For Indianapolis Head Coach Chuck Pagano, it has been a long time since he has spent this much time away from somebody he hopes he spends a long future with. However the player/coach relationship is a bit of a different dynamic than the husband/wife relationship.
"It's been a long time since I've heard the term long distance relationship," said Pagano with a laugh when asked if being away from Andrew Luck feels like one. "It was 1989 with my wife and we had a long distance one when I left Boise, but no I don't feel like that, not at all."
While the Indianapolis Colts held OTA's Wednesday afternoon at the practice complex on 56th Street, the number-one draft pick is somewhere all the way across the country at Stanford University finishing up his final two classes to finish his degree in engineering. According to National Football League Rules, the Indianapolis Colts will not be able to contact Luck until he graduates from on June 7th.
But Quarterbacks Coach Clyde Christensen and the coaching staff have no worries that Luck is putting in plenty of hours studying the playbook.
"Through technology we were able to load him up with information and pile it on him," said Christensen, who also tutored Peyton Manning as a rookie. "It's a correspondence course in the Colts offense if you will, so he is taking the correspondence course, but we aren't able to talk to him much."
Christensen went on to talk about that since the Colts knew well beforehand that they would be selecting Luck with the overall pick, that they could prepare him for this dead-period in which they wouldn't be able to talk to him. But what Christensen wasn't quite prepared for, and what he seems overly pleased with, is the wealth of knowledge that Luck brought to the Colts rookie mini-camps back in late April.
"I left the mini-camps thinking he is more than what I would think," said Christensen about Luck's skill as a rookie.
"Which is a lot. Ryan (Grigson) drafted them first, and he is mature football-wise well beyond what you expect from a rookie in a mini-camp. That is not an easy camp to be a quarterback at because it is new to everybody and we're just trying to get peopled lined up, and he really did a great job. He is a mature kid that understands what is going on, and it just comes easy to him. God blessed him with some great instincts. He knows what is going on."
One of the moments that blew Christensen away was after the mini-camp when he was studying video from the view of the number-one pick. Luck was chosen to test out a new helmet-cam, and despite getting little dizzy from the head bobbing, Christensen was pleasantly surprised with the audio that came from the highlights.
"It was really neat to go watch them well after the camp to see how he interacted in the huddle," said Christensen.
"Just how he learns things, how he interacted with Coach Arians, so the benefit was really the audio with that thing. He was very impressive with how much information he took in, because we had to throw it at him fast because we knew this time was coming. We threw more than you really should at a young guy, but it doesn't phase him."
Once Luck finishes with graduation he will be able to join the team in a mandatory mini-camp June 12th-14th.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times