Sunday, August 19, 2012

Andrew Luck faces difficult encore in Pittsburgh - WTAE Pittsburgh

Mike Tomlin and Bruce Arians

Mike Tomlin and Bruce Arians

Mike Tomlin and Bruce Arians

Mike Tomlin and Bruce Arians

PITTSBURGH -

Mike Tomlin is not a coach who impresses easily. Still, Tomlin couldn't help but be wowed -- at least a little -- by what he saw from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck last week.

All the top pick in April's NFL draft did was throw a touchdown on his first pass and spend his four series on the field lighting up the Rams in a 38-3 preseason victory.

"I thought he played really well," Tomlin said. "I don't mean played really well for a rookie. I thought he played really well."

Expect players like Troy Polamalu, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons to give Luck a lengthy look at the defense that was tops in the league again last fall.

"It'll be fun," Luck said. "I realize every defense is good in the NFL, in my mind. But to have a chance to go against a great historical defense, a great franchise, with a great fan base, will be fun."

Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians spent five seasons with Pittsburgh before being let go in the offseason. Ask what he likes about his new project and Arians doesn't lack for answers.

"His poise, his excitement for the game," Arians said. "Nothing surprises me about him any more. I kind of expect it now."

Ben Roethlisberger is still trying to get the hang of new coordinator Todd Haley's diverse attack and will likely play several series to get his feet set.

Isaac Redman tweaked his groin during the week and is out while Jonathan Dwyer is nursing a bum shoulder. Dwyer was healthy enough to practice Thursday and Friday, though rookie Chris Rainey and Baron Batch are expected to get the bulk of the work against the Colts.

"(Rainey) has done some things that get you excited," Haley said. "As an offensive staff, we're all kind of encouraged to see a young guy not be afraid to step up and make plays. It's a testament to him and the way that he prepares. He's obviously studying hard because we've asked him to do a lot of different things."

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