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Calm, focused Luck debuts at Colts' rookie minicamp

No longer must we gingerly shuffle around the idea of Andrew Luck replacing Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.

We're there -- and the early returns are promising.

Described by Colts coach Chuck Pagano as "unflappable" and "a natural leader" at Friday's rookie minicamp, Luck spoke of the job ahead -- confidently dismissing the notion that Indy is still piecing together the wreckage of 2011.

"I don't think anybody's viewing this as a rebuilding season," Luck told The Indianapolis Star

"It's nice to get back and practice football," he said, adding that he "didn't get melodramatic" about taking snaps in his first NFL practice -- and he isn't losing sleep over the massive shoes he's been asked to fill.

"I've had some time to sort of digest (the playbook). It's nice to apply what relatively little I know, and learn. ... It's nice to know I'm not the only one swimming in information," Luck told reporters.

His fellow rookies spoke of the calm Luck brought to the proceedings as this new world becomes a reality: these Colts are Andrew's team now, no longer Peyton's.

Luck isn't as free-flowing with his words as Robert Griffin III, whose initial tweet about his first Redskins practice offered quintessential RG3-patented quirkiness. Luck, however, exhibits strains of Manning's outward humility, and inward fire.

As this franchise (finally) turns the page on one of the more notorious breakups in NFL history, it dangles a new love interest before the fan base. Forgive the people of Indianapolis if they're slow to draw. They adored Manning and always will. It's not fair to ask Luck to step in and replace all that after a single practice.

"I'm definitely at the bottom of the totem pole -- I haven't done squat," Luck said. "I sort of like being thrown in the fire a little bit and try to handle it. … No matter what process … you're going to struggle with it."

We imagine he won't struggle for long.

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