Aug 20, 2012, 6:02 PM EDT
Pre-Season Week Two
Colts at Steelers
Luck is where Preparation meets Opportunity
Andrew Luck has a huge opportunity, and his preparation has given him the skills and smarts required to make the best of it.
During a meeting with the NBC Sunday Night Football crew at a Pittsburgh hotel conference room, Luck told us that his dad, Oliver, taught him how to throw a ball when Andrew was three years old.
He also credits his high school quarterbacks coach, Jeff Green, for influencing his throwing technique.
Luck took advantage of Jim Harbaugh’s pro-like organization at Stanford.
And before the NFL Combine, Luck worked out and worked in. For three weeks Luck spent hours each day in a small classroom with Tom Moore, the former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator.
Moore tutored Peyton Manning throughout the quarterback’s record-setting career. Moore knows a good QB when he sees one, and particularly when he works with one.
Moore told me by phone, “In the classroom (Luck has the things you’re looking for. You go over something on Monday, and on Friday when you put the tapes in he has instant recall. If I was still coaching I’d love to have him because he can do all the things I like to do: audibles at the line of scrimmage; no-huddle. He has a great awareness of what’s happening.”
“Andrew’s special,” said Moore. “And I thought Peyton was special. A lot of people want to be good. But do they want to do what they have to do to BE good? There is no doubt in my mind that Andrew is willing to do what it takes.”
Moore knows Luck will be compared to Manning but told me, “I know Andrew’s a strong enough person that he’s going to handle the comparisons, and he’ll handle it perfect.”
The Courage of a Running Backs Coach
In early January, 2012, as the Steelers were preparing to head to Denver for their playoff game against the Broncos, Pittsburgh running backs coach Kirby Wilson got caught in a house fire. Severe burns covered about 45-percent of his body.
The fifty-year-old Wilson was hospitalized for weeks – at times on a ventilator and even in a coma. At one point doctors didn’t think he was going to survive, but he pulled through and returned to work on April 16.
I visited with the coach during practice at the Steelers’ Latrobe training camp last Thursday. He was comfortably seated in a shaded golf cart which had been labeled “The Kirby Express.” The cart helps Kirby move a bit faster than his burned legs can do on their own.
Still, Wilson told me his pain is now “manageable.” But his skin is so sensitive he has to stay out of the sun as much as possible and wear compression garments. He smiled when he told me that those garments will help his skin turn “beautiful” again.
Wilson, now in his sixth season with the Steelers, can’t exercise like he used to. While he’s beginning to lift weights again, he can’t walk the sixty minute cardio treks like he used to. But he has worked his way up to walking for 30-minutes at a time, and he can jog a bit with his players during practice.
It was with a bit of pride that Wilson told me he has not suffered psychologically from his ordeal. “The doctors and nurses at the hospital warned me before I left that I would be nervous. I haven’t had any nightmares, I’m not afraid to grill burgers for my kids, I’m fine! God made me different!”
His positive outlook and sense of humor sustain him. Describing how difficult the whole experience had been he told me, “I wouldn’t even wish this on a member of the Baltimore Ravens!”
Suisham Dreams, Shaun.
NFL place kickers are often described as goofy, off-beat and even lonely.
Pittsburgh’s Shuan Suisham seems to have his life pretty well in order.
Before Sunday Night’s pre-season game against the Colts he told me a story that showed how fatherhood has influenced his priorities.
“I got to see the family for a few hours today,” said the Canada native. “But I really needed to squeeze in a 20-minute nap.”
“I told my daughter, Sienna, ‘Honey, I really need to take a nap. Will you tuck me in?’”
His almost-four-year-old little girl happily obliged. She read him a bedtime story and played lullabies from one of her musical clocks.
And then, after nineteen minutes, Sienna woke her daddy up.
Suisham and his wife, Erin, have a second chid who learned to walk while Suisham was at camp.
“The older I get,” said the 30-year-old, “the harder it is to be away from my kids.”
I can relate.
Sunday Night Football TwitterView all »
Report: Text message suit against Brett Favre is settled http://t.co/lM8MfyhjxO
Report: NFL gives union a new proposal on HGH testing http://t.co/GVa53VCwzl
PFT on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET: Chris Canty http://t.co/y3rqsrKT9B
Jeff Fisher "respectfully" disagrees with Rokevious Watkins' suspension http://t.co/lacCJH7ai3
Titus Young appears in court, refuses to address judge http://t.co/cquRjJ7V7C
Mike Williams tries to revive career in CFL http://t.co/yQJp62ULi3
Colts check out a few veteran tight ends http://t.co/HJf4gLM63Y
Mario Manningham has started running and cutting http://t.co/ytWkcSREHa
Aaron Rodgers: Urlacher was my favorite player to play against http://t.co/rC1rYTpNvB
Patriots sign fourth-rounder Josh Boyce http://t.co/BHxDO468ix
Browns sign seventh-rounder Garrett Gilkey http://t.co/2HWlOI02CG
Seahawks tight end tears Achilles in OTAs http://t.co/lVhK5Gvr9r
Redskins finish up draft class by signing Jordan Reed http://t.co/SS2QU5HzrT
Ray Lewis to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for clean water projects http://t.co/8x9lVyw3TY
Judge opts not to revoke or increase Cowboys DT Josh Brent's bail http://t.co/Jx5GWncA39
Report: "Nothing serious" between Richard Seymour and Falcons http://t.co/1VruFquW6s
Jonathan Goodwin takes pay cut, which gives him a better chance of staying a 49er http://t.co/gB6IlcFXfh
Someone posted this video in our comments today, and now I can't get the song out of my head http://t.co/eobZE6wBv3
Bengals sign Shawn Williams, down to one unsigned rookie http://t.co/EbRMsM3ytq
Thanks to Rudy and the guys at Sunnyside Audi for giving the VW bus a clean bill of health and washing it up.
Mike Goodson expected to return to practice next week http://t.co/6osA6vZWqI
Vick still thinks he's the fastest quarterback in the NFL http://t.co/YfZ92hQKDO
Here's the link to the Mt. Rushmore nominations page for all 32 teams; voting on finalists starts next week http://t.co/VlEFjgGsml
We wrap up the Mt. Rushmore nomination process with the Cleveland Browns http://t.co/rtKlbNd4oc
Roman Harper renegotiates contract http://t.co/2A7axaqVZR
At age 38, London Fletcher sees no reason he should retire http://t.co/PfbnpokjrH
David Caldwell would like the draft to stay right where it is http://t.co/pSCwoVJCAG
Brandon Weeden heads to Oklahoma to help with tornado recovery http://t.co/i2kl4Sgh0e
Jared Allen has "absolutely no idea" if he'll stay with Vikings http://t.co/9zj5JmkUpf
RG3 says only knee needs to heal, relationship with coaches fine http://t.co/RwZcUmvzlL
Friday morning one-liners http://t.co/7P5kHccyHv
Brady on Welker leaving: Nothing surprises me anymore http://t.co/HFyoluO3sE
Anthony Hargrove says Saints bounty suspension "took my earning power away" http://t.co/XmFuYBIT25
Greetings from Cleveland http://t.co/JiZivwExir
Houston RB Charles Sims considers NFL supplemental draft http://t.co/tgaDKiajBP
Bears to retire Mike Ditka's number 89 in December ceremony http://t.co/ypI9iMmGzo
Rob Ryan's confidence might be just what Saints defense needs http://t.co/pU0QWqWE4P
Scott Chandler working out on restructured knee for Bills http://t.co/Kr2Uh81Dxa
Josh Wilson had surgery on torn labrum and pectoral http://t.co/5FnbdFHLtW
Seahawks sign receiver Justin Veltung http://t.co/01HhFQcQ0E
Colts sign Arena League DE Caesar Rayford http://t.co/yRP3TisQf7
Falcons talking contract with Richard Seymour http://t.co/uLMECezrlH
Reports: Prosecutors want to revoke Josh Brent's bond http://t.co/m72WMKJN1R
It's Ravens Mt. Rushmore nomination time http://t.co/n2YiNNTY1n
Sunday Night Football Headlines
- Broncos announce former AFL All-Star Dave Costa has died
- ProFootballTalk: Is Vick the fastest QB in the NFL?
- ProFootballTalk: Brady adresses Welker’s decision to leave
- Report: Settlement reached in Brett Favre texting suit
- Shanahan on RG3: “very special,” can be one of the best ever
- NFL sends union new HGH testing proposal
- PFT on NBCSN: Chris Canty
- Jeff Fisher “respectfully” disagrees with Rokevious Watkins’ suspension
- Titus Young appears in court, refuses to address judge
- Mike Williams tries to revive career in Toronto
- Pro Bowl
- Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
- Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
- Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
- San Fransisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
- San Fransisco 49ers at New England Patriots
- Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
- Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
- Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
- New England Patriots at New York Jets
- Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Houston Texans at Chicago Bears
- Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons
- New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
- Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans
- San Diego Chargers as New Orleans Saints
- New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
- New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
- Detroit Lions at San Fransisco 49ers
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
- Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
- Super Bowl