By ROB MAADDI, AP Pro Football Writer
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Andrew Luck is throwing footballs again.
Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich said Tuesday that Luck has begun to throw as part of the rehab for his surgically repaired shoulder. Luck missed the entire 2017 season because of the injury.
Reich said he hasn't seen Luck in action yet, but the franchise quarterback is clearly making progress after spending time in California working with quarterback mechanics gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux.
Luck led the Colts to 11 wins in each of his first three seasons and went to the Pro Bowl three times. He has missed 26 games in the past three seasons and Indianapolis hasn't reached the playoffs since losing the AFC championship "Deflategate" game to New England in January 2015.
Luck is expected to participate when the Colts begin their workout program April 9.
Reich was the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles last season and helped Carson Wentz develop into an MVP candidate before he went down with a torn ACL. Backup Nick Foles stepped in and was sensational in the playoffs, earning Super Bowl MVP honors.
Reich, who got the Colts job when Josh McDaniels backed out to return to New England as offensive coordinator, is excited to work with Luck, one of the NFL's elite QBs when healthy. Reich spoke at his first league meetings as a head coach since replacing Chuck Pagano.
The Colts were 4-12 last season but Reich saw the Eagles go from last place in 2016 to Super Bowl champs.
"No one is playing for second place," Reich said. "We're not playing to just improve. We're playing for championships. I'm not being paid (for rebuilding). There's not one ounce of me that's being patient. There's not one ounce of me that thinks we're in a rebuilding project. Every ounce of me feels like we're winning this year. We were 4-12 last year. That can turn around with a few breaks, staying healthy, a few more players and we can get it done."
The Colts will need Luck healthy to compete in the AFC South.
Indianapolis made a big trade with the New York Jets to potentially add talented players who can contribute right away. The Colts moved down just three spots, from No. 3 to No. 6 overall in the draft, and acquired two second-round picks this year and one in 2019.
Don't expect them to draft one of the top quarterbacks in the draft class: Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield.
"I think it's the best class I've ever seen," Reich joked. "They should go 1-2-3-4."