Under first year coach Frank Reich, the Colts’ offense took a simpler approach when it comes to playcalling. It seems to work.
Over the course of his career, offensive coordinators have called plays to get Andrew Luck to throw the ball down the field. He has a strong arm and has a knack for keeping plays alive. It seemed to work early in his career and helped the Colts win games.
But then his offensive line started to fall apart. He had no protection in the backfield to look for open guys. He only had one deep threat in T.Y. Hilton, so once he was taken away he was scrambling. Eventually, he took so many hits that he got hurt.
Frank Reich changed all that last season. He called less down field passing plays and used more crossing route concepts. Those concepts allowed Luck to get rid of the ball quicker and made him take less hits. If he takes less hits, he will be more healthy in the long run.
The Colts should still allow Luck to throw the ball down field, especially with new speedy receiver Parris Campbell in the fold. But Reich has done a good job in designing his offense to keep Luck healthy and upright. The emergence of the running game has helped as well.
Evolving these concepts is the key for the success of the offense moving forward. If Reich can keep coming up with good plays that allow Luck to stay healthy, this offense will be good for a long time.