FOXBOROUGH — While he has been impressive in helping the Colts right their ship with a 6-3 record, passing for 2,631 yards and 10 touchdowns, Andrew Luck’s running ability will pose as much of a threat as his arm when the Patriots host the Colts Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
“Absolutely. He’s a terrific athlete,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. “This guy can really run, he’s fast. There’s no question about his athletic ability and running skill. He’s probably as fast as anybody we’ve played. We’ve played a couple guys that can run, but I’d put him right up there with them. He can cover a lot of ground; he’s very athletic.”
The 6-foot-4-inch, 234-pound rookie from Stanford, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, ranks as the Colts’ No. 3 rusher with 34 carries for 159 yards and a team-leading five touchdowns.
“I would say [they’ve] featured [him],” Belichick said, “but they’ve probably used more of those plays where he rolls out or not necessarily unprotected but moving-pocket-type plays where he can extend the play a little bit, get outside, and change the rush angle for the defenders and that kind of thing.
“Yeah, I think they’re doing a little bit more of that, more so than let’s say [Ben] Roethlisberger in the same offense. You didn’t see Pittsburgh doing a lot of that with him. I would say they didn’t start out doing a lot of that. Those plays just developed and he did them on his own or the play just developed that way.
“I think they’ve shown that they’ve designed some plays to get him on the move a little bit, and that’s effective because it changes the angles for the rushers and gets him out there where he’s tough in space.”