Andrew Luck’s Hilarious Trash Talking Strategy Has The Entire NFL Confused (Which Can’t Be That Hard)
The NFL is a league full of trash talkers. There are way more “fuck your mothers” than “nice jobs” going around. Andrew Luck, one of the league’s top quarterbacks, is also considered one of the leagues best trash talkers. But Luck isn’t tossing around F-bombs after 60-yard bombs.
“In all the years I’ve played football I have never heard anything like it,” said Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan of Luck’s methods of getting into the mind of opposing players, “Nothing even close.”
Luck is the league leader in handing out compliments.
Luck has become famous for congratulating—sincerely and enthusiastically—any player to hit him hard. Any sack is met with a hearty congratulations, such as ”great job” or “what a hit!” He yells it after hard hits that don’t result in sacks, too. It is, players say, just about the weirdest thing any quarterback does in the NFL.
When New England pass rusher Rob Ninkovich pulverized Luck last month in a Patriots’ 42-20 win, he got the customary congratulations. As Ninkovich tells it, he found himself paralyzed with confusion by the well-wishes, so he blurted out “Thanks for…uh…accepting that hit?” before running back to the huddle.
It’s a brilliant strategy by Luck since opposing teams have only one of two ways to react to his complimentary words — they could either find them charming and possible ease up on the guy during sacks, hits and tackles OR get so god damn pissed off that over play each down in an effort to knock Luck on his ass again. This could lead to missed tackles and costly mistakes all in the name of “hit that nice prick.”
Defensive back Nolan Carroll, who has hit Luck three times and with two teams, remembers the first time it happened while he was with the Miami Dolphins last year. Carroll, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, was blitzing off the edge and got to Luck, knocking him down just after he released the ball. Carroll was walking back to the huddle when he heard “Great job, Nolan!” He turned around, searching for the person who said it—maybe it was a teammate, he thought. “Then I realized it was Luck who said it. I’m like ‘what’s going on? Aren’t you supposed to be mad?’” Carroll said. “So then I’m the one who gets ticked off because an upbeat attitude isn’t something you see.”
This, players say, is Luck’s brilliance, even if it is unintentional. According to Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Pernell McPhee, who sacked Luck in October, quarterbacks generally do two things when they are sacked: They complain to the referee, looking for a roughing the passer penalty, or they do nothing and absorb their pain in silence. A handful will get angry if the sack was particularly fierce (don’t get McPhee started on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers). But Luck is so dramatically different that those who knock him down have no clue what to do. “You love it but at the same time, you really, really hate it,” said Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin.
See? Works every time.