Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is coming into the 2013 NFL regular season as the on- and off-field leader of the team, and his humble attitude will help guide the franchise to a deep playoff run.
Luck responded to Bob Kravitz of USA Today about an interview with wide receiver Reggie Wayne in which he claimed the second-year QB was the true leader of the team:
It's obviously very kind when Reggie says something like that. I think Year 2 as a quarterback, yeah, you are going to grow as a leader, hopefully, if you are on the right track. I feel like if I have an opinion that needs to be heard, I'll say it. I feel more free doing that but really in my mind Reggie is still what I view as the leader of our offense. He's the guy that's been there in every situation, he knows what's going on, he’s a great team player. He is the one I look up to as a leader. But it's nice of him to say that.
Those comments show Luck's humble nature and will sit well with his teammates.
While many players in the NFL talk a big game about how they will lead a team or be a franchise’s guiding light, Luck has let his play on the field during games—and more importantly during preparation and practice—speak for his leadership abilities.
With a work ethic that mirrors that of former Colts QB Peyton Manning, every member of the team understands that if they want to be part of the success in Indianapolis, they will have to work as hard as Luck.
Not only is Luck leading on the field and in the film room, but he is also taking a bigger role in the locker room as a vocal commander who demands respect from his teammates.
There is little doubt that veterans like Wayne are pulling for Luck, and that makes it easier for the team to make the transition to a new franchise quarterback.
If the veteran wide receiver endorses Luck, the rest of the roster will follow suit.
While other teams may try to force a new quarterback to take the reins or force the players to adopt him as their leader, Luck has earned the respect of every man in that franchise because of the composure and talent he showed in his rookie season.
After amassing 4,374 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions during the 2012 regular season, the former Stanford star proved he can live up to the hype that comes with being the No. 1 overall draft pick.
Luck isn’t taking anything he has for granted in the NFL. With his teammates looking for someone they can follow through adversity, the sophomore QB continues to showcase why he deserves the honor of being the face of the franchise.
With every member of the Colts fighting for the same cause and believing in the man under center, there is little doubt Luck will follow up on the team’s 11-5 season by leading Indianapolis to a deep run in the playoffs this season.