NFL

Andrew Luck Q & A: He Excels at Ping Pong, He's a Clint Dempsey Fan & the Most Famous Person in His Cell Phone is ...

We had an opportunity to interview the 1st pick in the 2013 draft, Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck as part of Quaker’s NFL Play 60 campaign. We talked with the Stanford grad about what he bought with his money, what his favorite iPad app is, and whether he is on team Waffles or Pancakes.

Q: I’m going to start you off with a really tough one, this has spawned more debates than Bears versus Packers or Manning versus Brady. If you’ve got your choice you going pancakes or waffles?

Andrew Luck: [laughs] Waffles. [editor's note: there was no hesitation on this answer]

Q: Your last name has probably spawned more bad puns in game articles and I’ll probably contribute some of those this year, but what’s the worst one you’ve seen so far?

Andrew Luck: The worst one? I’m trying to remember it. There’s been a lot of bad ones when Stanford played Notre Dame and I was on the team, because of the Luck of the Irish, or the Unluck of the Irish. There’s some bad plays off of that, but I can’t specifically remember them.

Q: I can imagine. What were your thoughts on the “Suck for Luck” slogan that began last year, and did your teammates tease you with that at all?

Andrew Luck: Oh yeah, they razzed me about it, which was well deserved. Part of having teammates. I wasn’t a big fan of it. I think you never want to see fans encourage their teams to lose. I didn’t buy into it.

Q: I’ve got to ask you this: do you know which conference and division the Kansas City Chiefs play in? On Hard Knocks, Ryan Tannehill was unaware.

Andrew Luck: The Kansas City Chiefs play in the AFC West, with the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers.

Q: You’ve passed with flying colors. You probably know what divisions the Frankfurt Galaxy and Rhein Fire were in too.

Andrew Luck: [laughs] I don’t know that they had divisions in NFL Europe.

Q: That’s true. [Luck nails it again, no division breakdown for any year he was in Europe.] Anyway, part of your upbringing was over in Europe, and I’ve had some of our readers ask, were you a fan of European Soccer, and have you followed the MLS since your dad worked with the Houston Dynamo?

Andrew Luck: Yes, I was a fan of soccer, and I do follow soccer still. My favorite app on the iPad is the MLS app. It’s got a great layout of everything and the Dynamo are my favorite team. I try to follow all the American guys who are playing overseas like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, all those guys.

Q: So you kept up with Clint Dempsey’s drama in moving over to Tottenham?

Andrew Luck: And I’m glad he finally landed somewhere, hopefully playing again.

Q: Well, I want to ask you about Jim Harbaugh, because he recruited you to Stanford, and obviously he made a big splash in the NFL the year before you arrived. What attributes attracted you to him in making that decision, and what were the same things that you think made him a successful coach in year one?

Andrew Luck: Yeah, I think he’s incredibly competitive, and competitive nature no matter what level will shine through. He made everything competitive about the program whether it was lifting, or running, or watching film. He always somehow made it a competition. I think that really instilled a sense of understanding how to win and what it takes to win in all the players. I think that translated very well to the Niners.

Q: Last year, many people thought you would go pro based on the draft projections, you chose to stay. Was that based on the situation last year with the lockout, or was it just independent and you would have made that decision in any year?

Andrew Luck: No, the lockout had no bearing on my decision, and I would have made it any other year.

Q: Coby Flenner, a college teammate, was also drafted by Indy. But so was another tight end, Dwayne Allen from Clemson. I think it shocked many people when they went back to back with tight ends, but in your offense at Stanford, that was a key part. We’ve seen the Patriots and others use it to balance the defense. I guess I want your thoughts on both of those tight ends and how they think they might be different and how they might be used to attack defenses.

Andrew Luck: Yeah, I think they complement each other very well. Obviously, Coby has great full-go speed and can really run, whereas Dwayne maybe has a little more short area quickness and short area power. So I really think they complement each other well. It’s been fun getting to know Dwayne and learn how he plays the game and how he runs his routes. I am continually impressed by him every day, how a man that size can run and cut like he does. Hopefully, they’ll give us some good matchup problems for other teams and help us win some games.

Q: With the preseason and your experiences at training camp, whether it’s getting used to a mechanical issue or getting used to the way defenses have played you, what has been your biggest adjustment?

Andrew Luck: Biggest adjustment? Different protections, you know a drop back protection, or a play action protection. We didn’t run too many different kinds at Stanford. Now you are running man protections, gap protections, slide protections, and figuring out how those protections work against different defenses.

Q: We’ll go a little lighter here, my understanding from reading others who have interviewed you is that you still own a flip phone.

Andrew Luck: I do.

Q: Has that changed since you’ve signed your contract and you’ve shown up at camp and gotten introduced to your teammates?

Andrew Luck: It has not, I’m not ashamed to say so. I’ve spent my money on a ping pong table instead of a new phone.

Q: Well, that’s pretty cool, are you a world class ping pong player?

Andrew Luck: I wouldn’t quite go world class. In fact, I got beaten by our quarterbacks coach last night after talking a lot of trash.

Q: You’re going to have to put in the practice time there. Well, who’s the most famous person in your flip phone right now, athlete or otherwise?

Andrew Luck: Most famous person in my cell phone? [thinks] Umm, probably Reggie Wayne, I guess?

Q: Well, that will work, I guess you’ve met him, he’s a pretty good receiver. With all your travels, I know you traveled with your family quite a bit. How do you think that impacted your ability to move around and go to different systems, as well as get along with a variety of people.

Andrew Luck: Yeah, you know I think it was a great opportunity, looking back on it, to grow up overseas, and move several times, to Texas and everything. I have an appreciation of different cultures and maybe have a travel bug, which is why I was excited to go to Indianapolis, it’s a place I’d never been before and it’s fun to learn about new things.

Q: In Indianapolis, where are your go-to places, I know some people get into routines, I know my dad would always go to the same places and order the same things. I don’t know if you are like that, but is there a place that you’ve discovered?

Andrew Luck: I can’t tell you, because then I’ll get bothered there. [laughs]

Q: Yeah, I guess that’s right. The answer is Yes, though?

Andrew Luck: Yes. Oh, there are lots of great spots in Indianapolis. I’ve really enjoyed the steakhouses from St. Elmo’s to Ruth’s Chris to Capital Grill. I’m trying to make the rounds of all the steakhouses. Slowly but surely getting there.

Q: I understand you are here today promoting an initiative with Quaker in regard to Play 60, can you tell us what that is?

Andrew Luck: Yeah, it’s partnered with Quaker, and it’s the NFL Play 60 Super Bowl contest, which basically encourages kids to eat right and stay active. It’s the Play 60 theme of activity for at least 60 minutes a day, kids can enter online at QuakerNFLPlay60.com for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. It’s something I know as a kid some of my fondest memories were playing out in the yard with my dad, or playing basketball with buddies in the neighborhood, and just trying to encourage the youth of today to continue that.

[photo via US Presswire]

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