Andrew Luck sure knows how to get into opposing players' heads.
Not just by torching them with his arm but using his mouth as well.
“His idea of trash talk is complimenting people,” said Washington Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy, a former teammate of Luck's at Stanford.
And it works, too. The Wall Street Journal talked to several defenders who have been on the receiving end of Luck's tremendously enthusiastic and positive remarks, which seem to come after the star player has been hit hard or even knocked down.
“You know if you hear a quarterback get mad, you are in his head,” Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Nolan Carroll said. “With Luck, you thought you hurt the guy, you hear, ‘Good job’ and you just say ‘Aw, man.’ ”
According to the Journal, another one of Luck's favorite compliments is "What a hit!" New England Patriots pass rusher Rob Ninkovich found himself so confused by one of Luck's congratulatory comments that he says he blurted out, “Thanks for ... uh ... accepting that hit?” before running back to the huddle.
It's really a brilliant strategy. Not only does it confuse opponents, it may also make them think twice about just how hard they deliver their hits in the future.
“You want to say thank you, but then you say, ‘Wait a second -- I’m not supposed to like you!’ ” Redskins linebacker Kerrigan said.
Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin added, “You love it, but at the same time, you really, really hate it.”
Murphy said it's really not a strategy at all, just Luck's genuine personality. Back at Stanford, Murphy said, Luck would even praise opponents' hits on him in the middle of film sessions.
“He’s yelling ‘nice hit, nice hit!’ and we’re like, ‘Uh, no one else does this,’ ” Murphy said.