Ninkovich: Luck 'one step ahead of all the other rookies'

Ninkovich: Luck 'one step ahead of all the other rookies'
November 15, 2012, 12:08 am
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FOXBORO -- Patriots safety Steve Gregory returned to game action on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills after missing four games with a hip injury.
He'll go from seeing one intelligent quarterback to another, as Stanford's own Andrew Luck comes to Gillette Stadium as one of the league's best young talents.
And from what Gregory -- and the rest of the Patriots defense -- has seen on film, he's been impressed with Luck's progression in his rookie season.
"He moves well in the pocket, and makes a lot of plays with his feet when he's scrambling around," said Gregory after Wednesday's practice. "So, we'll have to be on top of our game in order to contain the things that he does.
"You can tell just from the film that he's a pretty smart guy. He seems to read defenses pretty well. And he makes smart decisions with the football, it seems like, most of the time. You can tell the guy's a leader. He's taken on the job and he's been a true professional about it. So, he's definitely doing a great job over there, and we'll have our hands full."
Linebacker Rob Ninkovich also pointed out Luck's brains. 
"I think he came from a successful program," said Ninkovich on Wednesday. "So I think that helped him transition into the NFL, and obviously he's got a lot of good skills and he's smart, so he can go out there and make all the throws. And he's able to make a lot of good checks, so I think that he's one step ahead of all the other rookies.
"He does a good job of keeping his eyes down the field, avoiding the rush with just his awareness and presence of the rush. He's still able to get out of the pocket and make those throws down the field."
Ninkovich also credited Luck's size, and his mobility for a 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback.
"He's a big guy too, so he's able to avoid some guys and get it down the field with those deep passes," said Ninkovich. "I think he's just a good athlete. And I think that's helping him extend some of those plays and get out of the pocket, to his right, and make those throws. You've got to give him credit. He's doing well."