Indianapolis Colts: 5 Players That Will Determine the Success of Luck's Season

Ben LaymanCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2012

August 19, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) talks to a coach on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Andrew Luck has looked like an NFL veteran in his first two preseason starts.  So far, he has lived up to the hype.  

However, this is only preseason.  Teams aren't game-planning against him.  He is seeing vanilla coverages for the most part, and the defensive players he's facing aren't going all out yet.

Much of Luck's success this season will depend on the supporting cast around him.  Rookie quarterbacks need as much help as they can get.

Here are five people that will determine the success of Luck's season.


Reggie Wayne

Luck's No. 1 wide receiver looks outstanding so far in preseason.  There appears to be developing chemistry between the rookie quarterback and his veteran receiver.

Reggie Wayne is one of the best route runners in the NFL.  With timing being so essential in today's passing game, having your receivers in the right place at the right time is paramount.

Having a savvy veteran like Wayne to depend on will allow Luck to go into games knowing at least one of his receivers will be getting open consistently.


Anthony Castonzo

The former first-round pick is being called upon to be Luck's blindside protector for the near future. After having a bleak rookie season, Anthony Castonzo enters his second year with the vital job of keeping Luck from getting hit by the league's best pass-rushers.  

Luck trusts the pocket well for a young quarterback, and Castonzo will need to hold up his end of the bargain by keeping Luck clean.


Coby Fleener

Luck is fortunate enough to have his reliable tight end from college with him in the pros.  It's already clear these two have a special connection.

Coby Fleener isn't going to maul anyone in the running game, but he will be a terror as a receiver right away.  Luck will look for Fleener to bail him out often.


Donald Brown

The speedy tailback has been written off as a bust by some.  Donald Brown could change those opinions with a big season behind Luck.  Brown has finally shown some explosiveness this preseason, casting away doubts that 2013 could be another underachieving year.   

In fact, on Luck's first pass in the Colts' first preseason game, Brown caught a shovel-pass from the rookie signal-caller and ran it in for a 63-yard touchdown.  More big plays like this will make Luck's life easier.


Bruce Arians

The offensive coordinator for the Colts has a reputation of putting his quarterbacks in compromising positions, as he often calls pass plays at unusual times.  This unpredictable style of play-calling hurts and helps his players.  

Bruce Arians will likely be more careful with his rookie quarterback than he was with veteran Ben Roethlisberger when he was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers.