Rookies in the National Football League like to stick together and help each other through the transition process. Miami Dolphins right tackle
Martin protected Luck’s blind side as a left tackle at Stanford for three years and probably knows him better than any of Luck’s teammates in Indianapolis other than rookie tight end Coby Fleener, who also went to Stanford. The two of them communicate either by phone or text at least once a week.
“This week’s a little different,” Martin said. “It’ll be a little weird seeing him on the other sideline but it’s just like anything else, you’ve just got to deal with it. I wish him all the luck before every game – except this one of course.”
One of the things Martin and Luck have been talking about since training camp is how Martin was handling the switch from left tackle to right tackle. Even though the basic blocking techniques are the same, the first step is in the opposite direction and the pressure coming off of the opposite shoulder requires some quick adjustments.
Martin recalls Luck joking with him and sarcastically wishing him luck with the position switch, but he acknowledged how strong of a friendship they have been able to maintain. Luck was not at all surprised that Martin viewed the move to right tackle as “a great challenge,” and pointed to his former teammate’s athleticism as the primary reason why his progress has not been hindered at all.
“We had a great relationship at Stanford for three years. From what I’ve seen and heard, he’s doing well,” said Luck, who has guided the Colts to the same 4-3 record as the Dolphins. He’ll continue to get better. He’s a got a great work ethic. He’ll continue to impress his teammates, and coaches and fans with that and I’m excited to see him playing and doing well.”
Luck was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy as a senior and Martin was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s best offensive lineman, as a junior. Out of the 39 games Martin played in for the Cardinal, he started 37 of them at left tackle and became Luck’s most important protector in the passing game.
So far every week of the 2012 NFL season the two friends have been able to cheer for each other and compliment each other after wins. But as Martin so aptly pointed out, that will not be the case this Sunday in Indianapolis. Their conversations during warm-ups before the game and on the field after will take on a new meaning.
“We probably will avoid talking this week,” Luck said during his Wednesday conference call with the South Florida media.
Their play on the field will be all the talking either player will need to take place.