Offseason work included taking time with a software application that simulates what the three-time Pro Bowl passer sees on the field and helps him make quicker, smarter decisions.
Like he doesn’t do that already. But every little bit helps.
“It was real fascinating to see the technology,” Luck said after Monday morning’s walk-through practice at Anderson University training camp. “As a Stanford alum, proud that something like that is taking place in the football department in the football virtual reality lab there, but it was really cool, really cool to see.”
STRIVR was created by fellow former Stanford player Derek Belch, who is now Cardinal quality control coach. He told Luck about it while the quarterback was working out at his alma mater.
“Derek Belch, who graduated the year before I got there, I actually got his locker and all of his practice gear because he was No. 12 before me at Stanford and was a GA on the staff after I left,” Luck said, “I go back there and work out, a bunch of guys do, and we were talking up in the office and he showed me.”
Luck sees everything as it appears on the field, not animation, but real players coming at him as he tries to locate receivers down the field.
“It’s real footage, so imagine you’re literally standing in practice and the camera captures the real footage and you can go through the play with real players,” Luck said. “It’s not simulated or animated in that sense.
“Another tool to prepare as a quarterback, to prepare as a running back for protection, for the defensive side of the ball, I think it will have a lot of impact,” Luck said.
Stanford implemented the application for its last three games of the 2014 season. And interest in this type of technology is spreading.
The Colts are entering their second year in teaming up with the U.S. Army on a similar application, GoArmy EDGE, which also helps athletes learn their playbooks and mentally practice their assignments in a virtual environment.
“Following its implementation last year, we received tremendous feedback from our coaching staff and players," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a recent team release. “Preparation is a critical factor for success in our sport so it made perfect sense to team up with the Army, an organization that truly epitomizes preparedness. This program utilizes the same technology that our brave servicemen and women use to prepare themselves when they are called to action. I believe this ‘app’ can help revolutionize the way coaches at any level across the country prepare and develop their players for the gridiron.”
Luck intends to use Stanford’s STRIVR again.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “I think anything that can give you an edge as a quarterback, you’re going to check it out.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.