick. I was ahead of the curve on the 49ers’ play clock issues. I was ahead of the curve on the 49ers’ need for a cornerback. Now I’m ahead of the curve on Gore. My track record is pretty good. I identify issues early and I follow through. That’s the opposite of Monday-morning QBing.

      6. Grant,

        “All you do is call names.”

        At the risk of having your wrath directed at me, calling someone a name is something Rocket rarely does.

        And it’s certainly not all he does. You have to admit, that was a false statement you made.

      7. Jack,

        IMO, Grant, at times, uses stats selectively, but not the most accurately, to bolster his positions. He may do this intentionally or unintentionally, I don’t know, but it seems to happen pretty regularly.

        For example, he contended the 49ers’ defense was dominated by the Seahawks and used their rushing yards total to illustrate his point. Meanwhile, the Seahawks were held to under 300 yards of offense.

        Grant completely missed the mitigating facts in his analysis that led him to state the 49ers defense was dominated.

        For instance, 13 of the seahawks points were scored on “drives” of 2, 6 and 17 yards. Even on such short fields, the only time Seattle could muster a TD was when the hawks got the ball on the 49ers’ two yard line, when the game was out of reach and the 49er defense had to be worn out.

        On the other two short field drives the defense held Seattle to FGs. Not only does that not point to a bad defense, I would suggest it shows just how good the defense is.

        On top of that, 2 more of the seahawks’ poinst were scored by the 49ers’ offense.

        If not for a dumb personal foul penalty on AS and an unfortunate face mask penalty on AB, the hawks would’ve been limited to 3 points, instead of 14, on what were their two long scoring drives.

        If I were a Seahawk fan I would be celebrating the win, but all the while I’d have the gnawing realization that my team got a ton of help from the 49ers and maybe a little from the refs, too, and that things might be quite different in December.

      8. Ex,

        Those were two long drives given up by the defense in the 3rd quarter to put the game away. The first one in particular. On that posession the Seahawks had a 13 yard run by Turbin, to go with an 8 and 14 yard run by Lynch. Sure the facemask penalty gave it additional life, but the defense should not be given a break for incurring a penalty. Yes they should have been able to hold them to only a field goal but they couldn’t. The Seahawks were called for a penalty on the first play after the facemask, I believe a false start. And facing 1st and goal from the 14 had the 3rd gashing run of the drive to go up 12-0.

        If I were a Seahawks fan I would be laughing at the 49ers inability to keep their composure for the second straight game in Seattle, and anyone who tried to intimate in the slightest that the referees had anything to do with the outcome of the game. I also would be looking forward to the rematch when 2 of the defensive starters return after missing this game.

      9. I’m not calling you names Grant; I’m describing your behaviour. There’s a big difference. If there’s another term you’d like me to use when you use select parts of data while excluding others, let me know and I’ll use it instead.

        You’ve referred to me as arrogant and condescending and I’m ok with that, it’s part of the process that comes with disagreement sometimes. Don’t take yourself so seriously. You say a lot of crazy things on here and leave yourself open to criticism, so get used to it.

        Of those things you said you were ahead of the curve on, the move from Smith to Kap has been the only prophetic prediction. Everyone has seen the play clock issues, you were wrong in your belief the Niners were in desperate need of a CB with them not drafting one until the 7th round, and your view of Gore has yet to be determined.

        If it bothers you so much I’ll try to be a little less critical of your behaviour, but seriously lighten up.

      10. “you were wrong in your belief the Niners were in desperate need of a CB”

        How do you explain the 49ers defense dropping from 6th last year to 16th so far this year, or how they gave up a 102.6 passer rating to Aaron Rodgers in week 1 at Candlestick after keeping him at 93.3 in the opener last season at Lambeau and at 91.5 in the playoff game even with a hurt J Smith and A Smith?

        So far through 2 games the CB they did add has given up 1 TD pass, missed a number of tackles and was called for a 40 yard pass intereference on Sunday.

      11. In the spirit of full disclosure and considering the heated accusations of cherry picking stats, you should include a comparison of Russell Wilson’s passer rating against the Niners (in Seattle) this year and last year as well. Last year Wilson had a 115.3, this year a 63.9. Now I know you can find these numbers online just as easily as I did. Why didn’t you include them in your discussion? Because they didn’t support your case? This is the issue that Rocket was raising and while we are all guilty of cherry picking stats that fit our argument, you and Grant seem very prone to this tactic.

      12. Sacto,

        I started by giving their overall rating which is currently about 10 points higher than last year. I singled out the Rodgers performances primarily because many here excused the poor pass defense at the end of last season due to the injuries to the Smith’s, and I found it interesting that his rating was almost the same in both contests last season, 1 before and 1 after the injuries.

        Would you care to answer the question now?

      13. Jack,

        Yes, Seattle had TWO sustained drives, since when is that such a terrible thing to give up? Especially when playing one of the best teams in the NFL?

        Look, I realize as a team the49ers were soundly beaten. What I objected to, and continue to object to, is the defense being called out as being as much at fault as the offense.

        I feel the defense played fairly well in Seattle and is going to be really good this year, we’ll see how it turns out.

      14. Jack,

        Five TOs and two drive extending penalties are hard to overcome.

        Those things need to be prevented from happening again, or the 49ers are in trouble.

        I think they will get sorted, you seem to think they won’t. We shall see.

        You intimated that you expect the Colts to be able to run on the 49ers this weekend. I’ll be very surprised if that happens.

        What is your prediction for Sunday?

    4. …and the 49er fan base should help push Jim away from Bo Schembeckler and more towards Bill Walsh.

      That’s a joke, right? The idea that coaches should make strategic or personnel decisions based upon the desires of the fanbase is laughable. What if the fanbase wants Tebow to be the starting QB?

      The 49ers hired Harbaugh to be the coach. They didn’t hired him to poll the fans and follow their directions.

      1. You build your team around your players’ talents. Colin Kaepernick has more arm talent than anyone else in the league. You don’t run a power run game with Colin Kaepernick. It has nothing to do with the fans. It has everything to do with designing your schemes around what your players are good at.

      2. I guess then you are getting rid of all those 1st round offensive linemen they have drafted to be a power run team. As well, the investment in Gore, Hunter, James, and Lattimore and now need a surplus of big time WR’s.
        Spit, why cant you be both?

      3. CB,

        It’s no joke.

        However, it does take a 2/3 majority of fans to vote Harbaugh, Baalke, Fangio, Roman, any position coaches or scouts out. So they have that check and balance going for them.

        As an additional safeguard against the fans making a rash decision, a simple majority of PSL holders must ratify the 2/3 vote of the general fan base to terminate anyone from coordinators up through GM.

        A coup, bloodless or otherwise, is required to get rid of Jed.

      4. CB,

        I always thought you were really with it, boy was I wrong.

        Do you really believe all the technology is going into the stadium just so fans can watch the Red Zone on their phones? Come on, you may have been born at night, but not last night. How could you miss the obvious intent.

        Fans are going to be able to vote on what the 49ers should do on each play, offense, defense and special teams. Bonus features are also in the works that would allow fans to have input on halftime, pre, and post game speaches, which players get game balls and what will be on the menu for the post game spread.

        Get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand…..

      5. ex:

        When you lay it out like that, it seems so obvious. I can’t believe that I missed it. Thanks for opening my eyes.

        What about the roster? It’s time the team moved forward from merely using jersey sales figures to make roster decisions. That’s so 20th century. With this new technology, fans should be able to determine the starting lineup, bench all under performing players, and give some well-deserved playing time to that guy who lit up the Chargers’ 4th string players in the second half of the final preseason game. “Because that guy really showed me something. He’s a clutch baller.” That’s clutch baller. If you transpose it, you get something different all together.

        In an ideal world, the fans will be able to send in-game messages directly to players on the field correcting them on their techniques and chastising them for lack of effort, lack of passion, and/or lack of desire. And let’s not forget the lack of a fire in the eye. If you can’t see fire in a player’s eye from your seat in the stands, the new technology will allow you to message the player instantly to tell him to get with the program.

        I just hope the messaging system has a good spell check program.

      6. CB,

        I assumed it was implied that the extremely knowledgable fans would have input on all roster decisions. Thanks for making that more clear.

        You’re right, fans are very good at seeing the fire, or lack there of, in the players’ eyes. Especially the real fans that are at the game. At least when they’re not fighting over cheese graters.

        Fans are also very good at noticing the expressions on players faces, for the briefest of instants, and, from that snapshot, know exactly what that is in particular player’s soul. Remember when Joe Staley was busted for hating Colin Kaepernick in the Rams game in St Louis last year? Look what has happened since, who was the first player on the spot to get after GB52? Joe Staley! What a complete turn around in attitude! If he hadn’t been exposed, by a fan, as the Kaeperhater he was……. I just shudder at the thought.

        It’s amazing that teams have resisted tapping this incredible resource for so long.

    5. I’m not seeing the same Seattle team that many on here are seeing. I see an amazing defense. Great Secondary. Superior pass rush. No doubt about it.
      On offense, I see Wilson struggling. If you contain him to the pocket, he doesn’t look superb. He’s had some hail mails fall his way. Against a playoff defense, I just don’t see him doing well.
      He struggled against SF’s defense with their suspect secondary. He struggled mightily against Carolina and I think we’d all be hard pressed to name 5 starters on their defense.
      Carolina is not a Super Bowl team. They don’t have the offense yet. SF didn’t have any WR options once Boldin was taken away. Other teams like Denver, Green Bay, Chicago, San Diego, and New Orleans have the offensive fire power to contend. They all also have more than 1 receiver.
      And before anyone jumps on the latest injury to Denver’s line, I remember the Nay Sayers preaching the demise of Denver when their starting center went down. It’s the NFL. Next man up.

      1. Matt i agree with you Seattle’s O is ordinary. There D is very good, not great but very good. I think its impossible to beat a very good D with the noise level of that stadium. As long as seattle does’nt have home field through out the playoffs I do’nt see them as a SB team but if they do have home field i do’nt see anyone beating them up there. Then they will get the crap beat out of them in the SB.

  4. Andrew Luck is somewhat of a legend at Stratford High School here in Houston. He was amazing on the field but where he made the biggest impression was off the field. Administrators and teachers were literally awed by his leadership, work ethic, and humility. When Luck was a senior he wanted to go to Texas. He called Mack Brown and Brown told him he’d enjoy whichever school he played for but it wouldn’t be Texas. Stratford coaches told UT coaches that they really needed this kid because of his physical talent but also because of the intangibles. Texas still turned him down. They also wouldn’t return the calls from Jameis Winston, the current Florida State freshman phenom. Nor would they recruit Johnny Manziel as a QB. Kinda shows you why UT is struggling.

    1. I followed his recruiting process when Harbaugh pulled all the stops, but I never heard that story about Luck wanting to go to Texas. Here’s what his Dad said:
      “Number one was academics,” Oliver said. “You could put it in as one of the top five schools in the country. But he also likes (head coach and quarterbacks coach) Jim Harbaugh. Jim has a lot of energy. He also likes the idea of learning the the QB position from a guy who spent several years in the NFL.”
      http://www.chron.com/sports/high-school/article/Stratford-QB-Andrew-Luck-verbally-commits-to-1549407.php

    1. Nice observation Jack. It seems with SF’s defensive struggles stopping the run out of the shotgun, we’ll be seeing a lot of the 11 package.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>