The compelling win over a conference finalist in its house came with passing statistics some would call ‘pedestrian.’ The nature of Luck, who is wondrously talented but who cares so little for individual accolades, stands out to Harbaugh – big-time.
“It’s a powerful strength,” said Harbaugh to Colts.com Thursday at the combine. “He’s so smart. Andrew understands the game of football so well.
“He understands the team that plays the best has the best chance to win, so it’s a team game. He’s smart enough to understand all those things at such a young age.”
Luck’s maturation is no surprise to Harbaugh. Luck, perhaps more gifted than Harbaugh, holds the same core passion.
“Growth-wise, he got better. That’s going to happen,” said Harbaugh. “He’s got a great work ethic. He has a great love of the game. He loves weight-lifting. He loves the practices, the running, the meetings. He loves football.
“Andrew has a great competitive heart and a desire to be great. You’re going to see that growth from him every year.”
Luck is one of nine quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to start playoff games in consecutive years to open a career. Before the Super Bowl era, the last player to do it was Otto Graham in 1950-51.
Harbaugh feels Luck is only scratching the surface.
“Probably, probably (laughs). Yeah (he is), but he’s pretty darned though good right now (smiles),” said Harbaugh.