Casserly: Luck has the ability to exploit a weak Ravens secondary
The passing of Andrew Luck is an obvious concern for the Ravens, but the Indianapolis Colts quarterback can do more than drop back and pick apart secondaries.
He can maneuver in the pocket and still make plays. He's not as prolific as Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, but Luck has run for 255 yards and 5 TDs.
“He reminds me of Ben Roethlisberger, as far as his size,” Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones said Luck, who at 6-4 is an inch shorter than the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback. “He’s a guy that can run. … He’s really smart. He’s way ahead of his time. I don’t think he’s a rookie at all. I throw that out the window.”
Luck broke a rookie record for passers with 4,374 yards, but he also has 18 interceptions. In the last three games, however, he hasn’t thrown any.
“He has cleaned up the interceptions a little bit. A lot of those ones earlier were just fluky things that happened. He’s very smart,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s better than you even think. He’s got a better arm than you want to think. He’s stronger. He’s faster. He’s got more rotation on the ball. He’s more accurate than you really want to think watching the tape.”
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has a similar view of Luck, who has revived a team that only won two games one season ago.
“He’s mobile, faster than you think,” Ngata said. “Hopefully, we can just try to make him look like a rookie out there instead of a veteran quarterback.”
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe missed three consecutive games towards the end of the season, and the Ravens lost all of them. Having him drop in coverage will help significantly.
“We can’t look at it like we’re playing some rookie in the playoffs,” Ellerbe said. “We got to go out there and be ready to play. We’re preparing like we’re playing Peyton Manning, or Tom Brady.”