INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck remained behind Thursday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, taking extra reps with some of his wide receivers after the Indianapolis Colts' final practice of a three-day mini-camp had concluded.
Luck dropped back and threw high-arcing passes into the end zone, and most often either second-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton or free-agent addition Darrius Heyward-Bey ran underneath them and made the catch.
Head coach Chuck Pagano was talking with the media at the other end of the field while this was going on, and he was asked about his quarterback's perceived increase in comfort and command during his second preseason.
Pagano motioned toward the activity far behind him and said Luck remains a leader by example.
"He's going to lead by his work ethic," Pagano said. "Then when he has to say something, it's like E.F. Hutton, when he speaks, they listen. So he's going to do well in that role."
Luck is ahead of many of his teammates because he played his senior season in new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton's system at Stanford. And he already had a pretty good starting point.
His peers voted him as the 23rd-best player in the NFL during NFL Network's annual Top 100 Players poll, and he set a rookie record with 4,374 passing yards and tied a league record with seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime last season. When the Colts broke at the end of the 2012 season, however, Luck said he wanted to work on his deep ball.
He threw three long touchdown passes during Wednesday's open practice at Lucas Oil Stadium, and he looked particularly good on a 68-yard touchdown throw to Hilton that dropped right over the receiver's shoulder at about the 2-yard line.