Colts head coach Chuck Pagano critical of Andrew Luck's turnovers

Quarterback commits four in 20-7 Monday home loss to Jets.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was critical about the obvious, Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck's turnovers, after Monday night's 20-7 home loss to the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"You just got to take care of the football," Pagano said after Luck had three interceptions and a lost fumble. "Make great decisions and take care of the football. It's not that hard. It's not trigonometry."

Pagano wasn't just singling out Luck. He bemoaned the fact that his quarterback got hit as he was throwing on two of the interceptions. But Luck did make a bad throw on the other interception and lost the fumble at the end of a scramble.

The fourth-year coach also made reference to running back Frank Gore's fumble on a third-and-goal rush from the Jets' 1-yard line in the third quarter.

"You can't do it. You can't turn the ball over," Pagano said. "You've got to protect, you've got to give him time, you've got to give him a clean pocket so he can step up and not get hit when he's releasing the ball and we've got to get it fixed.

"You can't drive the length of the field, a 10-minute drive and get to the 1-yard line and put the ball on the ground (instead of making) it a 10-7 game. You can't do it. You're not going to beat Zionsville (High School) doing that."

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The Colts have committed eight turnovers in two games and are minus-7 in turnover ratio. Luck has thrown five interceptions in addition to the lost fumble. Equally embarrassing, the team has scored a league-low 21 points.

Luck is always quick to blame himself, even if it's not his fault. But this time, he knows it starts with him.

Asked what are some of the issues with the offense right now, Luck said, "My play, turning the ball over, fumbles, interceptions, it's a pretty glaring issue. You don't want to take anything away from what the Jets did on defense, but we continually shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers. If we don't clean those up, it's hard to win."

The Colts committed 11 penalties for 84 yards, bringing their season total to 16 penalties for 133 yards. On their first offensive series against the Jets, Gore had rushes of 12 and 11 yards negated by holding calls.

The drive ended when Luck, with a free blitzer bearing down on him, threw behind wide receiver Andre Johnson, who tipped the ball to Jets safety Calvin Pryor for an interception that was returned to the Colts' 9. The Jets capitalized with the game's first touchdown.

Asked if Luck is speeding up his play due to getting hit, he said, "No."

Pagano said he would have to look at film to see if that's impacting his quarterback's play.

"You know what, I'd have to sit down, honestly, and have a conversation," the coach said. "I don't think so. That's been the case for three years now. Has it not? He should be more than comfortable dealing with what he's dealing with. We've got to get it fixed."

Luck took the most quarterback hits in the NFL last season and is continually pressured. At times against the blitzing Jets, nobody picked up the extra defenders. He wasn't sacked in this game, but he's taken 102 sacks in 50 regular-season games.

The passer was asked how he can fix the problem.

"Practice, got to practice better and then got to go out and do it on the field," he said. "The beauty of sports is that you measure yourself every game. It's sort of on to the next one unless it's the end of the season. Focus now is have a great practice this week and try to go out there and see how we are, see how we are against our next opponent."

The Colts visit the Tennessee Titans (1-1) on Sunday.

Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.


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