Rob Chudzinski has the task of getting Andrew Luck back on track

INDIANAPOLIS -- You can say Pep Hamilton would still be the Indianapolis Colts' offensive coordinator if the team didn't have a 3-5 record. You can also say the Colts wouldn’t be 3-5 and in the midst of a three-game losing streak if quarterback Andrew Luck wasn’t having the worst season of his NFL career.

And yes, you can say Luck’s struggles played a part in his longtime coordinator being fired.

“I don’t think the turnovers have anything to do with who the coordinator was," Luck said. “That falls on my shoulders and my shoulders only, the mistakes. Obviously I’ve got to clean that up if we’re going to have a chance to succeed as an offense.”

Receiver Andre Johnson said he hates to see anybody get fired, but the NFL is also a “cutthroat business.”

Out goes Hamilton. In comes Rob Chudzinski.

The task for Chudzinski -- previously an offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers and with the Cleveland Browns, for whom he also served one season as head coach -- is to make the Colts a better offensive team in the first half, when they’ve been shut out in three of their eight games this season. That was not supposed to happen with Luck and the skill-position players he has around him.

A significant step in improving the offense is for Chudzinski to get Luck to play like the Andrew Luck of previous seasons.

The fourth-year quarterback leads the NFL in turnovers with 13 -- 12 interceptions and a fumble lost -- this season. Luck referred to his mistakes as “catastrophic.”

“We got to play better at that position and I think we all know you can’t turn the ball over at that position -- we’ve got to get that corrected and our mission right now is to get Andrew going, playing at the level we all know,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “We all know what he can do, and we’ll get there, he’ll be back.”

Luck’s first-half statistics are drastically different from in his second-half numbers this season. He’s thrown just two touchdowns to five interceptions in the first two quarters of games. Meanwhile, Luck has thrown for 1,101 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions in the second half and overtime of games, when the Colts have often been forced to play catch-up.

“I have to play better,” Luck said. “I've got to take care of the football. I think we need to make sure we get points on the board early, sustain that and finish games strong.”

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus